Moving Abroad: It’s OK To Be Afraid

By in living abroad, moving abroad, packing, South Korea, Travel Tips on May 9, 2016
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It’s officially less than a week until I move to South Korea. I haven’t even begun packing, and despite genuinely being excited for this new chapter in my life, I wonder why it is I’ve put off actually preparing for it.

Maybe it’s because I’m older now and I’ve really thought hard about this decision? My other moves were sort of no-brainers, I didn’t really need to think about them because it was post-college and I was young and dewy eyed. This time I really had to think if I wanted to try and make it work in the US or head to Asia again to chance it and see if that would be a better opportunity. It’s been awhile since I was in a classroom setting (wherein I was teaching anyway), so part of me is nervous about my abilities, but I also know I do well when I rise to a challenge. I think I just like freaking myself out. Masochist, remember?

And I think that’s a good thing. Travel can be scary. It’s daunting and the unknown is just that, it’s unknown. Despite having been to South Korea a few times now, and having spent a few weeks there, I know living in a place is very different from just visiting.

I've been taking in quality puppy time before I leave ;__;
I’ve been taking in quality puppy time before I leave ;__;

It’s the seemingly mundane things that seem to cause the most stress. How will my bills work? What’s the best choice for internet? Right now I’m yelling at my new unlocked cell phone that came with a ย back cover that doesn’t entirely close, causing the battery not to be snug and thus it’s draining like a fiend. I wanted to go to Korea with an unlocked smart phone so I would just be getting a SIM and cut down my costs. But because it took an age to get this phone to me and now it’s faulty, I’m going to have to return it. So now I’m trying to check up on how mobile contracts work in Korea and have to decide do I lock myself into a two year contract in the hope things will work out and I’ll stay more than a year, or will I be shooting myself in the foot?

The fact is, there’s a lot to think about. And never mind the whole leaving behind friends/family/pets/etc. Even though I am very excited and generally optimistic, I’m also afraid. However, being afraid is OK. Being scaredย indicates that it actually means something to you. There’s a risk in every move, and moving abroad is especially filled with risk, but anything that is worth it is hard work, and normally is sort of scary.

So it’s okay to be afraid.

At least that’s what I keep telling myself.


I figured this is a good time to announce how I’ll be chronicling my adventures in the land of the morning calm. Not only am I going to be writing about my life in Korea, but I’m also going to be vlogging about it!

Curly In Korea will encompass both my Korean posts here on The Nerdventurists and also the South Korean part of our YouTube channel! There’s no videos up yet, but please subscribe on YouTube to stay up to date :)!

Curly In Korea - The Nerdventurists -

Art by the amazing Andrea Kendrick.

Kristina is an ardent traveler and has been to over 48 countries and has no plans to stop. She taught English in a small fishing city in Japan for a year, volunteered on an archaeological dig on an Iron Age site in Israel, drove 10,000 miles in a 1994 Corsa from London to Ulaanbataar for charity, and accidentally fell in love with K-pop in Seoul. Itโ€™s been a wild ride.
  1. Reply

    I’m so excited to see your vlogging! I, too, am struggling with the 1- or 2-year mobile contract issue – though I think I’m going to end up just playing it safe with a 1-year. You’re right, though, that it’s completely different making all of these adult decisions and realizing that they can have an actual impact on your life for years to come… Scary – but hopefully in a good way? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Reply

      Ahhh thank you! I imagine it’ll take me awhile to get good at it, but here’s hoping!

  2. If your school doesn’t take care of your bills then it’s super easy to take care of on your own – you pay at the corner store or through an atm transfer. Internet will already be set up. Your school is super rich and they sound like they really care about the staff so you shouldn’t have any issues. If you get a 2 year plan they build in the cost of the phone for like..8 bucks a month and if you don’t stay two years your can transfer to someone else who has just moved. It’s a really easy transition!

    1. Reply

      You are my oracle of all things Korean, I swear, haha. Thank yooou, this makes the 2 year plan not seem so chancey.

      1. Ohhhhmmmmm kimchi

        1. Reply

          I have a problem with how much I love kimchi. I missed the kimchi museum last time I was in Seoul, must go this time!

  3. You* can transfer…sigh…autocorrect…

  4. See, that’s exactly how I felt before moving to London myself. It took me bloody two years to even make a decision! Though it may have not been such a cultural shock when moving withing Europe for me personally, I was still freaking out about a lot of things when I first moved with ยฃ300 in my pocket and no job secured yet. Insane when you think about it and were it not for my friends (yourself included), I am not sure I would have made it this far. However, you already have secured a job which is the most important thing, the rest will work itself out, believe me. And packing in advance is overrated. xD

    HUGS and keeping my fingers and toes crossed for you! xx

    1. Reply

      <3 <3 <3 Thank yoooou. Yeah, taking the leap is both rewarding and terrifying, but I have a feeling we'll both be ultimately glad we did.

  5. Pingback: Quitting Your Job In Korea – The Nerdventurists

  6. Pingback: Guest Post: QUITTING YOUR JOB IN KOREA – MiddleMe

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