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Life After ESL: Interview with Rachel Yoo

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Rachel and I used to hike the mountains around Busan!

Hi everyone, it’s Jackie here. Thanks to my friend Rachel Yoo for agreeing to do this interview with me about her life after teaching English in Korea.

We met while teaching in Busan through some mutual friends and then ended up leaving Korea right around the same time. It was really, really nice to have a friend going through the same thing I was, with all the fears and anxiety and hopes and dreams for life back home.

Plus, we used to Norae-Bang and eat Korean BBQ like pros together. Ahhh..the memories!

Let’s get to it! Here’s the interview with Rachel about life in the USA.

Can you briefly tell us about your experience teaching English abroad?

I first moved to Busan, South Korea September 2010. I had never taught before, but had the traveling bug and was ready to go on another adventure after studying abroad in university.

Why did you decide to move back to your home country?

I decided to move back to the states after about 6 years of living and teaching in South Korea. I wanted to move back because I missed my family and felt like I was missing all these big life events of my family and friends. I wasn’t enjoying teaching and wanted to figure out what I really wanted to do with my life.

If you can’t speak Korean and you don’t want to be a teacher, there aren’t a lot of career choices for you in South Korea. Whether that’s true or not, it’s how I was feeling at the time.

(Note from Jackie: This in indeed true for South Korea—if you don’t speak Korean fluently, you do have limited career choices beyond teaching English).

What are you doing for work now? Did things go according to plan, or did you have to change directions once you got home?

Today I’m a manager at one of my favourite retail brands. I definitely wanted to work in fashion and for this particular brand, but I didn’t think I would be living in my hometown state. Things in life rarely go as planned, but all you can do is keep working towards your goals and staying positive.

Did you make any mistakes with regards to moving back? Or, any advice for teachers looking to go home?

Save, save, save, save. Save as much as you can and keep saving after you get a job.

(Note from Jackie: It’s very easy to burn through a ton of money when you move back home, it happened to me too! Be cautious about big purchases and get some frugal living going on).

What was the most difficult thing about returning home? Was there anything you thought would be difficult, but it wasn’t?

The most difficult thing about moving home is adjusting to your new/old life. Old friendships may have changed, but new ones will be formed.

In Korea I had an F4 visa because I’m married to a Korean. This visa allowed me better teaching jobs with less hours and more pay.

In America I’m working twice as much for the same salary I was making in Korea. That has been an adjustment, but I enjoy what I do more today than when I was a teacher.

I thought it would be difficult for my husband and I to get jobs, but that was surprisingly easy. However, we are getting ready to move to a much larger city in the next few months.

Anything Else You’d Like to Mention?

At the end of the day, you have to do what’s right for you. Home will always be there and for me, I can always go back to Korea. I’m very grateful and lucky that I can continue to travel and visit Korea.

If you want to move home, but it’s not what you thought you wanted then continue your journey. If you’re ready to move home but nervous what will happen, have faith in yourself and persevere.

Comments? Questions?

Any thoughts or comments about this interview with Rachel Yoo? Leave them below and I’m sure she’d love to hear from you.

If you’re planning to make the move back home yourself, be sure to check out this book over on Amazon: Life After ESL: Foreign Teachers Returning Home.

 


Jackie Bolen: How to Get a University Job In Korea

Amazon
amazon.com/How-Get-University-South-Korea-ebook/dp/B00ORLRP2Y 

My Life! Teaching in a Korean University
eslteacherinkorea.blogspot.com

University Jobs Koreauniversityjobkorea.com

YouTube: youtube.com/playlist?list=PLL0Q8kr18oQIo12jZrwIUdnU4C6eJV5rK


 


Angie Jones: Life After ESL Interview

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It’s Jackie here. What follows is an interview with one of my old coworkers in Korea, Angie Jones. We worked together at a university in Busan. Thanks for letting us know how life in the USA is, post teaching English in Korea.

Here’s the interview with Angie Jones.

angie-jones
Busan, South Korea

Can you briefly tell us about your experience teaching English abroad?

