When we moved to South Korea six months ago, we knew we’d be in for a huge learning experience. In addition to being exposed to a new language, culture, and learning to teach English to young children, we also knew we’d have to adjust to living in rural South Korea. Living outside of a big city is easier and more enjoyable than you might think!
To be clear, we live in a very rural part of South Korea. We also travel to areas that are more rural during our work-week to teach English to students at our travel schools. If you’re wondering how to better enjoy living in rural parts of this country, please keep reading for some helpful tips!
Interact with the Expat Community
Even in the most rural areas, there tends to be other foreigners, just like you! In our tiny town, there are 4 of us. In the neighboring bitter town, which is 20 minutes away, there are another 7. While you don’t have to hang out with other expats all of the time, it can make a difference in how enjoyable your experience is.
Make it a point to get together with other expats in your town or neighboring towns. Even if you just get together for special occasions and holidays, it can help give you something to look forward to! You’ll also appreciate having the opportunity to have a conversation in English.
Travel Throughout the Country
While you’ll likely use your vacation time to visit other Asian countries, there is plenty of time to explore other parts of South Korea on the weekends and holidays! This is a great way to be exposed to other activities, foods, and drinks, as well as other foreigners!
We look forward to our trips to the city because we get to spend time in a busier area and look forward to some familiar comforts from home! We also get to visit some of Korea’s most well-known attractions.
Embrace the Outdoors
The rural parts of South Korea are breathtaking! Now is your chance to embrace the outdoors. You can take up hiking or biking, or can just walk around more to get to know your surroundings.You’ll learn to appreciate the beauty and your body will benefit from the exercise.
Living in a big city is often crowded and its difficult to find a truly secluded area to relax and unwind. Take advantage of the chance to better experience nature while living in a rural area.
Get a Hobby
If you live in the countryside and want to find a way to keep busy during your free time, it’s a good idea to take up a hobby! This is a great way to develop or improve upon a skill or interest.
Nick recently purchased a guitar and spends a lot of time learning songs! I spend a lot of my time writing, reading, and running. We also go bowling together. There is always something to do, you just need to figure out what interests you.
Make Plans for the Future
Rural living isn’t for everyone! If you’ve tried to get used to this type of living situation and absolutely hate it, use your free time to make plans for the future. You may be tied to your current situation for the duration of your one-year contract, but there’s always something else to look forward to.
You can look into taking a future job in a Korean city or you may even decide to try out another country! There are so many options. Making these plans will take up free time and give you hope.
Living in rural South Korea has many benefits. You’ll be tempted to spend less and you’ll be able to take part in many unique experiences! Consider implementing the above tips so that you can better enjoy your time in South Korea.