Eating out in Korea

A Calendar Year Abroad: Reviewing 2017

This year has been one for the books. Back in August 2016, we never could have truly seen how our lives would twist, tumble, and change. I want to take a moment to review and appreciate the amazing adventure our first calendar year abroad has been. From friends to our jobs and on to travel, … Continue reading A Calendar Year Abroad: Reviewing 2017

Beautiful view of Seoul from the west

Why I Decided to Get My TEFL Certificate

A year ago, I was looking into options for improving my chances of landing future jobs. Like most EFL jobs in South Korea, my contract is about a year long. Last August, I had several options. I could extend my current contract, begin working at a public school, or find another hagwon. That, or I could … Continue reading Why I Decided to Get My TEFL Certificate

Beautiful sunset with Lotte World Tower skyline

Living Abroad: Think Twice Before Quitting Your Job

In case you've been away and somehow didn't know, I upended my life in America to teach abroad in South Korea. I spent a lot of time thinking about whether or not this move would be beneficial or detrimental to my goals. I did what I usually do when I'm mulling over a question: I researched...

International Travel: Americans Need To Get Out More (and 6 Reasons They Don’t)

In America, an avoidance (realized or not) of international travel is deep in our bones. I had never given it much thought, growing up. However, my own personal experience was the perfect example of this. As I grew up, I only ever went on one vacation with my family -- to Colorado when I was … Continue reading International Travel: Americans Need To Get Out More (and 6 Reasons They Don’t)

Noryangjin Fish Market (Or, What It Was Like Eating Live Octopus)

How do you feel about live octopus? Can you imagine it wriggling on your plate? Coming from the American Midwest, people are generally suspicious of seafood. I think about my dad in these instances growing up in rural central Illinois; he frequently suggests that a good meal consists of steak, potatoes, and corn, and that's about it. … Continue reading Noryangjin Fish Market (Or, What It Was Like Eating Live Octopus)

8 Things to Know About Korean Studio Apartments (or, Long Overdue Tour of My Hobbit Hole)

Back in August, I said I would upload a video tour of my apartment, and that never happened. Oops! I'm going to make up for that now. Even so, I'm using a video that I shot when I was giving my orientation buddies a tour. I think parts of it were funny and underline the … Continue reading 8 Things to Know About Korean Studio Apartments (or, Long Overdue Tour of My Hobbit Hole)

Homesick? Reflecting on Two Months Working Abroad

It seems a weird thought to say that I've lived in another country for almost three months now. For instance, it's not the same, clearly, as moving to another place in the United States like I did when I got my first teaching gig in Putnam County, IL. Many people start feeling homesick around this … Continue reading Homesick? Reflecting on Two Months Working Abroad

Chuseok and the Art of Survival for an Expat Living in Korea

"Everything closes down. Everything!" "Don't travel! Everything is jammed up!" "Don't starve!" People have a lot of advice for how to survive the Korean holiday Chuseok. For those not savvy on Korean holidays, Chuseok (추석) is a traditional holiday that occurs with the harvest and is often called the Korean Thanksgiving. Families travel en masse out … Continue reading Chuseok and the Art of Survival for an Expat Living in Korea

Moving to Sillim-dong and My First Day Teaching EFL in Korea

Where's time gone? My first week teaching EFL has flown by. You may be wondering how it went. I wanted to give here a chance before saying anything. My hagwon's organization placed me in Sillim, an interesting location on Line 2 of the subway system. This first week teaching EFL, I've realized there are a few pros … Continue reading Moving to Sillim-dong and My First Day Teaching EFL in Korea

Making Friends Abroad (Or, 5 Ways to Make Sure You Don’t End Up Lonely)

Coming into this experience, I wasn't sure how it'd go making friends. What can you expect? You hear there's a large expat community in Seoul, but unless you know the right people or you go to the bars in the foreigner districts, it's hard to really break in. Would we leave this place with a … Continue reading Making Friends Abroad (Or, 5 Ways to Make Sure You Don’t End Up Lonely)