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Should I Stay or Should I Go? – Living Abroad
July 15th, 2013Adventures, Asia, DestinationsNatalia 4 Comments

Jonathan and I returned from our amazing year in Korea almost a year ago. After all these months we still cannot figure out what to do with our lives. Should we go away again? Should we stay here and build a life? Should we just move to BC?


Our year in Korea was so carefree and wonderful that often I wonder if it was worth it to leave Korea so soon.  The biggest reasons why we went back to Canada was fear. Fear that we will be left behind our peers, that we (primarily me) would not be able to get a job and build a career. When I write it down it seems silly to me to worry about such trivial things. In my mind it is not so trivial Isn’t it more important to have a fulfilled and happy life rather than build a name for yourself in the business world?

2012-09-14 10.05.49

When I think about the bigger picture I want to leave Canada and go live somewhere else. I want to buy a flight to Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong or Seoul and live abroad again. What’s the point of saving up to buy a house when the bubble will burst again? Why settle down and bring children into a world that is slowly being destroyed by people? When I think about the state of our world and our society I become very sad and I want to go and see the mountain gorillas in the wild before they disappear, volunteer at a coral reef and talk to locals about their lives. I want to leave North America because it is falling embarrassingly far behind Asia.

2012-08-06 08.38.35

However, when I start to think smaller I become incredibly scared about deviating from the plan that my parents want for me. I need to work at a job that will make my resume stand out from the rest, I need to start saving for a down payment for a home, I need to think about when I will have a child. Don’t I want to have a beautifully decorated home? Don’t I want to stay close to my family and friends, at least for now? If I go abroad I won’t be able to mountain bike in the Don Valley, have the food that I like or even have my cat around me.

What is it that I want?

Jonathan and I recently turned down a job offer from Shanghai. The teaching position for Jonathan would have been decent and I would not have a tough time finding a non-teaching job in Shanghai. However it is still a risk. It was an incredibly tough decision, it took days to figure out but we finally decided that we would unfortunately say no to the offer. We decided that if by October we are both unhappy with our jobs in Toronto that we would start looking for work in Shanghai or elsewhere.

What do you guys think? Would you stay or would you go?



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'4 Responses to “Should I Stay or Should I Go? – Living Abroad”'
  1. Karin says:

    If I could keep the opportunity to live and work in Canada, but go to live and work somewhere else, and I had a job offer, like it was certain, then I would do it. Also, don’t put so much into where your career ‘should’ be or where your peers are at. I do this too but at the end of the day I think I would rather be happy and feel fulfilled than successful in my career but regret not doing something I could have tried out.
    You’ll find your way 😀 You’re so smart and determined, the universe is just holding you back until something really good comes along.

  2. Jess says:

    Whatever you decide to do we as friends will always support you, so don’t be afraid!

  3. Encircling says:

    “So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”
    – Into the Wild

  4. What a tough decison. My husband and I also face the same decision in a few months when we decide whether to stay in Korea to renew for another year of teaching or to go back to the states. We are loving life in Korea! I think we both feel like we are finally living the life we want…going against the grain of what society tells us we should do. Well paying job, fancy house/car, kids etc….We love adventure, living with less, traveling, and we love the open road. So why compromise that life if we are happy? We have also discussed having kids abroad. I don’t see us buying a home anytime soon. The “American Dream” is not our dream right now. Right now, there are too many countries waiting to be explored, too many stories to hear , too many mountains to climb.

    Thank you for sharing your heart! Be what you are looking for and what you are looking for will find you 🙂

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