This is Big.
Im not pregnant.
It might be bigger than that.
Everything weve hoped for.
What weve been planning for.
Dreaming about via Pinterest.
I cant express how excited we are.
How scared we are.
How anxious we are.
How overwhelmed we are.
The suspense is killing you right?
She just keeps typing and creating more space so you cant see the announcement…
Have you made it this far in reading or did you scroll down already?
Ok. Im done.
We are SO beyond elated to announce…..
that we are officially moving to Seoul, South Korea!!
AHHH!! Take a moment. I am.
Ok the details: Our ONE WAY flight is most likely on July 23rd. We have signed 2 year contracts to work at Yongsan International School of Seoul or YISS. It is a private, American, Christian, International school. It is affiliated with the NICS organization. Terrell will be teaching High School Chorus (his DREAM job) and I will be a high school sub the first year and a guidance counselor the second.
The backstory: In case this hit you from left field and had no idea, please know: this was always the plan. Ok, Korea, not so much the plan. But Ill get there. Our whole lives, separately, we always had the desire to live and serve overseas. We weren’t quite sure what that would look like, but separately, its what we both wanted. The Lord has been leading me to be a Social Worker since middle school. Terrell has always loved travel and missions too. Neither of us went to college with a plan of working in schools. I got a degree in Social work, Terrell got a degree in music. Not education. Then somehow we both ended up working in schools as our first jobs out of college. We were hooked. Then comes the whole getting married, going to grad school part of our story. You know.
We remember sitting in our very first, very sketchy apartment dreaming about how we both wanted to live overseas and work in some capacity. But, we didn’t want to be missionaries. Now, let me be clear. There is nothing wrong with missionaries, we have some very close friends who are missionaries and are in complete and total awe of them. But, as we examined our lives and our gifts we realized this was not where the Lord was leading us. We both had such a GREAT passion for our professions. We also were a little afraid of raising support (which is asking friends, family, churches, etc to send you money monthly so you can be a missionary and pay your bills, etc). This is a huge undertaking and becomes part of your daily job. We just didnt feel that this was what we were supposed to be doing. So we began looking into other avenues.
Terrell wants to teach. I want to work with family’s and students. So, being in love with working in schools (and oh yeah, did I mention summer breaks?! cha-ching) we decided we would try to see if we could get teaching jobs at an international school. To back up a little to our roach motel apartment, we had decided then and there we would begin living our life as if we were temporary residents. Now, dont be confused. We have accumulated ALOT of stuff. ALOT. We have also invested in the community we live in a ton and have made some of the best friends well ever have, fallen in love with our home and our town. This will be the hardest place to leave. ever. But, we have paid off almost every penny of debt we have. We have not bought new cars or a home. We have invested in things that will last us either long term or we can part with. This has been a big challenge, to explain to people, oh yeah maybe 4 years from now we will move overseas so we would like to not do what everyone else is….blank stares…
So, weve been preparing. Then it came time to take some action. Ill happily share this whole process in another super long post. But short story, last August, after doing some serious blog stalking of other international teachers, we began our search. We chose to go the International School Job Fair at UNI in Iowa. Fun place. We applied, got accepted, did a lot of paperwork and made a lot of plans. The end of January we made our way to Iowa. We had already been talking to a few schools via email before hand. We had a ton of interviews. We got an offer, we took it.
YISS had contacted us prior to the fair, stated their interest and gauged ours. We received the best advice from a fellow blogger: Choose the right school, not location. Of course location is a big deal: safety, standard of living, etc. But, the most important thing to us was finding great jobs at a fantastic school. Not a glamorous school, but a school we believed in and agreed with thier teaching philosphy. We were admittedly a little scared of the idea of living in Korea. I had always said ****honesty about to happen*** I did not want to live in a an Asain culture. It just didnt interest me. But, all the jobs we were really excited about were in Korea. There were a few others of interest, but nothing like this. Then we had our interview. We had not planned on seeking out a Christian school, we werent opposed, it just wasnt a requirement. But, when we sat down for our interview it was the best interview we ever had. I secretly felt like I was interviewing for camp again….But in a professional sense.
We knew. But because my job was as a substitute teacher, we began to doubt. We sought counsel from our wise family and friends. We prayed. We looked at our other options. We initially said no becasue there was a timeline and we just werent ready to make a decision. They responded, ‘Were very dissapointed but we are going to keep the job open for you if you change your mind’. We talked with the school again. They completely eased my mind and hooked me. I would have a chance to get to know every student and teacher, before becoming a counselor and attempting to get into the details of thier lives. I would already have rapport built. They also expressed how great of a need they had for leaders for girls bible studies. I was in. So we checked in with our parents to make sure they werent going to loose thier minds. They didnt. So we took the jobs.
Were still very terrified, excited and overwhelmed. We keep getting these giant checklist of things to do and I am first giddy with joy at the sight of a checklist and so thankful for an organzied organization. But also completely freaking out that i have to do everything on that list. But thankfully we have about 6 months and have been blown away by the amazingly genrous welcome weve received from the school and staff so far. We are ready to start a new adventure, but so sad to leave this fantastic one. So we are tring to stay focused on everyday life and begin decluttering our house at the same time.
What this all means: Yes, we will be moving to a very foreign country. We will come home once a year. We will stay for 2 years and then evaluate if we want to stay, move to a new school in another country or come home to America, somewhere. We will be teaching at a school where everyone speaks English. So we will kind of learn Korean for daily life stuff. Yes I will have to give up Dr. Pepper. Yes, we are selling most of our stuff. No weve never been to Korea before. Yes this blog will be changing soon to a fancy new site and will still include tons of DIY and lots of travel info. Yes I will be making so many lists that I may not love them anymore. Not a chance. Terrell gets to fulfill his lifelong dream of having a scooter. Maybe.
Some fun facts about Korea
I am most excited about the food. Check out this list.
Korea is on the continent of Asia
Our new city is referred to as Seoul Special City
It is a megacity of 10 million people
The internet there is K-razy awesome fast
And in case you dont believe me CNN compiled 50 reasons whey Seoul is the best city in the world. I cant speak to this yet, but will let you know soon.
I feel like I just said a whole lot of nothing. This is my first journaling/brain dump attempt. I know you have a ton of questions. Me too. Please ask away! The more info we have, the more we will share. I will definityly be posting tons of FYI and DIY and easy how to and lists about moving, getting an international job and about living internationally. So if you want to follow along add me to your RSS feed or follow via email!
**Also, anyone have any great tips?! Know any awesome bloggers in Korea?! PLEASE PLEASE SHARE THE WEALTH!