I moved to Gumi, South Korea in 2009 having agreed to a 1 year contract with an English academy. But, I ended up staying four years! I was fortunate to have had my initial term with an outstanding director who was passionate about English and his students. He was also invested in creating a wonderful experience for his teachers, from taking us out to eat to try different Korean cuisine to going on day trips!

By the time I finished my first contract, I was hooked! I taught elementary and middle school students, and, in truth, that part depleted my storehouse of patience. I thoroughly enjoyed the rest, though. It was mostly because I had a lot of influence over the curriculum, and even had the opportunity to develop some of my own.

Why did you decide to move back to your home country?

I probably would have stayed in Korea longer, but I started dating a guy in the States over winter break and we decided to get married that summer, so I finished my university contract, and came home.

What are you doing for work now? Did things go according to plan, or did you have to change directions once you got home?

These days, I work as a Family Support Specialist at a large hospital in Columbus, Ohio. At my job, I give emotional support to families whose patients have suffered an anoxic brain injury that will likely result in death, at which point, I talk with the family about organ donation and support the family in their decision.

Truthfully, I didn’t have a plan when I came home and I feel like I did things out of order; I went to college, grad school, started a career, and then went to Korea. I felt like my job search was a little disjointed, and I had a hard time tying my past work history to the time in Korea in a way that made sense.

While I would like to take credit for having a plan that I followed, I really just got a job and figured out my path from there. Also, I used my husband’s connections at the hospital (he works there, too!).

Did you make any mistakes with regards to moving back? Or, any advice for teachers looking to go home?

I wouldn’t say that I made mistakes in moving back, but I wish I had been more disciplined in my finances while I was there. While I allowed myself to live very comfortably, I could have tightened my belt and made a huge dent in my student loan. I will say that I used that last two salary instalments and pension to make substantial payments on debt, though.

What was the most difficult thing about returning home? Was there anything you thought would be difficult, but it wasn’t?

I had a freakishly easy transition both going there and returning home. It has been very difficult to pay 8.00 for a stick of gim bap, though!

(Jackie here…YES! It makes me so sad to pay $20 here in Vancouver for mediocre Korean BBQ).

About Angie Jones

I loved the four years that I spent in Korea! I believe that it deepened my character and gave me a broader perspective on life! While I haven’t directly used the job skills I honed there in my new career path, I am working on a volunteer program at my hospital to help our ESL associates improve their fluency!

Life After ESL

It’s Jackie here again. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Angie. I really appreciate it and I’m sure my readers will too! If you’re looking for some advice about what to do after teaching ESL abroad, then you’ll want to check out this book on Amazon:

Life After ESL: Foreign Teachers Returning Home

It’s the first and only book out there for foreign teachers who are seeking advice about returning to their home countries. The information in the book is from a survey that I conducted, with the goal being to glean every little bit of information I could teachers who’d already made the move.

Check out Life After ESL for yourself over on Amazon:

shop=

The post Angie Jones: Life After ESL Interview appeared first on My Life! Teaching in a Korean University.

It’s Jackie here. What follows is an interview with one of my old coworkers in Korea, Angie Jones. We worked together at a university in Busan. Thanks for letting us know how life in the USA is, post teaching English in Korea.

Here’s the interview with Angie Jones.

angie-jones
Busan, South Korea

Can you briefly tell us about your experience teaching English abroad?

I moved to Gumi, South Korea in 2009 having agreed to a 1 year contract with an English academy. But, I ended up staying four years! I was fortunate to have had my initial term with an outstanding director who was passionate about English and his students. He was also invested in creating a wonderful experience for his teachers, from taking us out to eat to try different Korean cuisine to going on day trips!

By the time I finished my first contract, I was hooked! I taught elementary and middle school students, and, in truth, that part depleted my storehouse of patience. I thoroughly enjoyed the rest, though. It was mostly because I had a lot of influence over the curriculum, and even had the opportunity to develop some of my own.

Why did you decide to move back to your home country?

I probably would have stayed in Korea longer, but I started dating a guy in the States over winter break and we decided to get married that summer, so I finished my university contract, and came home.

What are you doing for work now? Did things go according to plan, or did you have to change directions once you got home?

