Saying Goodbyes – Goodbye Korea!

Guest Author: Willynn Thompson

Image Source

Saying goodbye is always hard. How do you say goodbye to people you know you will never see again? You say good-bye and hope that you do see them again soon.

I spent the weekend in Gyeonju at a beautiful Hanok village with my girlfriends. Four of my friends will be leaving Korea at the end of this month to move back to their home country. Of course I’m happy for them, but my joy is bittersweet. I’ll miss them dearly.

As a foreigner, saying goodbye happens every six months. It’s a daunting reality, but it happens regularly.

So, what does one do?Reach To Teach Teachers South Korea

Relish at the good times and look forward to what the future has to offer.

The Beginning Phases

When I first moved to Korea I thought it would be impossible to make friends. But as the months increased I started to meet people in the least expected places. I thought I would meet the bulk of my friends at orientation.

I read a lot of blogs before leaving the States that orientation was usually the place to meet people. However, orientation kept everyone so busy by the time the day was over I just craved for sleep.

The next thing I know, orientation was over and I didn’t make any meaningful connections worth keeping. (I know that sounds harsh but it’s the truth.)

Colleagues As Friends

I thought I would meet people at school. After all that is where I would be spending the bulk of my time. Nope, it was very hard to make connections when I first arrived to Korea. My colleagues were so shy and very fearful of speaking English that our conversations were limited and connections were haphazard or non-existent.

Saeronam Church

I really started making friends at the international church that I attended with my husband. The other foreigners were welcoming and very supportive as I adjusted to Korea. We all  connected instantly and soon we became friends.

This weekend as we bellowed in laughter, ate with no care in the world (because food makes us all very happy) played games like Just Dance to burn off all the calories–it dawned on me, this is our farewell, we’ll be saying goodbye soon. But until that time comes we will savor the memories that shaped our friendships from the beginning.

Being Flexible

Once again, being flexible is the best way to survive a life abroad. It’s been one year since I moved to Korea and the many  lessons on flexibility have taught me immensely. In terms of friends, I have accepted the fact that my friendships will be transitional during my life abroad.

Saying goodbye is a constant reminder of this fact. But as long as I remain positive saying goodbye won’t be so hard.

Willyn Thompson - Reach To Teach writer for KoreaWillynn taught in the education field for three years. It was her curiosity and interest to see the world from a different perspective that lead her to Daejeon, South Korea. Willynn is currently working with young learners teaching English for EPIK in South Korea. In her free time, Willynn loves to go on adventures with her husband, Micah, engage in language exchanges at coffee shops with the locals in her community. As well as participate at Open Mic events across Daejeon and Seoul sharing her spoken word pieces. Follow Willynn on Youtube  or on WordPress.


If you liked this article, please share!

Leave a Reply

Contact Us

US & Canada: 201-467-4612
United Kingdom: 0203-286-9794
Australia: 2-8011-4516

Reach To Teach
1606 80th Avenue
Algona, Iowa, 50511

Teacher Testimonial

C. Venter - 2017 - Teaching in China

Thanks to the help and hard work of my recruiter at Reach To Teach, my journey to China was such a smooth and nearly stress free process. I have now been happily living in China for 6 months. Thanks, guys.

Read More Testimonials »

Teacher Testimonials

R. Busony - 2017 - An ESL Teacher in Taipei
Reach To Teach Recruiting LTD

Reach to Teach is absolutely the best tool to have going into the teaching industry in Asia. I worked with Carrie Kellenberger when going to Taiwan and she managed to give me more than I asked and did frequent check-ups.

Weeks before my dep...

Read More Testimonials »

Teacher Testimonials

Anabel Gabriela - 2018 Teacher Testimonial
Reach To Teach Recruiting LTD

They made what would have been a very complicated process easy. I always felt like they really cared about me and I never felt intimidated emailing or calling when I was confused. Highly recommend!

Read More Testimonials »