And that was 2022.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

It feels like de ja vu, ending 2022 similar to 2021, with some sort of bug! I’m fine- just a dry scratchy throat with a dry cough but it also doesn’t help that it’s dry outside.

In Korea, there are no public holidays for Christmas or New Year so it’s been weird. I think I’m actually quite tired and am itching for some time off. Back home, I would be having a handful of days off, eating so much Christmas ham, not knowing what day it is and having family get togethers. In contrast, I am working every day with no time to even reflect on the year or plan ahead! I have needed this post, time to reflect and plan.

The 01 Jan New Year celebrations are more muted here with some countdown parties and bell ringing happening in Seoul tonight. Many Koreans apparently go to watch the sunrise on the 01 Jan from the east coast or mountains. The Lunar New Year has greater importance here.

2022 was a big year having moved to South Korea to tick off a life list item. It’s been a wonderful experience and I still have days where I just can’t believe it. Teaching has been everything I imagined it to be. The kids are great, sweet, inspiring, funny and thoughtful. It’s not every day you have students telling you that they love you. But behavioural issues in class (don’t get me started on the puberty blues or whatever it’s called!) has been something I’ve found the hardest to manage. The sleepers, the ones who don’t participate, the rowdy kids, the ones who don’t pay attention and the ones that talk back.

I’m now on the tail end of my supposed one year adult gap year and I am filled with more uncertainty than ever before. What should I do next? Go back to working as I was previously and not really enjoying it? Keep teaching abroad? I am not really too sure and don’t think I’m any closer to finding out an answer with every day that goes past. It’s a mix of questions and doubts from career anxiety, earning lots of money and doing fulfilling work. Advice welcome.

Aside from all these doubts, if there is one certainty in 2023, it is that there will be many things to learn, new experiences and adventures to be had. That’s not too bad.

Happy New Year to everyone! Thank you for stopping by this year. I hope the New Year brings you happiness, good health and laughter!

Top 5 Posts of 2022:

  1. A Must Visit In Busan: Haeundae Beach
  2. Fresh Seafood at Jagalchi Market, Busan
  3. Busan Gamcheon Village
  4. Declutter These Items Today
  5. South Korean Dishes To Try

25 thoughts on “And that was 2022.

  1. It’s hard when you have a decision to make like that. If you don’t need to right now then dont! Decision made
    There seem to be many places to go with a job like yours, if you have time maybe try another country. Sounds like to don’t want to go back to life before

  2. It must be so weird not getting a few days off to celebrate Christmas and New Year – I would find that super difficult. I hope you manage to get some time off soon. I’ve loved following along on your adventures this year and look forward to more in 2023.

  3. I hope you have a Happy New Year and hope you decide on what’s your next step in your career. I know I was moved when you said, “it’s not every day you have students telling you that they love you.” It must’ve been a rewarding job teaching young students in Korea.

  4. Having lived in several countries, I would say that the first year is a year of discovery, of first times. You have to go through the same rituals and routines the following years to really feel part of the local life. You don’t sound ready to move back to Australia, it’s too late, I’m afraid you will miss the excitement of living abroad. Anyway, I love following your discoveries in Korea, it’s a beautiful country. I wish you a wonderful Happy New Year, full of rewarding achievements.

    1. Did your line of work allow you to work in several countries or did you take different types of jobs? It’s something negative about myself- I have always taken any chance to leave Australia and have never really felt content living there. Thank you so much for your well wishes!

      1. I’ve had to change roles several times, but overall it’s always about finance. Of course working abroad requires a bit of flexibility, the most important being living in another country.

  5. Hey Sophie! I can see you are mulling things over and haven’t yet decided on a course of action. Have you examined it in a logical framework – sort of an advanced pros and cons list? Or you haven’t yet got any alternatives? If you aren’t happy in Australia – your head is telling you it needs more adventures. Do this while you can. You can always come back if it doesn’t work out. Do what excites and rewards you and you never know where that road may take you. The four day weekend may give you a moment to mull things over. It would be hard to make such a decision when you are in the throes of working week to week. It sounds like you enjoy working with children, so would an aupair stint in another country, be something for you? Short term you could suss out the job market in another country while having a roof over your head. As an English speaker, I am sure you would be readily accepted. Good luck with your decision making.
    Btw, I love this tradition of watching the sun rise on January 1st. I might adopt that one myself next year!

    1. The only pro about going back to Aus is that I would be making more money (hahaha!). That is true that I can always go back when things don’t work out. I hadn’t thought about the aupair work- an option to consider. The 4 day weekend I’ll be skiing which might help. Those moments when you’re so engrossed in an activity might be when the aha! moment strikes. Thank you for your words of wisdom. I think I should look into sunrises too. I really dislike staying up!

  6. It’s a hard decision and one only you can make. I taught abroad when I was older, and not trying to develop a life at “home”. The second year (and more) in a place brought me more friends from the country, trying not to only hang with expats, more immersion in the culture, and made me better at my job. Perhaps that’s not what you’re looking for right now. However, once you return home and get into a career, you’re less likely to be able to leave to do this again. Maybe one more year in another place will satisfy your curiosity and wanderlust? Just some things to consider… Have a wonderful year, whatever you decide!

    1. Some great wisdom Ruth! Thank you- I will keep your words in mind. The curiosity and wanderlust has been cursing through my veins for about a decade now. I wonder if it ever stops for those of us who are tended this way?

  7. Happy New Year! I’m glad that you’re continuing to have a wonderful time in Korea. As for career uncertainties, I’m with you on that part, although on the opposite spectrum: I have a stable job, but it’s an unfulfilling job and I’m struggling to find another job/what I want to do in my career. Although I have a clearer path of what I want (i.e. to stay in the public sector, but just switch departments), it’s going to take a lot more effort on my part and determination to apply to jobs, get interviews, and transfer out to make it happen. I guess my advice to you is to find a job that, while it may not always be the most-fulfilling job every day, the majority of it is, and it’s stable enough to pay the bills and give you time off and have a life outside of it. I think with any job (even those you love), you have to make a sacrifice, whether it’s a pay cut, limited time off, or monotonous work– no job is perfect, but as long as it’s not the extreme and it’s fair enough, I think it’s worth pursuing and gives you the freedom to prioritize doing things you love, e.g. travel, blogging, art, etc. Things will always work out no matter what, and I wish you the best of luck in 2023!

    1. It’s good that you have a clearer idea of which path you want to take so you can focus your energy on that. You’re right- I just need a job that allows me to also do what I want on the side and will need to make sacrifices of some things to make it work. I guess I can also just go back to my career I left and transition out later to something else. It’ll be an interesting year for us! All the best to you too!

  8. Happy New year Sophie!
    After our first year when we moved for good in Canada, we decided that there is no perfect place, nor a perfect country in this world, other wise all 7 billion people will move there LOL I was reading recently that only 7% of Americans have their dream job, and that more than 50% of Canadians will look for a new job in 2023. I decided not to think about, and enjoy every day as it comes, planning more adventures and travel as much as possible😊
    Trying a new country might be a good idea for you, and who knows, maybe you can move there for good, one day, if that will fit you.
    Wishing you a wonderful 2023, with many happy returns!

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