Skip to Content

traveling

Dexcited (depressedexcited) to move to South Korea

I’ve been planning my move to South Korea for over a year (thanks to one of my close friends making the move look so appealing! :) ), and now I have only twenty days to departure time.

Historically, I’ve enjoyed uprooting my life. My taxes for 2014 are proof of that.

I came back to North Carolina with the intention of only staying for four short months.

But then, when I was working as a barista at the local French bakery, I met an incredible guy and deferred my trip till May so I could continue to explore this new human creature, as opposed to exploring new continents.

I also spent my time going back to school at NC State for a couple grad courses in English. I’m actually sitting in the 9th floor of the library right now, procrastiposting.


Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival

April 4th and 5th, 2015 marked the peak weekend for cherry blossoms here in South Korea, which meant it was time to travel with Enjoy Korea to the small seaport town of Jinhae for the annual Cherry Blossom Festival! The roughly $30 registration fee provided us with timely and convenient transportation that dropped us off, and picked us up, right in the middle of the action. And the tour schedule allowed for everyone to just do their own thing for the whole afternoon once we arrived! I’ve booked tours with Enjoy Korea twice now, and will do so again for the Mud Festival in July. I highly recommend them!


Too hilarious not to share

So, I asked one of my ESL students to keep a diary every day to help him practice his English. I told him he could email me the diaries, if he wanted to, and I will correct them the same day.  The other day, what he sent me was too hilarious not to share with the world:

 

I cooked curry.

I ate it.

It was very good.

……….. 

 

Words of marriage proposal.

 

Well,

Today’s study of material is trying to this.

 

In japan.

Could you make me Miso soup every day.(standard)

 

Trying to get married.

Will you marry me.

We together forever.

I want you together forever.

It will become happy together.

Let the future together.

I protects you as long as my life.


The FBI customer support sucks!

Before applying to teach ESL in South Korea, whenever I thought of the FBI (which was not often) I would free associate it with things like American’s Most Wanted, bad-ass secret agents and secret agentesses, and possibly cocaine-sniffing German Sheps. As an American, I guess I felt a certain amount of confidence in our Federal Bureau of Investigation. I thought it was pretty powerful. And pretty cool.

BUT THEN EVERYTHING CHANGED…

fbi

 


Would You Rather?


How to cope with the stress of moving abroad

I bought my plane ticket and am leaving the country on May 12th. I’m having a hard time conceptualizing what my life will be like in a few short weeks. It’s stressing me out, to be honest. I’m also worried about graduate school applications, which I’ll be completing when I’m over there. Today, I toured Duke Law and was really impressed by what I saw. And stressed. LSATs…wut?

But instead of worrying about the unknown, I’ve decided to spend a couple hours this evening focusing on the present and reflecting on the past and all the wonderful things I have in my life. (THAT I WILL MISS SO DESPERATELY ONCE I LEAVE THE COUNTRY!!!) I found GIF-making to be a helpful way to cope with stress, and I hope you enjoy the finished product of my efforts, entitled THINGS I WILL MISS SO DESPERATELY ONCE I LEAVE THE COUNTRY. 

 


What it’s like to apply for a teaching job in South Korea

If you’re an English major and are anything like me, after graduating from college your resume probably says something along the lines of…

I eat crayons

My first two years out of school were an uphill battle of scrubbing dishes, bussing tables, and of course, being shamelessly sexually harassed by various shift supervisors. None of my employers took me or my education seriously. And I was broke all the time.


It just keeps getting better!


Busan Begins


An unexpectedly Korean night in Toronto

Last year I was fortunate enough to have been given tickets to one of Toronto's most successful charity galas: Motionball.  When I found out that they were looking for volunteers this year I thought I should probably step up to the plate and give back a little.  I was a day of event manager for the registration and coat check areas.  The event had been expertly planned and my job was really easy because of all the work the committee had put in, and after about 8 hours of participation I got to enjoy the party!

Vlog Entry #6: Lantern Festival – Jinju, South Korea

During the first weekend of October I went to the Lantern Festival in Jinju! To read more about the festival, view the related post here!



2014 Jinju Lantern Festival

Located in the south central part of Korea, Jinju is a small city of just 300,000 people. But for ten days a year, nighttime traffic is bumper-to-bumper and walking the streets means shuffling, wading and weaving through crowds of people. Why? The Jinju Namgang Yudeong (Lantern) Festival.


Vlog Entry #5: 2014 International Mask Festival – Andong, South Korea

This video takes you along with me as I travel to Andong, South Korea for the 2014 International Mask Festival! To read more about my experience, check the related post here!


2014 International Mask Festival – Andong, South Korea

Masks:  Pretty cool!

Food: Pretty good!

Performances: Okay.

Location: Okay.

Overall: Pretty…okay.


What I've Learned From Traveling and Living Abroad: The Short List

April 19th marks the five year anniversary of my big move from Smalltown, USA to the bustling metropolis that is Seoul, South Korea. I've lived out a number of exciting and unique experiences over the past few years that include riding elephants through the jungles of Thailand, working in the slums of India, camping with nomads in the Sahara Desert and teaching English to some of the most adorable children throughout Asia. I've made memories that will undoubtedly last a lifetime.

This adventure has been incredibly fun, but it has also taught me a number of invaluable life lessons: lessons that have opened my mind and my heart; lessons that have changed me; lessons that I'm quite certain I would have never learned in my home country. Conveying all of them (including how to avoid creepy old men, lice remedies and universal charades) would require I write a book, but for time's sake, I've decided to include the more valuable of the lot.

