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DGFEZ – Seomun Market 서문시장


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?

Lunar New Year – A Road Trip Adventure


Valentine’s Day in Korea (발렌타인 데이!)


You Are Awesome, Tim Burton

This past weekend I went up to Seoul with my friends Heather and Beau as a goodbye trip before they leave to go work in Japan. While I was there having some fun (while freezing a bit), I was also able to cross something else off of my 27 before 27 list.DSC01247

This past weekend I braved the cold weather of Seoul and went to the Seoul Museum of Art to see the amazing Tim Burton exhibit!

Winter in Korea

Vacation is over, Korea is feeling cold, and I think I have a case of the Winter Doldrums. But I’m not too worried because it is a proven fact that cupcakes are an age-old cure for the Winter Doldrums.  DSC01145

And cupcakes with old friends is an even better remedy (the Banana Velvet cupcake worked wonders for me).


Korea’s favorite snack

Street foods are a favorite among locals, expats and tourists in South Korea.  The most popular and often beloved of these foods is Ddeokbokki.

Ddeokbokki (do-bo-ki) is everything one looks for in the perfect street food, or any food for that matter: It’s commonly found, inexpensive, fulfilling and most importantly – delicious!

In an Unremarkable Corner

DSC00904In an unremarkable corner, in a quiet temple in Phnom Penh I found this bowl of water with flowers floating on top.  There is something about these flowers that keep drawing me back to this picture, and I wanted to share it. Maybe it’s the colors, or the lightness in a dark space, or even just the shine of the waters on the petals, but I do need to remember to keep an eye out for the unexpected beauty not only when I travel, but in the places I pass every day.  I hope you have a lovely Wednesday and find beauty in unexpected places.

From Busan with Love,

서울 등불 축제 ♥ Seoul Lantern Festival

Are you looking for something fun to to in Seoul during the month of November? What about the beautiful night-time event of 청계천 서울 등불 축제  Seoul Lantern Festival in Chungye-Chun on the river!

Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm was one of my favorite temples that I visited in Cambodia, and it’s not too surprising. Along with Bayon, Ta Prohm had that feeling of being a lost temple filled with potential discovery, which I loved.


Even when it was swarming with tour groups (a lot of which were Korean), there were plenty of nooks and crannies ripe for exploring away from the crowds.

I’m A Tree Hugger

I started writing about Ta Prohm, but looking through my pictures there was so many ones I liked, and so much to talk about I didn’t know where to start.  In the end I felt that I needed split it up so one post wouldn’t have 50 pictures in it.


Ta Prohm was the only temple my friend Russ and I ended up going to twice, and was the last temple we visited before leaving Siem Reap so I have a lot of pictures and a lot of things to talk about.

What will 2013 Look Like?

Things changing this year in Korea Starting in July, there will be no smoking allowed in PC bangs! The age of becoming a legal adult will change: 19 year olds are adults and thus will be drinking it up!  (Korean age, aka 18 by our standards) Korean Day will “REbecome” a holiday from 2013. The 9th [...]

Alone – A Movie in the Making


Chop Chop

Yesterday, I cut off all my hair.  Or more accurately, I cut off over 10 inches of my hair.  To start my 27 Things list off on the right foot, I decided last night to do something I had been wanting to do for a while, cut my hair and donate it to Locks of Love. DSC00960

Korean Foreign Policy Year in Review 2012: So Many Grievances…

Not-So-Normal-Norms, Part V


 In the latest segment of "Not-So-Normal Norms", I talk about letterman jackets, MTs, condiments, the excessive wearing of high heels, and the lack of gray hair in Korea.   As usual, I must note that this post has been written to point out Korean cultural norms that are different from those in my home country, America, and the West in general.  My comments are in no way intended to degrade Korean culture or Korean people.


After a stunning sunrise, and some pancakes at the “Lady Gaga” food tent near the lake, we headed off to the nearby temple of Bayon.


Bayon and Ta Prohm were my two favorite temples of the whole trip.  Bayon, or ‘that one temple with all the faces’, really felt and looked unreal.  The fact that it’s a Buddhist temple amongst a lot of Hindu temples does make it stand out, but it really was more than that.

My Cambodian Christmas

I have so much that I want to share about my recent trip to Cambodia, that I really don’t know where to start.  I guess I could have started at the beginning, (I remember hearing that it’s a very good place to start) but talking about how I got super sick on the plane didn’t seem that exciting.  Instead, I decided to start with Christmas.


Thank You 2012

Dear 2012,

You’ve been a lovely year.  You began with great friends in the States, and now you’re ending with great friends here once again in Korea.


Thank you 2012, for amazing students who surprise me constantly, personal fulfillment, the ability to complete 50,000 word writing goals, and even more travel!  You haven’t always been the easiest year, but you have definitely been an unforgettable one!

Childbirth in Korea: Yeonjung’s Baby!


The Spain Culture Function! 스페인문화원 송년행사


‘I Find your Lack of Cheer Disturbing’ – Merry Christmas

vader xmas

This is awesome. Smile

A Week in Photos #9


The 2012 South Korea Presidential Election


A Quick History of the Democratization of South Korea


‘We Need a Little Christmas’

The Holidays are full of traditions and being away from home this time of year has me clinging to some of the traditions I can replicate overseas.  Today I was talking with a friend about things we watch every year and it made me realize I was overdue to watch my absolute favorite Christmas tradition: A Muppet Family Christmas.

Korean Movie Review: Architecture 101 (건축학개론)


Mexican & Art in Masan!

Dave and I traveled to Masan this past Saturday, as a way to get away for the day and explore the city we had passed through on our way home one day. The city is well renowned for its textile industry and the site of the production tools of Hite Brewery (one of the most popular beers in Korea). My teacher described it to me as a blue-collar city. The word "Masan" means horse mountain.

Too Many Choices?

Living in photo obsessed Korea, while shopping for a camera, do I have too many choices?


I took a walk along Haeundae Beach the other week only to find almost everyone there taking or posing for pictures.  I was so amused by this that I had to respond by taking out my own camera and take pictures of other people taking pictures.


Saturday in Seoul: Let’s have a tea party & play dress-up.


A few close friends recently completed their year of teaching in Korea and returned home to the US. Although it was sad to see them leave, their last few months here were full of new adventures in Seoul. They made a list of things they wanted to accomplish before leaving The Land of Kimchi and I am glad they were serious in completing this to-do list. One Saturday, instead of heading into Seoul to experience the plethora of shopping and dining opportunities that we love, we ventured to a new part of the city and found our way to a traditional Korean hanok (home) where we, for less than $20, learned how to properly drink and serve tea and dressed in hanbok clothing.

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