Well, it’s official. I’m coming home in 12 days. This may come as a surprise to some people, but here’s my reasoning.
- I’ve decided to go to South Korea to teach beginning late 2009 or early 2010. I’m currently applying because the application process is lengthy. They require a criminal background check, a copy of my diploma, copies of my TEFL/TESOL certificates, medical records, interviews and several other immigration forms. It’s hard to get all this done if I’m in South America.
- Positions in South Korea offer paid housing (furnished studio apartment or shared apartment) equipped with a kitchen, living room area and a Western bathroom. They also offer 50% or more paid health care, round-trip airfare, paid vacations, a salary of $1500-2500 per month and a month’s salary bonus upon completion of a year program. There are opportunities to earn more money if I work overtime. The only things I have to pay for are utilities, expenses and partial health care. In other words, I can save a lot of money. No place in South America offers anything remotely similar.
- I prefer to travel South America when I’m settled and when I have more money saved up. I was hoping to settle down in a city and then travel with limited luggage to selected destinations over the course of my stay. However, I decided not to settle. Hostel hopping is not really the way I want to see the rest of South America. I’ve accumulated so many things over the past several months that I had to buy a bigger suitcase. I’m done hauling everything from hostel to hostel. I’m done sharing a bedroom with strangers. I’m done showering in luke-warm, swampy bathrooms.
- I will return to South America when I’m done saving up in Asia. My desire to learn Spanish is too great not to return.
Before I leave, I’ll be enjoying more of Uruguay and Buenos Aires. And, I’m on a mission to find a good Halloween costume since I’m coming back on October 30!