Love of Travel - Continued
To graduate I needed the funds to pay for tuition. I needed a job that paid well in a short period of time. Options in Tulsa were limited, but need intersected with luck and I found myself working at a beach club on Long Island in New York. I would spend the summer of my 21st and 22nd birthdays in New York. It was there that I truly learned to live on my own and experience life. My love of New York runs strong and in my blood. My mom was born in the Bronx, as were her parents. For me it was a little like going home.
It wasn't my first time there, the Spring of '91 would be my first visit via the Mock United Nations International conference. Not only would I see New York City for the very first time, I would stay right next to Grand Central Station and actually visit and work inside the UN for several days. One of those truly unforgettable moments in your life, walking through the doors of the UN just like I were an employee, bypassing the tourists and sitting in one of the delegates chairs in the main chamber.
As graduation in 1994 approached I was faced with a dilemma. The economy was stagnate and jobs for graduates were few and far between. My choices really were continue my education in graduate school or get a job. Then I heard of a program in Japan to teach English to students (JET). It sounded exciting and tied into my degree in Political Science with emphasis on Asia. I applied, but with 4,000 other applicants positions were scarce. Providence again stepped into my life and the opportunity to spend a year in South Korea teaching English presented itself. I applied and this time was accepted. It wasn't government sponsored like JET, but it was a chance to live and learn in Asia. My studies of Korea were limited to Japan's imperialist days and the Korean war; so the opportunity to learn more and live there was too good to pass-up. Thus would begin a 4 year adventure in Seoul. There I would live, learn, work, explore and experience all that life has to offer but extenuated by the "stranger in the strange land complex."
While there I would teach English for all four years, but I would also help write an instructional english text book for Samsung, work with executives at several large Korean companies on learning English and even help run a small independent ex-patriote monthly magazine. All-in-all from May of 1994 to May of 1998 were some of the most exciting days of my life and ones I would never trade and never forget. They made me as much as the man I am today, as did all the years that preceded them. It also prepared me for the years that would follow upon my return to the United States.
Return to America - Start of My Career
In 1998 I returned home to the USA, but not to Oklahoma. I had wanted to move to New York; but knew that without the funds and the security of a job risk of failure was too high. My Aunt and Uncle, same I visited in Minnesota, had moved to DFW while I was still attending the University of Tulsa. They had built a good life in Dallas and asked if I would want to come stay with them for a time while I got both my feet back on the ground. It was another opportunity that I couldn't pass up and in May of 1998 I was a resident of Frisco, Texas. A resident that needed work. I was 28 with only the experience of Korea and college, and two summers at a beach club. Finding work turned out to be a challenge, even in an ever expanding economy.