It doesn’t seem like that long ago that we arrived fresh faced and bright eyed, a couple of newly weds honeymooning in Korea before embarking on a year as English teachers. Rural Ulsan was not quite what we had in mind but we like to think we’ve adventured pretty hard in our time here.
As you may have figured out, we’re nearing the end of our one year contract in Korea. So what next, you may ask…What attractions could possibly lie beyond the borders of little Deoksin town?
Early in October H-J’s parents are flying from New Zealand to join us for our last few days in the village as we teach our last classes, pack up our lives again and say goodbye to the little village we’ve called home for the last year. Of course, there will be mixed feelings as it’s always hard to leave being settled (no matter how weird it has been!) and some people will be missed. On the whole though, we are ready to bust out and get back into the world!
We’ll spend a week or so showing our guests the sights and sounds of Deoksin, before heading to the brighter lights of both Busan and Seoul. There are innumerable things we want to show off to them and some things that we are yet to tick off our own lists, such as the DMZ and the Hello Kitty Cafe in Seoul. Okay, maybe that’s just H-J but she’s dragging her crew along for the ride.
Come mid-October the four of us will then fly out to Kuala Lumpur for a whirlwind of eating, shopping, sightseeing, eating, eating, eating, eating…Feeling rather deprived of choice here in Korea, our spoiled little taste buds will go into overdrive in the multi-cultural glory of KL!
And just to make sure we get as much luxury and damn good food as possible, we’re then taking the train down to Singapore to lap up more of the same there over the period of a couple of days. Our life is really tough, huh?!
At this point, we will bid adieu to the folks who wing their way back to New Zealand while we fly to Delhi, India to embark on a 5 week cross-country journey with our good friend from back home, Ushma. No doubt this will be an overwhelming but extraordinary journey full of great food (and no doubt Delhi Belly), long (over-crowded) train trips and moments of magic (like experiencing Dan’s birthday at the Taj Mahal).
Our journey finishes on the coasts of Goa, where we will spend a few days relaxing on the beach before flying out to take up our new teaching contracts in…
This is beyond exciting. Our current village has around 30,000 people, limited options for entertainment (not even a movie theatre) and it’s a fairly unwelcoming, non-cosmopolitan kind of place. The transition back to a proper city, this time one of over 7 million people, is something that we are chomping at the bit for. Of course, it will have its own challenges; yes, we’ll be living in something resembling a shoebox, but the draw cards are huge – it’s a culinary wonderland, a melting pot of cultures and histories, an exciting, buzzy city full of people and, well, stuff.
It’s also a natural stopover for many international destinations and, best of all, Air New Zealand kindly provides direct flights between Auckland and Hong Kong – so book your tickets and treat yourself to a few days in Hong Kong experiencing sensory overload with us.
The blogging, of course, will continue. Writing this blog has provided us with time to sit and reflect on each of the experiences we have had and to look for the positives, the funny bits, the lessons and the “what NOT to do”…and that’s what travel is all about at the end of the day!
So stay tuned, enjoy our last few weeks in Korea with us as we tackle the craziness that remains and experience the new adventures as they unfold with us!
The caribou hunt continues…
5 week trip to India! You lucky bastards (sorry but I had to) ! The transition to Hong Kong should be an exciting (but crowded ) one. Way to go! Enjoy the last of the village life while you can.
6 weeks without teaching, 1 week gorging in luxury and a 5 week trip to India…yeah, we are lucky bastards! Tell ya what though, we’ve earned this break. The madness of the system here, few days off, crazy kids and on top of that we’ve made heaps of sacrifices here so we can save to live the life for a bit. Then back to the grind to pay for the next adventure!
Village life – poo – seriously, this particular little piece of Korea has absolutely nothing going for it. Bring on the City!!!!!
Oh man I know the feeling. After my first year in Shanghai working 7 days a week the first semester and then 6 days a week in the crazy school system with the kids who wouldn’t behave for the goofy looking white guy , I was going crazy. A nice 2 month travel through China with my parents and a solo trip to Yunnan province and Laos pretty much saved my sanity. Enjoy the amazing break. Looking forward to hearing about the travels , maybe find some more penis parks? Yea the village life is nice to visit every once in a while but I love the big city (and Shanghai would definitely qualify)
Your plans sound pretty damn awesome guys. Lets do this overdue skype on Sunday. Looking forward to catching up.
Looking forward to having a yarn on Skype – have a great rest of your week!
How exciting! We’ll be in SE Asia for the next 2 or 3 months as well, if we end up in the same place at the same time we should meet up and have some drinks 🙂
Definitely! We’re still keen to catch up for a coffee or a drink in Seoul before we take off – would be lovely to meet you guys!
