4. Leaving Northern Ireland

What’s it like to leave your hometown and travel to a foreign land?

Find out 🙂

Well, I’d left work and I’d been successful in the job I’d interviewed for.

That interview we’ll talk about later… it’s juicy.

The way it worked out, I finished work on the Friday the 1st April (more fool me) took a week off and flew out to Korea starting work on the 11th May.

Before that we decided to have a lovely family meal out. I can’t show you my nephew due to date protection but he’s adorable.

Here’s my darling father and mother and what we ate.

My lovely parents

The picture looks a little bit weird as the camera has a fish-eyed lens.


The thing with memory is that it fades so quickly. I can’t remember what night of the week this was but I do remember joking with my nephew about trains.

Maybe, it’s those small little details that we remember when we’re eighty or ninety. We forget all the irrelevant stuff, the dinner, the date, the time and we remember little flashes of interaction that makes us smile.

Anyway, the meal was lovely and the service is always amazing. After the dinner, I went home and chilled out.

I had the job offer, I’d sent the information to Korea and there was weeks wait until I got my visa. The visa arrived on the 7th May. On the 9th May I flew out. Belfast to Amsterdam, Amsterdam to Seoul.

Amsterdam has a lovely airport with a few great bars.

As I was moving to Korea I wanted to try  some Korean food and practise using chopsticks. Unfortunately, I tried this…IMG-20170509-WA0013

This is NOT korean food.

This is airport Korean food and cost me £24.00. Yes, you read that right.

When the waiter presented the bill I actually said,’holy F***k,’ then thanked them.


At least it was in daylight, so I could see their faces as they robbed me.

The flight to Seoul was amazing, I’d never been on a plane like it (this is the part where you realise I’m a bit sheltered). I didn’t realise there was a TV or where the earphones where plugged in.

I could’t sleep on the plane so I landed in Seoul exhausted and picked up my luggage.


My director had very kindly ordered a driver to take me from the airport to the bus station as I’d have missed the bus.

I tried to get in the wrong door as we drive on the other side of the road to Koreans. The driver dropped me off, paid for my ticket (I reimbursed him) then left me at the exact bus stop I needed to be at.  That is service.

I’d did it. I couldn’t believe I’d did it. To be honest, I was petrified.  Everything was so new, so fresh, so strange to my sight, sound and smell.

I used the bathroom and marvelled at two guys furiously brushing their teeth. Are Koreans obsessed with brushing their teeth or is it just these two guys? I didn’t want to leave my two bags outside the cubicle as I didn’t know how safe it was. Would they have been safe on their own? I ordered coffee and the lady apologised for no speaking English, I thought, ‘that’s fine, I don’t speak any Korean and I’m in your country’.

I did it.

I’m in Korea.

I’ve taken a two year career break, I’ve rented out my house, I’ve applied for, got and got my visa sorted out, I’ve now landed in Korea and I’m travelling to Andong to start a new job teaching kids English.

I got on the bus and sat down. Thankfully, there was nobody beside me so I got to sprawl out.  The only thought that went through my mInd was,’yep, this was a good decision’.

I sat back and drifted off to sleep on my way to Andong.

Thanks for reading.






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