These days, I work as a Family Support Specialist at a large hospital in Columbus, Ohio. At my job, I give emotional support to families whose patients have suffered an anoxic brain injury that will likely result in death, at which point, I talk with the family about organ donation and support the family in their decision.

Truthfully, I didn’t have a plan when I came home and I feel like I did things out of order; I went to college, grad school, started a career, and then went to Korea. I felt like my job search was a little disjointed, and I had a hard time tying my past work history to the time in Korea in a way that made sense.

While I would like to take credit for having a plan that I followed, I really just got a job and figured out my path from there. Also, I used my husband’s connections at the hospital (he works there, too!).

Did you make any mistakes with regards to moving back? Or, any advice for teachers looking to go home?

I wouldn’t say that I made mistakes in moving back, but I wish I had been more disciplined in my finances while I was there. While I allowed myself to live very comfortably, I could have tightened my belt and made a huge dent in my student loan. I will say that I used that last two salary instalments and pension to make substantial payments on debt, though.

What was the most difficult thing about returning home? Was there anything you thought would be difficult, but it wasn’t?

I had a freakishly easy transition both going there and returning home. It has been very difficult to pay 8.00 for a stick of gim bap, though!

(Jackie here…YES! It makes me so sad to pay $20 here in Vancouver for mediocre Korean BBQ).

About Angie Jones

I loved the four years that I spent in Korea! I believe that it deepened my character and gave me a broader perspective on life! While I haven’t directly used the job skills I honed there in my new career path, I am working on a volunteer program at my hospital to help our ESL associates improve their fluency!

Life After ESL

It’s Jackie here again. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Angie. I really appreciate it and I’m sure my readers will too! If you’re looking for some advice about what to do after teaching ESL abroad, then you’ll want to check out this book on Amazon:

Life After ESL: Foreign Teachers Returning Home

It’s the first and only book out there for foreign teachers who are seeking advice about returning to their home countries. The information in the book is from a survey that I conducted, with the goal being to glean every little bit of information I could teachers who’d already made the move.

Check out Life After ESL for yourself over on Amazon:

shop=


ESL Speaking Tests: 3 Options | English Speaking Tests

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ESL-speaking-test

Speaking tests for ESL students

There are various ways for language teachers to do an ESL speaking test, all of which have their positives and negatives.

I will give only the most basic of overviews of three different speaking test methods for English as a Second Language students. If you want to dive deeper into the topic, I recommend this book: Language Assessment: Principles and Classroom Practices (2nd Edition).

ESL Speaking Test #1: 1-1 Interview with the Teacher

The 1-1 interview with the teacher method is generally thought to have the highest validity, since weaker students cannot affect the stronger students in any way. However, I think there are more negatives than positives:

  1. The power dynamic which can come into play

  2. The necessity to have students, alone in an office or classroom. This is something that I’ll always try to avoid if possible.

  3. Exhaustion on the part of a teacher. It just simply takes a lot of time and mental energy. In some semesters, I’ve had upwards of 200 students. It’s just not feasible to test every single of them in a 1 week period.

  4. The teacher needs to serve as examiner and conversation partner, which can get tricky at times, especially at the end of a long day of tests. This is especially hard with the lower-level students who will often depend on you to to keep the conversation going.

ESL Speaking Test #2: Conversations and Role-Plays

Many English teachers get the students to conduct 1-1 conversations amongst themselves while the teacher just listens, observes and evaluates.

The big negative of this one is that a weaker student can affect a stronger student, and although the teacher accounts for this in grading, it can often be seen as “not fair” in the student’s eyes.

However, there are lots of positives to this 1-1 conversation between students:

  1. No power dynamics

  2. It can at least partly replicate “real” conversation, where the people are at a similar level of English ability.

  3. The teacher can just focus on listening and not have to act as a conversation partner.

  4. Students often feel less nervous with at least one other person in the room besides the teacher.

  5. It’s far less tiring than option #1 for the teacher because they only have to listen, not participate in the conversation.

Find out more details about how I conduct this kind of test with my students, and also how I prevent the “memorization” factor.

