Anonymous asked: Hi! So far I've come across two pieces you wrote and genuinely enjoyed them (especially the Jeju article)! I was wondering if there is any more?
I’ve learned that one of the best and/or worst things about traveling is the inevitability of returning to that sacred place known as home. By the time I had said my final farewells in Korea, I was pretty emotionally drained. It’s obviously difficult to part with people who have become as close as family, that you’ve seen everyday for a year, and you have no idea if/when...
I feel like I could make a separate blog dedicated to the food I’ll miss in Korea. This Korean rice porridge chain, called Bon Juk, will definitely be one of them. I love this place (thank you Kelly Sarkor for introducing it to me!!). It’s cute, quaint, and the staff is always friendly. With the single portion of porridge being more suitable for a Papa Bear, I usually bring a...
Fun filled weekend from Seoul to Busan
With only a month left in Korea, it’s finally hit me that my time here is dwindling. So I’m trying to take advantage of each day I have available to continue exploring and making lasting memories with my friends/students. This past week was definitely one of those memorable ones, as I had a 5 and a half day vacation thanks to Children’s Day (May 5th) and Buddha’s Birthday...
The colors of Spring
Went on a little walk around my area of town today, and was welcomed with open arms by Spring’s optimistic arrival. The weather was perfect as I breathed in a feeling of both contentment with the life I’ve created here, and anticipation of the upcoming months…wherever they may lead. My food got some added color as well! Over the weekend, I made these Vietnamese spring...
The lovely view of Auckland from my apartment two years ago…. And the lovely view of our new neighbors, “Lingerie Music Town”, from my apartment here in Korea…. …on the plus side, it lights up our dimly lit alley…??
To my fellow EAGLES:
I know this blog is meant for traveling and teaching stories, but before I was a wanderer of the world, my passion for life came from a sport which will always hold a dear place in my heart. As the UW-L Gymnastics team is going for their 4th straight national championship title this week (and 11th in 12 consecutive years), the Eagle alums have been posting their favorite memories from previous...
Quote of the Day
While doing an activity in class….. I pose this question to my students: Me: if you were on a little life boat in the middle of the ocean and could only save one person (choice between your mom, wife, and sister), who would you choose? Student: My mom Me: Why? Student: You only have one mom…but you can always get a new wife.
or D-day. same thing for those lonely singles out there. Luckily, amidst being alone, I’m not feeling that awful lonely lull that usually creeps up into my soul during this frigid “holiday”. And that’s even after opening my W-M word of the day email…which appropriately, was decided as “canoodle”. How cute. One great thing about this day, thanks to a 12...
KRABI after SING’n in the PORE’n rain.
Ok, I’m not really that crabby. But it did rain heaps in Singapore. And I’m now in Krabi, Thailand. Have I mentioned before that I bring bad weather wherever I go?? Apparently I did poor research, and I thought this time of year was the driest time in SE Asia. Wrong. I was so excited to get to Singapore and meet my Couchsurfing host, and to see the amazing Marina Bay Sands hotel and skypark. I...
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
…in about 6 hours. Yup, I’m already back at the airport waiting to check in for the 2nd leg of the trip. But even from the short amount of time I was here, I think I got a pretty decent feel for it. So how would I sum up the capital of Malaysia? To me, it seems like a confused jungle that really wants to hide all the steel and concrete that sprouted up instead of those...
or 24 if you’re counting Korean style. If someone would have told me a couple years ago that I’d be celebrating my 23rd birthday sitting in the Incheon International Airport about to jet-set on a week long adventure trip to Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand…I would have laughed at them. I would have told them there’s no way I could do that. And by myself?! Yeah right. ...
I live for new experiences…but I don’t think I imagined my January 1st would be spent sleeping on a locker room (heated) floor of a Korean bath house. And when I say sleeping, I mean attempting to rest while a toddler woke up every half hour in the middle of the night screaming “AMMA!!” (Mom). Ahhh the joys of traveling :) But all in all, I actually did have a great New...
I'll (not) be home for Christmas.