Hong Kong trip 2013 is coming to a close. With that, some quick...













Hong Kong trip 2013 is coming to a close. With that, some quick trips for traveling with your mom (or dad or friend or partner or whomever) ALSO KNOWN AS how not to kill your travel companion.


Is It Safe to Travel to Korea?

While eating breakfast at my hostel in Barcelona last month, a CNN news brief aired declaring that tensions were high and nuclear war was eminent on the Korean peninsula.  A Korean backpacker that I had met earlier that week looked at me and simultaneously, we rolled our eyes, irked by the excessive urgency and seriousness in the reporters' words.  The others in the room, who hailed from all corners of the globe, looked worried and advised us to prolong our stay in Europe rather than return to a country that was in such a hostile state.

The concerned comments didn't end there.  Messages from my friends in America began flooding my inbox with questions regarding my well being and my parents even offered to purchase for me a plane ticket back to Mississippi.

Flying Tom Update

I've pretty much got it down what I need to do to get Tom out of Korea. I'll be heading back to the Vet about a week before we fly to get his final documents in order. I've got his carrier all ready to go, although I'm not sure whether to add a frozen cup of water for him in there.

Looking Back on 2012 Through The Seasons

This last year has been filled with ups and downs, adventures and good times with friends. When 2012 started I was mostly focused on the upcoming school year moving to 2nd grade. I was busy with planning lessons and considering the school year ahead as a team leader. At the same time I was single and getting accustomed to this new life style. As 2012 grew on I learned some important lessons and some good times.

I am going to take you through the last full year I experienced here in Korea, and I will do this by showcasing it through the seasons.


Spring:
In February I went back home to Florida and visited family. I was able to get away from the cold of Seoul and enter the warmth and sunny skies of South Florida.

Operation Flying Tom: Approved for Flying


For my flight home I'll be flying Korean Air, which is funny because when I first flew to Korea this was the airline I took. Since then I haven't flown Korean Air again and certainly miss their good meals and excellent service. I picked this airline because I figured for the price and prestige, Tom will have a good flight. Thankfully the wind will be blowing towards America, so our flight will be about 9 hours.

Operation Flying Tom: Preparations


If I go, Tom goes! I'm taking my fur ball with me to America and this will be my first time flying with a pet. Actually, I have a sad story about flying a pet in my past but I don't want to share it. Ha!

Bye for a bit!!

Hey Guys!

I'm so excited!, in 4 hours I leave for Seoul :)  YAY!!

Seoul... see you in 30 hours!!!!!!!

-Gisela V

Traveling to Korea... Expectation / Reality

Yeongsan River ~ Damyang


One of the more enjoyed parts of my trip to Damyang this summer was the simple time I had wondering along the Yeongsan river at dusk. Located near the restaurants and bamboo forest, it was a great place to relax and unwind.

A Pension in the Woods


For my stay in Damyang I went straight for a pension. Sure I could have saved a wad of cash by staying at a hotel or min-bak, but I wanted to treat myself to a kitchen, windows and space. After doing some research and with the help of a friend, I managed to find this nice pension not too far from the Bamboo Forest and bus stops.

Soswaewon Garden (소쇄원)

On my second day in the lush green city of Damyang I decided to head into the mountains to see the Soswaewon garden. Somewhat of a famous landmark and I figured I would try and venture around beyond the city limits.


expat

Expat: v. - To give up residence in one's homeland.
adj. - Exile. A person who is voluntarily absent from home or country

Silleuksa Temple Resort: Yeoju


Alongside the Yeoju Ceramic festival lies the Silleuksa Temple. Out of all the temples I have visited in Korea, thus far, this one proved to be very illuminating. I think what makes this one stand out from the others is that it resides next to the Namhangang river. But you will will also see that there are many treasures to be found on your visit, which add to the uniqueness of this place.

I started off by purchasing my ticket and taking a stroll by the river and through a shaded tree-lined path.

Performance Art in the Subway Cars: Dongdaemun to Incheon

Performance Art is one of those areas of the art world that you either like or dislike. As for myself, the more zany and out of this world the more I am intrigued to watch. But I know for those uninitiated Performance Art can look like just a bunch of crazy people acting nuts. However, it is a medium of art that is so close to the human experience, that a painting or sculpture just can't radiate.

The Tate's glossery page describes the medium like this:
 


On restless Americans, living in a foreign country and settling down

If I had read this New York Times article before I had thought of teaching English in a foreign country (circa late 2007), I would have found the premise implausible at best. Americans voluntarily leaving their soil indefinitely? Americans don’t do that. Maybe they go off for a holiday in Australia, or they backpack their way across Europe. We get a little jealous of people taking a ‘working holiday’ It’s a rite of passage, or perhaps a way to postpone Master’s degrees and starting families. They always come back to the states however… don’t they?

From the aforementioned article:

Driving from central Pennsylvania to Massachusetts, for example, you see an American heartland slowly emptying of opportunity: roads and bridges crumbling even without the recent spending cuts, once-confident businesses shuttered, “now hiring” signs eerily absent.


Syndicate content

Koreabridge - RSS Feeds
Features @koreabridge     Blogs  @koreablogs
Jobs @koreabridgejobs  Classifieds @kb_classifieds

Koreabridge - Facebook Group

Koreabridge - Googe+ Group