Army Life: Living in South Korea

Army Life

It’s no surprise that army life isn’t always easy. One of the best tools to get through the rough times? Friends! I have made some amazing, lifelong friends through the military. Good friends are like good bras, they are always there to support you. I wouldn’t have made it through all the deployments and training periods without them. I met this girl at our current duty station and she has been a life saver. So without further ado, let me introduce her and her family.

The Partington-Cooks

The Partington-Cooks

This is my friend, Kristie. Her and her husband Jeff are currently stationed in Texas. She is a fellow boy mama of three boys, Aydan, Kai, and Liam. They have two cats, who her husband is obsessed with. Her family is full of awesome nerds. They are currently stationed in Texas and their fourth and final duty station. They moved here about two years ago from South Korea.

Kristie and her husband have been stationed in South Korea, not once but, twice! She said once that the first time they PCSed there, they were both terrified. Originally from Florida, the thought of moving overseas to a completely different country was the last thing they wanted. Once settled at their new home, they fell in LOVE! They dove right into the culture and their surroundings.

I asked Kristie if I could ask her some questions and share her story with others. I thought her story could help other military spouses about to make the move to South Korea. It’s not everyday you get to move to South Korea, twice.

 Life in South Korea

  • When did you first move to South Korea?

June of 2010.

  • What was your first thought?

How am I going to survive in Korea for two years?

  • What was your biggest fear?

The thought of moving to another country.

  • What was the hardest adjustment?

The language. Everywhere I went everyone spoke Korean.

  • What was one of your favorite things to do there?

Eating the Korean food and exploring new places.

  • How did the kids adjust?

The kids adjusted really well! They were pretty little, so that helped. They loved it there; they loved the events and tours we went to.

  • What were the people and their culture like?

A lot of the people were nice! A lot of Koreans are in love with American kids. They act like they’re celebrities. You do run into the older Koreans who are not friendly at all but not all the people are like that. The culture was amazing!They have so many beautiful traditions. At any event, or anything downtown, there is ALWAYS street food. So good! Things like kimbap, tteokbokki, fish cake, hotteok, chicken on a stick, beondegi (silkworm pupae), etc. Yum! A traditional Korean wedding is crazy huge but so beautiful. The bride wears a “hanbok”. It represents thousands of years of tradition. The bride will wear pink or purple and the grooms mother will wear blue.

I mean look at that woman’s face!
  • How was the moral on post? At your husband’s work?

On post was nice. It’s a pretty small community so you will get to know a lot of people. Everyone was pretty friendly.

  • Would you move there permanently?

Yes! We would most definitely move to Korea permanently! We loved it there so much. It’s a great place to raise your kids. There is hardly any crime!

  • What are some words of wisdom you’d give to a family about to PCS there? Any tips?

It is a great experience! Korea is not stroller friendly, off post. I recommend baby wearing. Learn your basics “hello”, “bye”, “thank you”, “left”, and “right” (for the taxis). Sign up for as many USO tours you can, [They’re a..] great opportunity! Everything is included, and they’re free! [You..] must go to ALL the festivals (Cherry Blossom Festival) that you are able to. There’s always something to do.

 

Partington-Cook family
Pictures provided by Kristie

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