I won’t lie. When I first signed on for this job, I was kind of dreading the Holidays. I can compare it to how single people really loathe Valentine’s Day. When you’re away from home and family during a time when Facebook statuses tell you that’s the most important thing about this Holiday season, there’s a good chance it can make you feel a bit Grinch or...
Celebrating Thanksgiving With My Students
First Korean Thanksgiving. Well….I had a pretty delicious STEAK dinner. Yeah, it was supposed to be a traditional TURKEY dinner, but things definitely didn’t go as planned. So many things went wrong, but I can confidently say that I’m incredibly proud and happy to have the students that I do. There’s a foreign restaurant in town that was hosting an American style...
Wedding Vows and Hello Puppies
On Saturday, most of the Samsung English teachers attended one of our colleague’s wedding ceremony. Dylan, who is also from Canada (I swear, I’ve met more Canadians here in Korea than I ever have living directly under their country’s border) traded wedding vows with a Korean woman that he met a couple years ago. Dylan has been teaching at Samsung for about TEN years...
My Crack Pot
Me to my students: “I got a Crock Pot!!!” My students: “A what?? A CRACK Pot?!” Me: “NOT a CrAck pot…a CrOck Pot. Umm…a slow cooker?” Students: “What’s THAT??” Me: “A magic cooking machine” Yes. I have a magic cooking machine now. Or a crack pot… whichever you’d prefer calling it. BUT I CAN COOK NOW...
heart & seoul
Last weekend was amazing. I had been so excited to make the trip up to Seoul for the New Zealand Education Fair and meet one of the international advisors from AUT! But first, I had to stop at the Hongdae Flea Market. It was the last weekend of the season that these keen crafters would be able to give it all they’ve got to persuade locals and tourists alike to buy their handmade...
You know you're in an Asian country when...
…you’re given a complimentary Hello Kitty mug with your purchase of eye glasses. …which also came with a matching, bubble-gum pink case. Maybe the title of this post could have also been, “You know a salesclerk thinks you’re a child when…” I can’t complain though, this all cost me less than $20 and they even gave me a free drink while I...
Fall in 사랑 (love)
After 4 hot and sticky months of living in the armpit of Korea, it’s finally FALL!! The crunchy leaves scattering the ground, chilled breeze that requires a cozy zipup, and the colors painting the mountains and trees almost make me feel like I’m back at home enjoying the beauty that is Autumn. The only thing missing is a relaxing weekend snuggled on the couch with my roommates drinking...
Biking Jeju Island
How to sum up a week long bike trip to an island known as the Hawaii of Korea…. Well it was everything and more of what I could have imagined it to be, without trying to have too many expectations…or plans. Yeah, definitely lacked on the planning part, which on top of the fact that my ultra conservative students kept insisting that I was crazy, I had my reservations as I was...
READ ME! READ ME! READ ME!!
I’ve been keeping this a little quiet because I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to make it happen…but contrary to my previous post, I WAS able to find plane tickets to Jeju (after hours of online searching and battles with credit card issues)! This means that on September 19th, I’ll be flying down to Korea’s most popular vacation destination, renting a...
I’m not sure if it was exhaustion from my trip to Seoul, but all last week I was just wiped clean of energy and motivation to do practically anything. And when I get like that, I end up taking too many naps which ultimately leads to a vicious cycle of staying up late and still having to get up at the crack of dawn….which makes me even more tired and lazy. I think I hit an...
The calm before the storm.
As crazy as it sounds, the calm has been the past two months. The storm came via Korean Air on Friday night, disguised as my family. Don’t get me wrong; I like thunderstorms and I love my family. But I didn’t realize how comfortable I had become living on my own in this country, and being completely independent. The only person I really had much conflict with was myself…and...
Summiting my first mountain!
It’s vacation season here in Korea (many companies have set vacation days, and about 50% of the employed population of Korea has the week off) and on my first day off, I went to hike Geumo Mountain! One of my students, Jay, is in the Samsung mountain climbing club. Yeahhh that probably should have been my first clue that this wasn’t going to be any easy feat. I consider myself in...
