Guests of the Inner Sanctum

JQAbroad: Working and Living it Up in Korea, and Why You Should Put Some Serious Thought Into It, Too.


Living abroad has been one of the greatest accomplishments I have done for my life. It was something I had always set out to do ever since I was a little girl. I remember looking at the world globe and wanting to visit places I never heard of. I am currently stationed in Seoul, Korea as a Human Resources Coordinator for my company. I was once a teacher for the company that I currently work with for 5 months. Those five months were absolutely amazing as I was learning about a new world and new culture. I met so many people in my area that I literally felt like I was home. I will say that in the beginning of my trip I remember asking myself “what in the world did I get myself into”. As I looked around and noticed that everything was written in Korean, and I was walking amongst an unfamiliar language I quickly reminded myself that this is what I wanted.

I’m writing today because I think it is pivotal for black women to travel, to where they choose, especially if you are young, single, and unattached. This is the prime of your life to venture of into a different world where you don’t have the huge responsibility of having a husband or children. This is not to say that you cannot do this while married, but it is easier to pack your things without having to think twice about it.

During my stay in Korea I have meet so many people from many different backgrounds. Many of the people that I have met are from South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, England, Canada, France, and Russia. I think that is one of the greatest fears many people have is that they will not meet anyone. With my job I often have to remind others that they will not be the only foreigner in the country and they will meet up with other people who can speak English as well. Not only will you meet people within your company, but also outside of it as you visit around Korea.

Let me tell you some of the things I have been able to do here in Korea in a nutshell…saw Usain Bolt at the World Championship games in Daegu, got promoted from teaching to a Human Resource Coordinator, saw Boyz II Men live in concert, and went to Phuket, Thailand for a week during Christmas break.

You will find that as you travel you will find yourself doing things you never thought you could do. I think traveling abroad allows you to have that confidence and gets you out of your shell. Take for instance back in the States I couldn’t just walk up to anyone and start a conversation, now I can without having to think twice about it. Of course you don’t have to go abroad to do this, but just to give you an idea of the small things you notice yourself doing.

The opportunity of living abroad is amazing. Never in my wildest dream did I think that within 5 months of teaching I would be promoted as Human Resources Coordinator. In the states that would have never happened, due to “lack of experience”. Where else would I have an opportunity to pack my things and venture out to Thailand within a budget? Where else could I get an apartment to myself rent free? These are opportunities in Korea and just living abroad can create for you.

To all the black women out there, instead of wasting your time reading on the latest statistic of why “we are not marriageable” (lies on top of lies) or arguing with trolls online, why not spend that energy on what you want? If you want to live abroad seek jobs that provide that? If you want a boyfriend or husband, spend time seeking that, if you want a new job, spend time doing that as well. This year 2012, black women should be singing a new tune, blogging on newer topics, and sharing their fun, fulfilled, happy lives online.

Korea is just the start for me and I plan on living abroad for as long as I can. Everyday I wake up with a smile on my face knowing that I accomplished what I set out to do and to know that my work is not finished yet. I have more dreams to aspire too. It is also encouraging to read other’s experiences traveling abroad, especially black women. If you ever get the chance, join some of the groups on Facebook or follow some of the bloggers on twitter to see what they are up to. They are an inspiration to everyone and it will make you want to get up and go!


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