Korea Take 2

Since Pete and I have decided to return to Korea I have started to start blogging again! It’s a great way to stay in contact will all my friends and family and let them know what we’re up to!

fall in Korea

fall in Korea

I’ll start with the million dollar question which we got asked numerous of times “why are you going back there again?” Well the short version is that there are not that many jobs* for University grads in Canada at the moment. And the long version that risks me getting into some hot water with my family is that there isn’t much there for us back home.

Being two young and adventurous people with little responsibilities it was incredibly hard being back in Canada for the summer.  We found jobs after a few weeks and we gave it an honest chance, but as the weeks passed our savings dwindled, our happiness went out the door and we quickly realized something had to change in order to maintain our sanity.  I feel bad for having put my best friend, Alaina, through those times.  Sure, she was glad to see us after being gone for 2 years and would never admit we were Debby downers but… we were.  We didn’t adjust very well, we started fighting and bickering and I would have to go to the gym in the middle of the night just to escape my thoughts of how sad we actually were.  It was nothing short of a miracle when our directors emailed us and asked us to come back to Korea.

Pete’s family was ecstatic for us, my grandmother insisted I could “find full time work at Tim Hortans and make decent money to live off of” and Alaina gave me the silent treatment for a few days. We love our family (please note that I am including Alaina in this section because she truly is my family) so much but if it’s one thing we learned while being away is that you can love people from a far.  Love does cross oceans and seas, it flies over mountains and swims through rivers.  I may not be there when Alaina’s little boy goes to sleep every night, but my love is always there.

So we decided to accept the offer to go back and give Korea another go around.  After all the hard good-byes, we made our way back to what we now consider “home”. It is the one place we have spent the longest in the 4 years we have been dating, it’s the place we are most comfortable, have the most freedom and have a life.  We are extremely happy here and love our lives. Pete and I joke that Korea would be perfect for us is we could just uproot all our friends and family and bring them here.  The stress free life and the decent wages have allowed us to travel and accomplish some of our goals that would never have been possible back in Canada.

We know that we won’t be here forever and that one day Canada will offer us more than Korea but for now Korea offers us everything we need and although our friends and family miss us, I hope they are happy for us.

Pete and I rocking traditional Korean Clothes

Pete and I rocking traditional Korean Clothes

True North, strong and unemployed

So we have been back in Canada for about two months now, and I have to say…. it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.  Having lived abroad for the past 2 and a half years, Pete and I really got to experience all these amazing and wonderful cultures around the world. And when people asked us “where are you from?” with such pride we would respond “Canada!” and know it was the best country in the world.  We would tell people about how clean and wonderful and amazing Canada was, and we believed it… until we came back.

Being born and raised in Canada we grew to love and respect our home country.  But as we grew older and more world traveled we came to realize that the Country we loved doesn’t quite love us back.  It is like a bad relationship where you keep telling yourself “it’ll get better, we’re just going through a rough patch”.  But as you look at all the people around you, in the same situations, you begin to realize its not just a rough patch, it’s Canada.

Our whole life we were pressured to go to university because that’s how you get a well paying job. But after spending forty grand on an undergrad you never utilize you leave this wonderful little bubble called university and step into the rat race.

You start working an ok job, thinking to yourself it only gets better from here but 10 years later your stuck with the same company doing relatively the same job and only getting paid slightly more. But as time goes by, you realize how much stuff you absolutely need, a new TV, a new car, and the newest ipod, ipad, iphone, i-everything.  You start the cycle and your life becomes more work than life. And the hardest part to adapt to all of this is the fact that these companies, this country, doesn’t really value you or your hard work… if they could have someone in china do it for cheaper, they would.

Pete and I came from Korea, where they admired our education and realized it was a great feat and respected us.  Korea is such a proud country, they buy Korean because they know it supports their economy, where Canada has followed suit with the States and to turn he biggest profit they outsource.  When does it stop being about the money and start being about a better life and future for your country?

Being back in Canada the only jobs we have interviewed for are entry level minimum wage jobs that are quite frankly insulting to all our hard work we have done and all of our achievements. I feel as though our pride in our country diminishes when other countries offer us a much brighter, more financial stable future. It is frustrating and hard to accept that rejection from the one thing you loved so much growing up. It is like that boy you spent your entire life trying to impress telling your flat out “sorry you’re just not good enough”.

So, as Canada day is approaching you see the stores fill with towels covered in maple leaves, clothes in red and white and maple leaf hats, bags, cups, stickers, shoes, ipod case for your latest model ipod… all of course sporting their little “Made in China” tag. In my heart of hearts, I love Canada and always will. I will still respond with excitement, pride and happiness when someone asks we where I am from. I just wish that there were better opportunities here for young professionals wishing to succeed and not wanting to settle for minimum wage… but until then Canada will just remain that distant, out of reach dream.

Aside