Six months in South Korea


Six months ago today, we arrived as two newly weds to start an adventure in South Korea. We arrived in Seoul, bright eyed and bushy tailed (well as much as we could have been after 18 hours in transit and arriving with a mix up on our accommodation by our “awesome” STA travel agent) with no idea of what would lie ahead.

Since that day we have seen a lot, done a lot and have experienced Korean culture as English teachers in rural Korea. The following images sum up our impressions of Korea so far…



Categories: Art, Food, Korea, Photos, Shopping, TravelTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

49 comments

  1. Beautiful photos. Everitte and I have been in Beirut now for 6 months too. We’re having tandem adventures!

    • Wow that’s so cool! We’re been loving following your adventures in Beirut as well as your current trip in Nepal/India! So exciting 🙂 How long do you plan on being in Beirut?

      • Thanks – it’s so nice having a few loyal followers that routinely check back like you do. Not sure how long we’ll be in Beirut. As long as we can support ourselves here basically. Hopefully a couple of years – we really love it. How bout you guys? A year in Korea and then moving on or might you stay longer?

      • This contract ends in October, at which time we’re sort of following in your footsteps and taking a sojourn to India! We’ll be there about 7 weeks. After that, not too sure – we may head back to Korea or perhaps Hong Kong or Japan. We have a few months up our sleeves before we have to make any decisions but there are so many places we want to see its hard to decide!!!

  2. thanks for sharing, great photos, how much longer will you be there?

    • Thanks for the comment! Our current contract expires in October of this year so we’ll stay in our little village until then. We’re heading to India for 7 week trip at that stage and as yet haven’t decided where to base ourselves next. We’ll need to make that decision in a few months and start looking for new jobs! Considering other spots in Korea, Hong Kong, Japan…the list is always changing as there as SO many places to see still!!!

      • what a wonderful adventure! My daughter and her husband work at Woodstock in northern India. It is a Christian, English speaking international boarding school. they also have a blog (bethraham.wordopress.com) and recently went on a trip through southern India. (photos on blog) They teach music and drama.
        guess that’s why I like following you, too…(have fun)

      • Thanks for the link to your daughter’s blog – fascinating stuff and some lovely photos. We’re even more excited for our trip to India now! And teaching music and drama sounds much nicer than teaching English!

      • thanks for “visiting” them!

  3. What an incredible experience you are living! Loved the octopus – cooked one today but nowhere as big as those!

  4. thanks for sharing via images. Always nice to travel like that 😉 Continued safe tavels sans travails 🙂

  5. My reactions while viewing the pics:
    1. OMG DUMPLINGS
    2. OMG OCTOPUS
    3. OMG AJUMMA STIRRING DDUK BOKKI jadf;laskjfd;laskjfdlaksdj!!!!!!!!!!
    4. OMG SAMKYUPSAL
    Lol, see a trend there? Beautiful pics! 🙂

  6. My favourite was the baby with the cellphone 🙂

    xxxx

    • We took that photo in our first week in Korea – and we remember thinking “awww how cute”. That was before we realised that EVERYONE has a phone here…including children not old enough to walk for long distances! Its a serious battle when teaching too as the kids are pretty much surgically attached. Why 12 year olds (and often younger) NEED smart phones is beyond me…And let’s hope they all have medical insurance for their future neck/thumb/eye problems!!!!

  7. Going in June…So I’ll be spending the next 2 months reading every entry on your blog…So PUMPED!

  8. Amazing pictures! I loved Seoul. It was one of the loveliest cities I’ve ever been in. Thanks for sharing some of your favorite photo memories. 🙂

  9. Beautiful pictures! And the food looks fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing- I am seriously going to have to add this beautiful country to my bucket list 🙂

  10. Great selection! I’m visiting Korea for the first time at the end of April, and I can’t wait! 🙂

    • How long are you planning on visiting for? There are definitely some great things to check out here 🙂

      • 6.5 days – not long enough but I’m good at scheduling! Flying into Seoul on Friday night – what happens thereafter is totally open at the moment. Anywhere I shouldn’t miss?

        Just nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. I see you’ve been nominated before – I guess it goes around fairly quickly but I enjoy your blog. Strangely, I thought I was following it already but discovered today I wasn’t an “official” follower!

