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Progress in Spain

0. Cover Granada

I’ve been in Spain for the best part of two months now and my life is beginning to have some semblance of regular form. It’s an odd feeling when I consider that two months ago I was wrapping my Korean life up and now I have a job and new home in Granada, Spain.


Vlog Entry #15: Ziem Reap

For part of my winter vacation this year I traveled to Cambodia. Exploring the ancient ruins throughout Siem Reap made me feel like I was walking through a post apocalyptic world! So to bring out that zombie-like quality, I’ve used Imagine Dragons’ song “Radioactive” as the theme music here! Enjoy the video!


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!


First day of Spring at Oryukdo, Busan

The thing I love most about Spring, is that every Spring feels like the first Spring. It feels like a discovery, a revelation, and a homecoming. Especially in Korea, where the rains come in early summer rather than May, and everyone waits with anticipation for the cherry blossoms to come alive again. There is even a cherry blossom forecast here–it’s pretty amazing. But Spring is also fleeting, as are the cherry blossoms, and every year I find myself wishing I could make time stand still, every March 21st. It’s that feeling that I live for every year, that makes parts of me awaken that I had long forgotten throughout winter. I become whole again.


Vlog Entry #14: One Blawesome Weekend

It’s cherry blossom season here in South Korea, which means roads throughout the country are lined with beautiful flowering trees! The conditions are perfect for a Saturday morning bike ride, and the small naval port town of Jinhae welcomes thousands who flock its streets to take in the views at the annual Cherry Blossom Festival! Enjoy!


Jindo Sea Parting Festival

Jindo Sea Parting FestivalOn March 21st, 2015, waygooks and Koreans


Nampo-dong and Jagalchi Market


Korea Through the Eyes of Foreigners (through the Eyes of Koreans)

My latest over at Sweet Pickles and Corn: Sometimes the things that foreigners like about Korea are the simplest (OK, except maybe for ddeok).

Korea Through the Eyes of Foreigners (through the Eyes of Koreans).

via Korea Through the Eyes of Foreigners (through the Eyes of Koreans).



Korea Through the Eyes of Foreigners (through the Eyes of Koreans)


2014 Wrap-up – WE’RE ALIVE!

Wow, it has been a really long time since we’ve updated the blog. Sorry about that!! With our SURPRISE trip home, English camps, producing a play in Busan, and adjusting to a new school year with a new coteacher, my plate has been more than full. With the new school year officially in swing this week, I’m ready to get back on a more regular schedule! Evan and I have a lot of exciting things planned this year, but first I want to update you all on what we’ve been up to since we last posted!


It just keeps getting better!


My Renewal Decision and 4 Life Lessons That Helped Me Make It

After thinking heavily about whether or not to renew my contract with EPIK, I’ve decided to return home in August. Signing on for a second year would offer me several enticing financial benefits and mouthwatering travel opportunities. And I’ve had a positive experience at my school, where I would continue to work if I were to renew. But during my time in Korea, I’ve learned or re-learned four life lessons, and made some new discoveries about myself, that have persuaded me to wrap things up at the one-year mark.


Teaching English in Korea – General Q & A


To Renew or Not Renew – A Pros and Cons List

슬라이드1

 

To renew or not renew…that is the question…whether tis nobler in the waygook to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous English teaching…okay I’m done.

But seriously, the question of whether or not to renew your contract with EPIK is basically the biggest decision you’ll make once you’ve landed in Korea. There are pros and cons to both outcomes, and just like everything else in life there is no universal right answer. It’s totally subjective and dependent on your specific situation. But as the list below shows, there are still pros and cons to consider for both options:


Trial and Hair-er – Getting A Haircut In Korea

Getting a haircut is usually a rather mundane part of everyday life. But when you’re an expat living in another country and you don’t speak the local language, it suddenly becomes a much more exciting and emotional experience. Every snip of the scissors and buzz of the clippers sends a rush of trepidation down your spine; because beyond uttering a few broken words of Konglish and showing the barber a picture of your desired style, there’s really not much you can do but sit back and watch in a state of helpless paralysis as he begins to sculpt your scalp. We all like to think “it’s only hair, it will grow back if I don’t like it,” but when we’re suddenly faced with having to practice what we preach and live with the consequences, our thinking drastically changes.


The Long Way to Kratie

by Chris Tharp

(The following is an excerpt from my recently-published book, The Worst Motorcycle in Laos: Rough Travels in Asia, available now via Amazon and other fine booksellers. Enjoy.)


