How to Stay Sane Until Spring (Korean Winter, we’re through.)

Jimjilbanging: It’s kind of like eating kimchi, but you’ve got to get naked.


photo credit

Korea is lovingly known as The Land of Kimchi, but I argue the slogan could lose kimchi and replace it with jimjilbang and no one would throw a fit. Kimchi and jimjilbangs are both well-known elements of Korean culture. Jimjilbangs are large public bath houses (mostly gender-segregated) and can be found on almost every street in Korea. Some are more fancy than others, but most have a handful of hot baths, showers, saunas, massage tables, lockers, sleeping areas and social meeting spaces. Jimjilbangs are usually open 24 hours a day and many people visit them to bathe, relax and sleep. Most rooms, including the saunas, have special minerals, woods and stones to create a soothing sanctuary and provide elements of traditional Korean medicine. The Korean jimjilbang is a familiar and calming oasis for all Koreans. Each is a mini spa that caters to your every need. They are more prevalent than Starbucks shops and you can spend a day in one for the cost of a latte and a snack. They sound perfect, right?

My 2012: While you were busy Googling ‘What is a Gangnam?’…

“Like, what should we do this weekend?”

As an English teacher in South Korea, when Thursday rolls around each week I usually itch for my upcoming weekend plans. I have learned to take full advantage of my weekend time in Korea and I hope to continue with this new approach to my free time when I return home. I love the tired yet accomplished feeling of a Sunday night following a jam-packed weekend of experiencing new things and people in Korea. When I find myself without plans midweek, I use the following 5 resources to find inspiration for weekend outings. I hope you find them helpful and please feel free to comment with alternative ideas. I promise, armed with these resources you won’t find yourself uttering the annoying answer to a friend looking to have a memorable weekend, “I don’t know, what do you want to do?”

No Naps Allowed: Hamilton Hotel Pool in Itaewon

Everybody ((still)) Wants To Rule The World, right? –Super!Sonic in Seoul–

blur the line between work & play: Korea Burn

“The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play.”

Arnold J. Toynbee

Some Korea Burn play –>

4 Ways I Keep the Bugs Out of My Apartment

I absolutely love it when a mosquito is buzzing around my ear when I'm just about to fall asleep at night.  Better yet, when I'm on my computer I see a bug the size of a small candy bar crawling up my wall in front of me.  Yes, these things happened to me here in Korea and to many other teachers for that matter.  But over time I've learned how to minimize having flies, mosquitoes, and cockroaches showing up unannounced in my apartment.  Especially this time of year (end of summer and fall), taking the fight to the bugs is mission #1.

I don't like to spray anything in my apartment since it's so small, so here are some tips that will help keep the bugs out of your apartment in the first place.  

Vacation Travel: Don’t forget to pack the right people.


on my bike ride home from work it was just one of those moments where I turn down the street and everything looks perfect.  The sky was blue, the sun was coming out behind a mountain and I was happily gliding down one of the rare wide tree covered avenues of Busan.  I couldn't ask for more, except maybe less humidity.

Even with the humidity, it really is a beautiful way to end the work day.

From Busan with Love,

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