ESL Speaking Tests, Conversation Style

ESL Speaking Test #3: Presentations

Presentations are perhaps the easiest on the part of the teacher to administer, especially in groups. You can “test” a group of 30 students in as little as a single 1.5 hour class.

The biggest negatives to presentations are that it doesn’t replicate “conversation” at all and this is most often what courses consist of at, especially at universities. But, if the teacher actually spends time teaching students how to do presentations, it can be a valuable life-skill that students can take with them throughout their lives.

If you do decide to teach and test students on their presentation skills, the best resource I recommend is: Speaking of Speech: Basic Presentation Skills for Beginners. I’ve taught presentations for years and have stuck with this book the entire time, with excellent results.

Presentations: I Don’t Use Them for Tests

I personally will have a “presentation day” (or two, depending on class size) in my courses. I make it a small percentage of the final grade (around 10%) and give students lots of freedom about group sizes (1-4), and topic (it can be anything in the news lately).

It usually ends up being one of the most interesting classes of the semester! But, I prefer not to do this for a test in a conversation class.

For more details about this, check out:

Current Events Presentation Project

Need more Ideas for your English Conversation Class?

Then you’re going to need to check out this book over on Amazon: 39 No-Prep/Low-Prep ESL Speaking Activities: For Teenagers and AdultsIt’s lesson planning made easy, guaranteed.

The good news is that it’s available on Amazon in both print and digital formats. The (cheaper!) digital one can be read on any device. Take some awesome ESL/EFL speaking games and activities with you wherever you go to lesson plan.

Or, keep the book on the bookshelf in your office. Whatever the case, you’re going to find almost 40 top-quality English speaking activities and games to add some variety in your classes, and keep your students engaged and interested.

Check out the book for yourself over on Amazon:

shop-now-amazon

ESL Speaking Test: Have your Say!

What’s your preferred method for conducting an English speaking test? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with us.

The post ESL Speaking Tests: 3 Options | English Speaking Tests appeared first on ESL Speaking.


Are you Stuck in a Rut? Ryan Thompson from Journeys Korea

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Hi everyone, it’s Jackie here. This is an article from Ryan Thompson, who is currently teaching in Korea. He writes about his experiences at Journeys Korea.

If you’re stuck in a rut, check out what he has to say and hopefully you’ll find some inspiration! Let’s get to it.

ryan-thompson-journeys-korea
Ryan Thompson

I Was Stuck

While sitting at my “safe” corporate job in procurement I loathed every day. Living for the weekend and totally disengaged from work. What a sad existence. Everyone around me thought my job was a step in the right direction and it would have been if I was immersed in it. Unfortunately, I was spending more time hiding from work projects than actually doing them. I was officially stuck.

Death wasn’t knocking on my doorstep and I didn’t have to make a pilgrimage to find clean water. However, our minds find problems no matter what. My problems were clearly first world problems. To make matters even luckier, I was able to leave problems I didn’t want to solve for problems I wanted to solve.

Korea..Not so Easy to Blend In

Growing up I never did much planning. I was always engaged in sports and school but somewhere along the way I made one decision to disengage and then another and another. Disengaging and wanting to blend into the crowd became the norm. That is extremely difficult to do when you are 6’5”. It is difficult to do in the USA and I am the definition of an alien in the countryside city in South Korea that I am currently living in.

Will Teaching English Solve my Problems?

Do you feel stuck? If you have that feeling for too many days in a row then maybe it is a time for change. Will teaching English in another country solve your problems? No. In fact, it will give you a laundry list of new problems that you never knew existed or ones you solved many years ago. Learning how to say hello or ride a bus with no clue how to read each bus stop to get off. Throw efficiency out the window.

Problems at Home? Still There When you Get Back

Also, most of those problems you ran away from back home will remain unsolved waiting for you to solve them once you decide to come back. So, I am not painting the teaching abroad experience like you normally see all over the internet. Don’t get me wrong, backpacking and exploring are great but there is so much you don’t see behind those pictures with smiles.

Should You Teach in Another Country?