The Long Road to Kratie

by Chris Tharp

(The following is an excerpt from my recently-published book, The Worst Motorcycle in Laos: Rough Travels in Asia, available now via Amazon and other fine booksellers. Enjoy.)


Damneonsudak Floating Market & Rural Bicycle Tour in Photos


The Beauty In the Ugly

Gajisan - Yeongnam AlpsWoody Allen is quoted saying, “Eighty percent of life is just showing up.” But after coming to teach English and live in South Korea, I’ve come to believe it’s about much more than that. One-hundred percent of life is about showing up with the best version of yourself.


A Big Bang in Bangkok

For my first full day in Bangkok I booked a bicycle tour with SpiceRoads Cycle Tours. The plan was to first hit Damneonsudak Floating Market, then ride around in the nearby palm tree farms for 30km or so, which is exactly what we did! …eventually.


11-Day Trip to Thailand Budget

Below is a detailed list of how my budget shook out while traveling for 11 days in Thailand from February 14-25, 2015! When looking at the expenses, keep in mind that I was solo traveling (so all expenditures are for 1 person), it was Lunar New Year (one of the busiest times of the high season in Southeast Asia), and that the hostels/resorts where I stayed were priced in the mid-range of what I could find. I didn’t have the money for 5-star accomodations, but I didn’t need/want to rough it too much either. And while I didn’t go too crazy on food and drinks, I did spend quite a bit on activities in Koh Lanta a few times (not realizing Koh Lanta was such a tourist/resort island ahead of time, it was a bit more expensive than I was expecting). In Bangkok, I opted for the free sightseeing and just exploring the city, rather than the paid attractions, because of the prices and crowds.


A cross-country endeavour!


10 Reasons Why Ulsan Rocks!

With only about 1 million people calling it home, Ulsan is not the biggest city in South Korea. To many, it’s also not the most “happening” place. But, as I said previously in a similar post, there are still a number of things that make it a GREAT place to live!


Donut Miss Your Flight

8: 25 AM

2/14/15 – Incheon International Airport

“Excuse me! Sorry! Excuse me! Excuse me!” Trying to keep up with my sprinting legs, these words flew out of my mouth as I barreled through the bowels of the international departures terminal. My 40-liter backpack bounced awkwardly with each massive stride, despite the white knuckle grip I had on the straps to keep it as close to me as possible. Families and businessmen came into focus only long enough for me to gauge whether to weave right or left. Unwilling to rid my side of the cramp that had developed since passing the food court, I held my pace as I closed in on Terminal E – Gate 6, hoping like crazy that Terminal E – Gate 6 wouldn’t close on me


Under the Andaman Sea: Snorkeling in Koh Lanta & Koh Phi Phi

I just got back from an awesome 10 day getaway in Thailand, part of which I spent hopping between some small islands near Koh Lanta and Koh Phi Phi. In addition to swimming through a cave and lounging (in the shade) on white sandy beaches, I also did some snorkeling! While it may not be the most amazing snorkeling footage ever, it was still fun to play around with the GoPro!

P.S. Can you spot the Finding Nemo reference near the end of the video?


Siem Reap in Photos


The Pros and Cons of Hiring A Tour Guide in Siem Reap


Picturesque Pedaling and Pleasant Paddling

IMG_2765As an avid cyclist and aspiring adventurist, I was really looking forward to my full-day “Pedals and Paddles” tour with Grasshopper Adventures. Starting at 7:30 on a bright Thursday morning, I set off to do some awesome countryside biking and then kayak through the floating villages of the Tonle Sap til sunset. I had pretty high expectations, and they were TOTALLY exceeded!


Beginning of a Photo Essay: Hanoi, how will I survive?

Ha, no joke that was my first thought as I turned off the street our hotel was on and entered into the hustle and bustle of the Old Quarter. I have been to a lot of places, but I had never experienced the congestion and chaos that envelops the area! I didn’t even know how to cross the street without getting hit by the herds of scooters, buses, cars or pedestrians!

When do you go?

When do you go?


Not Another Temple: 10 Different Things To Do in Siem Reap (with photos)

Temples are great and all. Don’t get me wrong. They’re really awesome. But if you see too many within a short amount of time they all start to lose their magic. So here are 10 different things you can do to give yourself a break and avoid temple burnout in Siem Reap:

1. Night Market and Pub StreetTemples don't impress Mckayla Maroney.

2. Local Day Market

3. Countryside Motorbike Ride

4. Tonle Sap Lake and Floating Village Tour

5. Bicycle Tour (click here to check out Grasshopper Adventures)

6.Butterfly Garden, Cultural Village & National Museum

7. Artisan Workshop Tours


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