        You’ve also inspired me to do a burger hunt in Kyoto!

      • Awwww thanks so much for the nomination! Its always lovely to receive recognition from other bloggers…plus its nice to know that people other than our mums are reading, hehe.

        A week in Seoul will be amazing. Our favourite things to do there were eat (of course) and just wander around taking it all in as we found stuff in every nook and cranny! Seoul Tower, while touristy, is actually really cool and the views from the top are just stunning. Myeong-Dong is a SUPER cool area, full of really trendy looking people and great shops. It gets absolutely packed in the afternoon/night and is a really fun place to absorb Korean city life.

        We can’t wait to visit again and this time we won’t be so ‘fresh’, haha. Enjoy your trip and we look forward to hearing about it!!! And we’ll DEFINITELY be reading your post about burgers in Kyoto! (Wear stretchy pants).

      • Thanks so much for the tips! Will check out everything you recommend plus a lot more I hope. I’m super-excited about the visit. Watch this space! (Oh god, and I now have to commit to that burger post…..I foresee fattening times ahead!)

      • Stretchyyyyyyyyyyyy paaaaants! Haha.

  11. The riverside apartments look like where I live(Aventura-NE corner of Miami Dade County). Rows and rows of bleached white dominoes(condos). The pic that is your header – for me a person who has never been to Korea, it looks very Stalinist and suggestive of North Korea because of the endless stretch of wall.

    • The rows and rows of apartment blocks are certainly a stand out feature on Korea – it wouldn’t be so unusual if there just in the cities but they are absolutely everywhere, including in tiny rural villages like we live in. There are just so many people living in South Korea and the land mass is pretty small. We have nothing like this back home in New Zealand so we definitely notice it!

  12. Lovely pics. I always wanted to go to Korea, especially after reading the history about in Political Economics.
    Have a great journey ahead. And thank you for visiting my blog and liking my post. 🙂

  13. Great photos! Makes me wish I’d been even more proactive with my camera, but I was too busy gawping at everything to remember I had a blog! You guys should definitely hit up Japan – I’m used to big crazy cities but Tokyo was just a whole other level.

    • Thanks so much! It is hard to remember to take snaps when everything around you is so interesting!!! Definitely keen for Japan – I (H-J) had a teaser a few years back while in transit to the UK and could tell its somewhere I’d love to spend more time. It seems silly to be this close and not take advantage!

  14. Every time I check your blog out, I am always awed by your chutzpah for picking everything up and moving to South Korea, of all places. You make it sound interesting and challenging and fun. How is your Korean at this point by the way?

    • Yeah it was a bit of random decision…but we’re kinda known for doing stuff the unusual way, haha. It is all the things you say – interesting, challenging and fun!

      Our Korean pretty much sucks still 😦 While immersion learning is supposed to be the best way to learn, what we’ve discovered is that it really only works if there’s quite a bit of give and take! We definitely have waaaaay more vocab than we did when we first arrived here and understand a bit but really do rely heavily on things like body language and pointing. We would love to take Korean lessons but there’s nothing available anywhere near where we live. In fact, outside of the major cities like Seoul and Busan its incredibly hard to get a formal Korean language class.

      I can see us continuing to mime and wave our arms crazily for the remainder of time here, haha. All fun and games though 🙂

  15. Thanks for the giggle at UglyDoll and Neon sign. 🙂

  16. fabulous pics!! hard to pick a favorite but the one of the woman cooking outdoors fascinated me as did the vendors sitting with their vegetables at the market. loved the octopus pic too 🙂

    • Street food is one of the best ways to explore a country, we reckon! That woman was cooking tteokpokki which is rice cakes (kinda chewy in texture), fish cakes and sometimes boiled eggs swimming in a fiery red pepper sauce. Its a delicious and extremely popular snack food here.

      The markets here are beautiful. We always find ourselves wandering around oogling the produce and unusual fish in each new market we find.

  17. When I first read this entry, I thought I was reading something I wrote! My husband and I spend our time as newlyweds teaching in South Korea, too! Everything you posted was eerily similar to what we experienced. I hope you continue enjoying your time there. Cheers!

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