Should you teach English in another country? That is an impossible question for me to answer. The only thing I know to be true is that I made the right decision even though it wasn’t a perfect situation for me to leave. I wasn’t in the best financial situation and I had a serious girlfriend who was absolutely marriage material. Flash forward two years. Lost the girlfriend. Still not rich. Not fully connected with my friends and family from the past. However, I am the strongest I have ever been physically and mentally.

Connections…the Best Thing about Travelling 

I have shared so many laughs and experiences with people in corners of the world that I never knew existed. To be honest I don’t really like “travel.” Or maybe I don’t like tourism, history, and food. Obviously I love food but I am not going to sit there and rave about my meal or go out of my way to find the best places. What I love about traveling to different countries and living in South Korea are connections. The moments of deep connections when you don’t even speak the same language but you both feel like one.

Best and Worst Experiences in Korea

My favorite experiences have been working with other Korean teachers for a month on a Kpop dance or an old school Korean ballad to perform for the school festival.

There are so many differences between USA and South Korea and those times you feel it will absolutely be the lowest of the lows. The moments of feeling so alone in the world because you can’t communicate your simplest emotions.

It doesn’t matter if the feelings are good or bad. They are feelings and that is what life is about. Change and the ability to feel; but in the end we are human and have so many more similarities.

What do You Think?

Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

What’s your motivation for teaching English in Korea, or in another country?

Has it been a good, or bad experience?

The post Are you Stuck in a Rut? Ryan Thompson from Journeys Korea appeared first on My Life! Teaching in a Korean University.


Eating Raw Beef with Jinyoung | Trying 육회 (YUKHOE)

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Have you ever tried eating raw beef? I wouldn't recommend slicing a raw steak into noodles, then eating it - normally - but Korean 육회 (YUK-HOE) can give you that opportunity, if you're so inclined. It's made with fresh (very fresh), cold beef, so it's safe to eat. But if you have a weak stomach, or don't like beef, then you should probably avoid it. The flavor was similar to eating a really, really rare steak, but it was also cold. As someone who often cooks and enjoys steak, I really liked it and it was better than I thought. Now I can say that I've tried raw beef.

Another feature of this dish is the sesame seed oil mixed into the beef. It gives the beef a deep, nutty flavor and smell that many first-time visitors to Korea can find off-putting - but only at first. Once you're familiar with it, it won't seem so strange anymore, and I quite like the smell and taste.

To try this dish I went together with my friend JinYoung. She's had it before a few times, but it was my first time to try it.

The post Eating Raw Beef with Jinyoung | Trying 육회 (YUKHOE) appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.


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How to Say ‘Flower’ in Korean

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Flowers are some of nature’s most gorgeous inventions, not only the kind you can see in bloom everywhere in springtime, but also the kind you can create right in your backyard. In this lesson you will learn how to say flower in Korean so that you can start creating that flower garden in Korea as well – or at least tell your Korean friends about the one you have back at home!

 

*Ready to learn Korean yet? Click here to learn about our 90 Day Korean learning program!

 

‘Flower’ in Korean

Flower In Garden

The word for flower in Korean is 꽃 (kkot). As you may have noticed, the word ends with ㅊ (ch). Which means that when you combine it with an object or noun marking particles, you will pronounce it as 꽃을 (kkocheul) or 꽃이 (kkochi). However, when you refer to the ‘flower’ on its own in Korean, with no marking particles attached, the pronunciation needs to end in a ‘t’-sound.

Another word for how to say ‘flower’ in Korean is 화초 (hwacho). It is rarely used, but would be an especially good vocabulary word for referring to planting and growing flowers or when the word you wish to use is ‘plant’.

 

Related Vocabulary

꽃 한 다발 (kkot han dabal) – a bunch of flowers

꽃꽃이 (kkotkkochi) – a flower arrangement

벚꽃 (beotkkot) – cherry blossom

(nan) – orchid

수선화 (suseonhwa) – daffodil

양귀비 (yangwibi) – poppy

튤립 (thyullib) – tulip

장미 (jangmi) – rose

베고니아 (begonia) – begonia

백합 (baekhab) – lily

나리 (nari) – lily

제비꽃 (jebikkot) – violet

해바라기 (haebaragi) – sunflower

무궁화 (mugunghwa) – Hibiscus*

 

*Korea’s national flower

 

A word of caution about Romanization

While it is possible for you to study the words in this article simply by reading their romanized versions, it will come in handy for you to be able to read Hangeul if you ever wish to come to Korea. Hangeul is the Korean alphabet, and not difficult to learn. In fact, you can learn it in just 90 minutes.

