It’s really funny how things happen. My life is a collage of different stories that intertwine, and make an amazing tapestry of colorful experiences that I could not fabricate to save my life. Now, my personal story of becoming an expat begins with divine intervention. However, within that story, a longtime friend adds an interesting twist.
It was my friend, Heather Allen who called and asked me to accompany her to teach in Japan. Her call came two days after I had received an offer from a recruiter to teach in South Korea (one I declined because I thought it was unreal and unrelated to my career path). However, after receiving her phone call I agreed to consider accompanying her to teach in Japan. Although, as the story would unfold neither Heather nor I would move to Japan to teach. I applied and was accepted, but there were no offers left in Japan, and the recruiter asked if I would be interested in South Korea. I don’t believe in coincidences, and I went on to accept the second offer to teach in South Korea. Heather declined to accompany me, due to lack of interest in South Korea, and eventually a family medical emergency. But as life would have it, I would later call her with an opportunity in my second contract the following year. And this time, we were both willing to accept the offer.
Years after we had both lived and worked abroad, I wanted to follow up with her and see what the journey has been for her. So, I posed a question, “What makes life as an expat so wonderful?”
This was her answer…
You ask “What makes my life as an expat so wonderful?”… The people!!!
South Korea (Seosan/Daegu), the UAE (Dubai/Al Ain), and Oman (Nizwa) are the three countries I have called home at some point and time, since 2011. Though two are in the Middle East and one is in Asia, all three have one thing in common; the need their people have to be VALUED, RESPECTED, and UNDERSTOOD!!!
In an effort to enhance my resume, and experience a culture different from my own, l originally intended to teach ESL at a university in South Korea for just one year. Then return to pursue a professorship at a university in the United States. Well, I loved the experience so much that not only did I stay in South Korea for almost four years, but I also met my husband, and got married in South Korea. I also lived in the UAE for a year, and now I live in Oman.
Through my daily interactions with Koreans, Emiratis, and Omanis, I was blessed and humbled to discover that WE ALL DESIRE THE SAME THINGS in life…
To be Happy, Healthy, and Heard.
To be Happy, Healthy, and Heard.
I made a point to always listen to the stories and histories of the people in the countries I lived and visited. And you know what we all discovered? We aren’t so different after all. That revelation opened the door to a level of understanding, and the cultivation of friendships that I know will last for the rest of my life.
What makes my life as an expat so wonderful… the Love, Respect, and Understanding I am able to give and receive from the phenomenal people I have met and call FRIENDS all over this massive planet we call earth! We all have Value… We are all Kindred!
to step out on faith, and see that this expat life isn’t as scary or as difficult as I thought it would be, I don’t know if I would have experienced what an awesome gift this expat life has been! For that, I am forever grateful.
We have both come a long way over the years, and although our expat experiences have lent two very different paths, I must agree that the people make living and working abroad so enriching. I am still grateful that God used Heather to help me answer the call because I literally had declined the offer… it seemed so unreal. Now, I know it’s real and very possible.
If you have a desire to live and work abroad and you want some assistance, please contact me. I would love to help your dream become a reality.