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Its already been a year since I came to Korea. I managed to learn so much about myself, meet new people and traveled to other parts of Asia. I felt as though I accomplished more than I would have if I stayed back in the States.
Being an expat has been an eye opener thus far and I don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon. Whether its thru teaching English or working a 9-5 at a firm in another country. I will continue to travel and work abroad until I can’t travel no more. There are things that being an expat has taught me such as:
Appreciate the little things
It could be the taste of food from your country of origin or the convinces you see in your country. Living abroad makes you really appreciate the little things. Yes, I miss a good cookout, being able to drive at times or seeing a familiar face up close reminds of the things so far away. Besides being able to meet up with friends and play Smash bros or going to a fighting game tournament is something I miss.
And yes I miss my family more than anything. Not being there for the Sunday dinner is a bit torturous but it has helped me with the next item on the list.
More independent & Confident
Living abroad as an expat has helped me in more ways than staying in my country of birth. It has pushed me to really think for myself and be more independent. Finding my way in a country where not as many people speak the same language can be a bit tiresome. But it has also taught to adapt to my surroundings like a ninja.
Taking a Muay Thai class with an instructor who has limited English skills has been a challenge and fun also. Being an expat has boosted my confidence in so many ways that I’m not afraid to take a risks on anything. After all, one of my favorite quotes from a favorite character once said..
I’m no iron chef but working overseas has inspired me to cook more. Learning to make simple things like an omelet or pasta with some grilled marinated beef(or chicken) with the Alfredo sauce has been a lot of fun. Since I’m near a farmers market, I have access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Plus it also holds the famous Fish Market.
What I like about the market is you can buy very fresh fruits, vegetables and seafood. From fish to shellfish, its a foodies paradise. At the seafood section I asked(via Naver English Translator) to cut off the crab legs. I somewhat felt sorry for the crab get its legs cut off……..but he was delicious
Cut my own hair
As a black man, nothing is more important like keeping your hair fresh. I do miss going to the black barbershop every month. But I don’t miss paying $20 for a haircut. There are some actual barbershops in Korea that do black hair but there too far away. I refuse to ride a bus for 5 hours to get a hair cut. Living overseas encouraged me to cut my own hair. I was nervous at first but it turned out to be easier than I thought! After extensive research and buying some clippers I cut my head and I gotta say damn I look good. And more importantly…..I get to save money! I encourage any black man reading this. No matter where you are, cutting your own hair is easier than it looks.
For any expats abroad, what has living overseas in another country taught you? Chat it up in the comments and I’ll see ya around.