After you’ve familiarized yourself with Hangeul, life in Korea will suddenly seem so much easier and the country won’t appear so foreign for you. So, if you’re serious about learning Korean, why not learn Hangeul today?

 

Sample Sentences

Spring flowers

Standard:

올해는 꽃들이 일찍 피었어요. (orhaeneun kkotdeuri iljjik phieosseoyo.)

The flowers bloomed early this year.

 

장미는 언제 꽃을 피어요? (jangmineun eonje kkocheul phieoyo?)

When do roses bloom?

 

오늘은 화초를 심을게요. (oneureun hwachoreul shimeulgeyo.)

I will plant the flowers today.

 

Informal:

나는 너한테 꽃을 좀 꺾었어. (naneun neohanthe kkocheul jom kkyeokkeosseo.)

I picked up some flowers for you.

 

어디로 꽃을 심을까? (eodiro kkocheul shimeulkka?)

Where should we plant the flower?

 

Now that you know how to say ‘flower’ in Korean, what other nature-related vocabulary do you wish to learn? Let us know and we’ll make the magic happen!

 

*Want more Korean phrases? Go to our Korean Phrases Page for a complete list!

 

Photo Credit: BigStockPhoto

 

The post How to Say ‘Flower’ in Korean appeared first on 90 Day Korean®.


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Play and Stay in KK: SPLURGE at Gaya Island Resort Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

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Gaya Island Resort Toronto Seoulcialite Where to Stay Kota Kinabalu Malaysia Sabah Borneo luxury honeymoon

Gaya Island Resort

Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

If my short, magical stay in Kota Kinabalu (Malaysian Borneo) taught me anything, it’s that service is of utmost importance, the people are incredibly friendly, they all seem to be amazing singers, and there’s no shortage of things to do!  My first couple of days gave me a deal (Dock In Hostel) and a steal (Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort Kota Kinabalu).  My third night in Sabah was spent at the luxurious Gaya Island Resort.   I have 150 pictures of my 24 hours here to share with you.  I was so busy with meetings and tours I didn’t even get to step foot in the sea nor the pool, but you should!  This property is perfect for responsible eco-tourism, relaxing by the pool, yoga, getting spa treatments, or spending quality time with your lover. If you’re going to Kota Kinabalu, you must stay at least a couple of nights at Gaya Island Resort!

Gaya Island Resort Toronto Seoulcialite Where to Stay Kota Kinabalu Malaysia Sabah Borneo luxury honeymoon private beach villa Gaya Island Resort Toronto Seoulcialite Where to Stay Kota Kinabalu Malaysia Sabah Borneo luxury honeymoon private beach villa Gaya Island Resort Toronto Seoulcialite Where to Stay Kota Kinabalu Malaysia Sabah Borneo luxury honeymoon private beach villa

What Dreams Are Made Of: Gaya Island Resort

Staying in a villa at Gaya Island Resort is pretty much every travel blogger’s dream.  Unfortunately I wasn’t there quite long enough to take a breath, but I have ever intention of returning someday soon!  My whole trip to Sabah was jam-packed by the Sabah Tourism Board.  When organizing your stay in Kota Kinabalu, make sure to take some time to enjoy yourself and soak up the sun.  Gaya Island Resort is such a romantic place to stay, but there are TONS of activities, too!  Don’t miss out by spending one night like I did – make sure to book at least 2 or more!

Gaya Island Resort Romantic Villa Kota Kinabalu Malaysia Sabah Tourism Board Getting to Gaya Island Resort Jesselton Port

Getting to Gaya Island Resort

My journey began at Jesselton Port – the ferry dock to get to plenty of wonderful public islands where you can go snorkeling, scuba diving, and hiking.  My trip was a short ride to the private Gaya Island Resort.  After checking in with the staff in their lovely, air-conditioned office, I wandered around the Port eyeing all of the shops, kiosks, and food vendors.

