For those who don’t know what the title means, it’s asking “Why Korea?” This is a question I get asked a lot when people here I want to move there. It seems like such a strange idea, a 6’41/2″ Black man wanting to leave the U.S. to live in one of, if not the most homogenize countries in the world. Very few, if any people will look like me. Korea has different food, a different language and a totally different culture than the U.S. Plus, the Korean War never officially ended, meaning things could start out at anytime. So why not stay in the U.S. and try my best to enjoy a life that I’m already used to? Here are a few reasons why I want to move to Korea.
Identifying With The Culture
While most people would think that I would have nothing in common with Korean people, that’s actually not true. Korean culture is about love of family, love of neighbor and love for community. This principle is found in many East Asian cultures. Many think they have nothing in common with Asian people because they simply never took the time to study about Asian culture. But many of the Koreans that I’ve met in Korea act just like my friends and family do in the U.S. In fact, people sometimes can’t tell if I’m describing a Korean person or a Black person when I tell stories. You may be surprised at what you have in common with Korean people if you get to know them yourself.
If there are 2 things I don’t like, it’s driving and snow. The combination of the two are enough to drive me crazy, no pun intended. But Korea makes traveling safe, cheap and easy. Major cities are connected by buses and trains for fast and easy travel. You can go from Seoul to the southern coast of Korea in 4 hours by bus, or 2 hours by high speed light rail. Korea is also known as the hub of East Asia. That means you can go from Incheon International Airport to almost anywhere in Asia. This makes discovering new Asian adventures very easy and affordable.
Feeling of Freedom
In Korea, I feel free. I feel like a human. I don’t worry about being followed, possibly being shot or being attacked for wearing the wrong colors in the wrong neighborhood. If I’m in a dark alley at midnight, I don’t fear being robbed. If I’m in a field at 2:00 am, I don’t fear that I will die there. These are feelings that I don’t have being in the US. These are feelings of freedom. I miss the freedom I felt in Seoul everyday. It is a freedom that I look forward to feeling everyday.
Korea is not for everyone. And there are some aspects of Korea that I don’t like at all. But overall, like in Korea would be a better life for me. For some of you who have never been to Korea, you will feel that Korea is a nice place to visit, but not to live. But for me, Korea would be a great place to live. I look forward to taking you guys on my journey to the city of Seoul.