While nothing is ever truly known in terms of what lies in the future, for me and my boyfriend we know that moving in-between countries is a given. Just like any international couple, moving across borders is custom. However, sometimes this is not always the case. When me and my boyfriend became serious I was committed to residing in Korea. At that time I had my own place, a (presumed) secure job, and money saved away for future expenses.
If life continued as such I imagine we would consider a future together in Korea where we would eventually settle down, continue developing our careers in the city, and decide on family vacations to and from the U.S. These types of thoughts would have remained ever present in my mind if I had stayed in Korea. But, I ended up returning to the states for numerous reasons. One major reason was not feeling financially secure during my final months living in Seoul.
I know the life of every expat living abroad, or even in Korea, can be starkly different. For me, during my 3 years in Korea I saved a lot of money, much more than I had ever saved in my life. However, due to possessing a variety of financial burdens ranging from health bills, student loans, travel expenses, etc. I realized that living in Korea would not be financially-suited for me compared to living in the U.S. This was a main factor in my decision to return home earlier in the year.
Living a constant yo-yo life that is neither secure nor beneficial can place much strain on an individual. In my case as an independent young black woman I felt the need to regain my footing back home where I have financial support from family, as well as, more opportunities to receive secure positions and earn a substantial salary. Back in Korea, my life felt much more insecure at multiple times during my final months there as I tried to transition in my career and secure a new position with long term benefits that included insurance, healthcare, pension, etc.
When considering to live for a couple years or for life in a new country it is important to take into account all of ones necessary finances. As a foreign job-seeker in Korea I tested the waters during my career transition and made a realistic decision. My boyfriend and I each agreed on what we both viewed as an important move for our future together.
Some people know that Korea is an OECD country (*a part of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) and recognized as one of the Asian Tiger nations that rapidly developed into a vibrant nation. But, what some people do not know is that Korea ranks 17th in the world as developed based on a number of factors, some of which include the country’s wealth income, wealth distribution, and global wealth earnings. Focusing on wealth distribution inside Korea is one concern of mine both as a foreigner and former resident.
Like many other developing countries wealth is a major issue. It is even an issue in the U.S. However, unlike developing countries the U.S. provides substantial resources to help its citizens achieve financial success and support. My boyfriend and I both feel that we would live a more stable and financially secure life in the U.S. But, this remains to be seen once/when he finds employment here. I am fully supportive in his decision to come to the U.S. and earn money just like many other Koreans or foreigners who move abroad for work.
Me and my boyfriend have discussed the pros and cons of settling down in Korea and in the U.S. One major concern for both of us as mentioned is financial security. For instance what may take 15-20 years to earn working in Korea can take 10-15 years to earn working in the states or less depending on job income.
Sadly, there are not too many well paid places of work in Korea outside of government office, major conglomerate businesses, and/or large private organizations. My boyfriend presently does not work in any of these , but assuredly has expressed interest in working for a conglomerate business in the near future. If he succeeds in his job search, and I hope he does, we will once again discuss the the pros and cons for residing in Korea and the U.S.
Some friends, co-workers, and even family have asked me if I would move back to Korea for my boyfriend. I said I would. I would move back if we can find the security we both seek. But, nothing is ever truly known in terms of what lies in the future, so it remains to be seen where me and my boyfriend end up in our careers, where we eventually decide to live, when we officially might settle down, and so on.
But, I have faith that wherever we both choose to reside will reap many benefits for us, and I hope will outweigh any burdens we may face.