Gaya Island Resort Romantic Villa Kota Kinabalu Malaysia Sabah Tourism Board Getting to Gaya Island Resort Jesselton Port Gaya Island Resort Romantic Villa Kota Kinabalu Malaysia Sabah Tourism Board Getting to Gaya Island Resort Jesselton Port Gaya Island Resort Romantic Villa Kota Kinabalu Malaysia Sabah Tourism Board Getting to Gaya Island Resort Jesselton Port Gaya Island Resort Romantic Villa Kota Kinabalu Malaysia Sabah Tourism Board Getting to Gaya Island Resort Jesselton Port Gaya Island Resort Romantic Villa Kota Kinabalu Malaysia Sabah Tourism Board Getting to Gaya Island Resort Jesselton Port Gaya Island Resort Romantic Villa Kota Kinabalu Malaysia Sabah Tourism Board Getting to Gaya Island Resort Jesselton Port Gaya Island Resort Romantic Villa Kota Kinabalu Malaysia Sabah Tourism Board Getting to Gaya Island Resort Jesselton Port Gaya Island Resort Romantic Villa Kota Kinabalu Malaysia Sabah Tourism Board Getting to Gaya Island Resort Jesselton Port Gaya Island Resort Romantic Villa Kota Kinabalu Malaysia Sabah Tourism Board Getting to Gaya Island Resort Jesselton Port Gaya Island Resort Romantic Villa Kota Kinabalu Malaysia Sabah Tourism Board Getting to Gaya Island Resort Jesselton Port Gaya Island Resort Romantic Villa Kota Kinabalu Malaysia Sabah Tourism Board Getting to Gaya Island Resort Jesselton Port

There’s plenty of eat and drink here, just make sure what you order hasn’t been sitting around for too long.  When it was time to depart, all my luggage was already on the boat.  All I had to do was don a life-preserver and hold on!

The Story of Gaya Island Resort

“Tucked amidst protected mangroves, sheltered coral reefs and curled around the pristine sandy coast of Malohom Bay rests Gaya Island Resort.  Set on an island within the protected Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, discover a sanctuary nestled in the hillside of an ancient rainforest with a stunning outline of Mount Kinabalu on the horizon.” Gaya Island Resort

Gaya Island Resort is pretty huge!  Upon my arrival I got a quick peek around some of the grounds and then went for a tour of the spa.  I got to enjoy some gorgeous views, but I was really disappointed that my stay was so short.  The resort prides itself on being ecologically-sustainable and aware of its carbon footprint.  There are a few motorized vehicles for staff, but beyond that it’s a walking resort.

The Spa at Gaya Island Resort

“Spa Village Gaya Island is a tranquil hideaway surrounded by distinctive island flora and fauna. From the warm clear waters of Gaya and its rich lowland forests to the high altitude blossoms of Mount Kinabalu, our treatments utilise only the finest fresh local ingredients. A rich tapestry of spa programmes reflects the cultural healing traditions of Sabah’s many indigenous people. From the specialised rice scrubs and masques of the Kadazandusun to the age-old practices of the Bajau sea nomads, Spa Village Gaya Island is uniquely rooted in ancient tradition while seeking to restore balance to the body and soul.” – Spa Village Gaya Island Resort

Proboscis Monkey at Gaya Island

The sense of tranquility at the spa was instantaneous!  They have plenty of different treatments for couples and his and hers alike.  The spa is where they have all their yoga.  It’s done in a studio with different risers so that everyone can see the instructor.  Wouldn’t it be amazing to do your yoga teacher training in such an oasis?  The spa is where you might catch a glimpse of the resident proboscis monkey, too.  I didn’t get to see him, but I did go home with a sweet plush toy imitation!