Yesterday was a wonderful day. So much that I’m almost to the point of recognizing this place as home. I woke up in the morning to a fantastic e-mail from AustraLearn. They’re giving me an STA travel voucher for doing promotional work for them this past year, after returning from my study abroad experience with their organization. Though it’s only half of what they...
Embracing Korean Culture: Part II
The Bath House. Pictures not necessary (nor permitted)…. So last Friday, Elisha asked if I wanted to go to the bath house with her. Having never been to one before, I thought why not…sounds relaxing. The only fair warning I got was that there’d be a bunch of naked women. Mmm ok, I think I can be mature enough for that. She also told me about this body scrub that you...
Embracing Korean Culture
Like I’ve said before, culture intrigues me and I’ve been amusing myself in the past few weeks by really embracing all things Korean! From the food, to the language, to my first bath house experience, the newness of it all has been both intimidating and exhilarating. My students are awesome and invite me out to dinner all the time, which is great considering I never...
My lazyness has kept me from getting this done sooner…. It was Elisha’s birthday on Saturday, and she was kind enough to invite me to Andong with her and her good friends. We hopped on a bus early Saturday morning and met her friends there, who all happened to be English teachers in the EPIK program (which I almost went through). It was a pleasant surprise to find out two of them...
Dongwhasa Buddhist Temple
$2.50 for a train ticket to the nearest big city?? I’m on it. Yesterday, I hopped over to Daegu (pronounced Tay-goo) for the day to meet up with one of my students, AJ. He’s from there and goes home on the weekends, and was willing to play tour guide for his curious new teacher. The weather forecast had been saying rain all week, and he had been planning to take me to one of...
1/12 of the way done!
It’s already been a month?! According to the saying, I must be having fun. I’m sure a lot of you could sense that it was a little challenging for me to adjust to life over here at first, but honestly, I was fully expecting that and I was never really too concerned that the uneasyness would last long. So with that said, I can finally say I do feel settled in and much more comfortable...
Samsung Galaxy S...better than the iPhone 4
Obviously I have to say that. But seriously, I found out another perk to my job is that I have students who get to test the new phones. That means that when I teach my executive lesson (one-on-one) and my student decides to play on his shiny new toy ALL the time when I’m trying to entertain him with graphs and charts about the product life cycle, I need to get creative with my teaching...
Return to Seoul
I knew I’d be back one day. So what does one do when they return to their place of birth 22 years later?? Well, if you’ve been to New Zealand and experienced a bunch of thrill-seeking activities, then you might be like me and ask where the closest bungee jumping place is. That was the goal for the weekend. I was staying with my former co-worker who also went to UW-L and is teaching...
Waka Waka by Shakira →
I have no idea if this is popular back home right now, but I heard it a bunch of times last weekend at the restaurant that is owned by a South African guy and Korean woman. It’s super catchy and I had it in my head all weekend…hope you have the same problem now :)
Shopping with a shadow
Since my afternoon class had to cancel today for a team meeting, I was really excited that I’d have EIGHT whole hours of downtime between my morning and evening classes! So after first coming home and taking a power (2 hr) nap, I decided it was time to explore the downtown shopping area. I was given a little teaser last night when Elisha and Jess walked down there with me last night to show...
It's a small world afterall
Have you ever wondered when you meet a new friend, that you may have passed them on a street or attended the same party at an earlier time in your life?? Well, I had that experience on Wednesday when I went out for Korean BBQ with Elisha and one of the Korean-English teachers, Jess. I had only met Jess briefly one day last week when I was trying to figure out how to turn my hot water on in my...
Anonymous asked: Are you learning some Korean .
Anyaang ha se oh!
Well I’ve been here for a few days now, and have two days of teaching under my belt…and I still seem somewhat dislodged from it all. The culture shock I’ve experienced is a little difficult to explain. Coming straight off a blissful high from our New Zealand reunion in Milwaukee and being able to see most of my closest friends and family before I left, I was thrown into a world where I...