Working abroad brings new appreciation of home

Working abroad brings new appreciation of home
By: Wes Wallace

Poplar Bluff, MO - It's not "One Night in Bangkok", instead it's a whole year for Gregory D. Snell. The US born man teaches English abroad. Most recently in Busan, Korea, but soon Snell will share his native tongue with students in Bangkok, Thailand. Right now, Snell joking calls himself the 'good son', and is spending his summer break working in Poplar Bluff at his parents store, Bob's Antiques N More.
"The best thing about living abroad, is that everyday is a new adventure," explains Snell, "The worst thing about living abroad, is that everyday is a new adventure."
Just by talking for a few minutes to the foreign traveler, you can quickly get a taste of his witty, clever humor.
"Going to the grocery can be quite and experience. Going to get your haircut, can be downright scary," Snell adds, "Sometimes in America you tell the stylist what you want, and you're like do they understand English. So it's kinda not that different when you try to explain to someone in a foreign country how you want it cut."
You might call teaching abroad a family affair. Snell's brother Bob also teaches English in Korea, and he convinced younger brother Gregory to do the same. "I went for a year, and stayed four," quips Gregory.
When asked about anti-American sentiment or fear for personal safety, Snell says it's not really a problem. "In recent years, there's been some negativity toward the US. It's directed at American policy and not American people."
While he teaches English, Snell doesn't speak fluent Korean or Thai. In fact he only knows a few basic words and phrases. So how does he get by in everyday life? Very simple. "If you can't see it, you don't buy it. If you can't point to it, you probably won't get it. You learn to get by, and lead a simple life."