Gaya Island Resort Marine Centre

After my tour around the spa I definitely wanted to indulge in some treatments, but the tour continued over to the private beach!  This is where the Marine Centre is located.  It “advocates 3 key conservation themes – Turtle Rescue, Coral Reef Restoration and Conservation Through Education. [The] resident marine biologist and dedicated team work together with equally passionate partners, championing initiatives to protect marine life, raise awareness for sustainable seafood choices and aim for pollution-free waters.” The Marine Centre is where I learned about the resort’s efforts to clean up the water and rehabilitate wildlife.  Sometimes those efforts aren’t successful, others the sea life is housed in the centre, and the team gets really excited when they’re able to release back into the marine environment.

Guided Nature Walks and Jungle Treks

Make sure to go visit Justin, the Gaya Naturalist, throughout your visit.  He’s a wealth of knowledge and is so passionate about animals!  “Discover an exceptional botanic reserve, diverse wildlife and a rare, undisturbed mixed dipterocarp forest, found only within the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. Our nature walks offer an environmental education voyage with our Resident Naturalist.  Limited guests are allowed daily to minimise human impact to the wildlife and their habitat.”

In the afternoon I got to learn all about how the team rehabilitates injured owls, snakes, and even monkeys from the island.  We took a look at a pregnant viper they were keeping safe from predators in the jungle.  I also learned about how humans can prey on elements of the island.  It’s amazing the number of animals and plants certain cultures will steal and murder all in the name of “strength and vitality”.  I’m pretty sure ingesting pangolin is not going to make your boner any harder.

Sabah Sunset Cruise

Sabahan sunsets are famous across Malaysia.  I got to meet a couple from Seoul on the ride, but it was really just the 3 of us and our Captain.  My Korean’s pretty bad, but we managed to communicate for a bit.  Unfortunately, the lady was very seasick.  Take this trip if you’re okay on motorboats, but steer clear if the slightest wobble makes you ill.  If you want to catch an unobstructed view of a gorgeous sunset,  take the Gaya Island Sunset Cruise.  If you’re going with a group, see if it’s possible to bring some music and refreshments. It’s lovely to look out where the sky meets the sea, but it’s a little lonesome for over an hour!

My Villa at Gaya Island Resort

My villa at the resort was tucked away up the hill.  At night, sweet little geckos skittled up and down the wall outside.  The bed was huge and had views of the jungle – until the screens went down to ensure a long, leisurely, lie-in.  The Sabah Tourism Board had arranged so many meetings and events for me in such a short stay.  My nap and early night’s sleep were necessary to keep adventuring around Kota Kinabalu!

I had a long, relaxing bath in my massive tub.  I really enjoyed the plethora of delicious-smelling Mangosteen bubble bath, salts, and lotions!  The villas at Gaya Island Resort truly make for the perfect romantic getaway.  If you’re traveling to Malaysian Borneo with that special someone, make it a vacation to remember at Gaya Island Resort.

Gaya Island Resort Contact Details

ADDRESS Gaya Island Resort, Just Explore
Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal
88000 Kota Kinabalu
Sabah
TELEPHONE +60 88 210 342

The post Play and Stay in KK: SPLURGE at Gaya Island Resort Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia appeared first on The Toronto Seoulcialite.


The Toronto Socialite
 
      
That Girl Cartier
 
     

 


Korean Cosplay Convention (with Abby P) | 코스프레 체험

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I've wanted to try cosplaying since I was a teenager, but didn't have an opportunity. I wasn't a big fan of anime, but I did watch some, and I thought it'd be fun to visit a convention. Well this year in Korea I found out that there are several conventions going on, and one of them was a cosplay convention in Seoul. So I contacted my friend Abby P (another YouTuber) and we went together in cosplay as characters from the movie "Spirited Away."

Have you ever tried cosplay before? What are your experiences?

Abby P also made a video about our cosplay experience on her channel here: https://youtu.be/u4Y342EyAFc

The post Korean Cosplay Convention (with Abby P) | 코스프레 체험 appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.


Détente Divergence: the US-South Korean split on this Year’s Engagement with North Korea

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This is a local re-post of my monthly op-ed for the Lowy Institute: here.


Robert E Kelly
Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science & Diplomacy
Pusan National University

@Robert_E_Kelly

 

 


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