Oh and if you’re in Hong Kong after 3rd December, we’ll be there for the next year or so…can definitely have a good catch up there and show off our new home!
WHERE IS THE HELLO KITTY CAFE???? I need to go there. 😀
Good luck on all your travels! I can’t wait for the blog updates! And have fun in Hong Kong! Amazing! When you get settled, you should write for http://www.teflbloggers.com
Hehe a fellow Hello Kitty fan? There are in fact not one but TWO glorious Kitty cafes in Seoul – one in Sinchon and one in Hongdae. I’m aiming for the Hongdae one as its apparently bigger and more luxurious. I’m going to order Kitty coffee and Kitty cakes and sit in a Kitty chair and buy Kitty merchandise…And I’ll take HEAPS of Kitty photos 🙂
We’ll definitely keep the blog up and will check out that link – sounds interesting!
In the meantime, just under a month to see what else we can see in Korea!
WOW. Next time I’m in Seoul!!! ^_^ Thanks for the info!
Enjoy your last month! 😀
Will do! Still some things to see and, of course, not quite enough time to tackle it all. But we’ll do our darnedest!
oh yeah!!! Bring on the new adventures to come, so many fun times, I can’t wait to hear about!! Yay New Years!!! so many exclamation marks, heehee
That’s a whole bunch of exclamation marks!!! But you’re right, exciting times, new stuff to see, do and eat and a hell of a party to plan for New Year!!!! We shall be seeing you in the not too distant future…!!!!!!!
WTF?? Are you going HK for NY Gem??
Sure am, I cannae wait! Wana come in my suitcase?
So jealous of all your upcoming trips! Also, glad to hear you have a new life awaiting you in Hong Kong; can’t wait to read about it! 🙂
Its pretty exciting to shake things up a bit again! Of course, there’s things we’re really going to miss about Korea but at the same time there are still SO many countries left to experience. Its mostly going to be fabulous just to have six weeks away from teaching kids, hahaha.
Lucky you with all those adventures and travelling. And goog luck for the next trips. 🙂
No luck, just a lot of hard work and saving in order to fund the next adventure! We’re definitely looking forward to a bit of a break from the insanity of academy teaching 🙂 Very exciting!!!
Wow – still so much excitement lies ahead! I´m so pleased for you. Only know HK and Singpore, and am lookng forward to hearing about India. Enjoy the last few weeks, I´m sure they´ll fly by…
Hong Kong is one of my favourite cities in the world (H-J) and I can’t wait for Dan to finally experience it too! India is unknown territory for us both but we have a feeling its going to be pretty amazing. And yes, the last weeks here are flying by, almost a little quickly…we don’t mind if the school days whizz past but the ones in between are our final chances to explore. Its amazing how quickly a year goes.
YAY! new adventures! Can’t wait to read about your travels!
And we can’t wait to travel! Hehe. So, so exciting 🙂
Have fun and a safe trip!
Thank you so much! While Korea has provided us with so many wonderful and crazy adventures, its going to be nice to see some new places again. Gangwon-do still remains our favourite area of Korea…so hopefully we get a return visit sometime in the future!
Keep having fun and enjoying life. It only comes around once. Do they have ovens in Hong Kong?
Ouch too soon…haha. Nope, in fact our apartment (and kitchen) here in Korea will soon seem a luxurious, palatial mansion in comparison to what we’ll be facing in Hong Kong. We’ve become rather adept at the ol’ two burner cooking though, I must say. I even managed to do a bastardized version of stovetop cassoulet the other night. I suspect in Hong Kong though that cooking at home will be a rare thing; while here in the village its been a necessity to save ourselves from boredom of limited choice, Hong Kong is my food Heaven. The range and beauty of food there both Chinese and international is incredible and we envisage bankrupting ourselves in the process of trying as much as we can! *Evil laugh*
Hi, Hope Mum and Dad enjoy the time with you. Have fun in india. Malcolm
They have a pretty intensive schedule ahead of them…haha. It will be amazing both to spend time together, as well as to ‘show off’ Korea (cause we’re such experts now) and to explore new places. We are super excited!!! I’m sure you’ll get a full report upon their return to NZ. Will no doubt Skype with you before we head off adventuring! Love to you all. xxx
India! Singapore! Hongkong! Amazing Hongkong, how bloody wonderful will that be! Enjoy the rest of your time in Korea, it’ll be much easier now you’re on the downward run. Can’t wait for the blogs from HK – and gorgeous photos of all the food. You’ll surely get decent coffee too?
Much love, Elaine x
We’ll be quite sad to say goodbye to parts of our life here in Korea but that means its probably the best time to move on, right?! The weeks are flying by, almost too quickly as there are still many things we want to see and who knows if we’ll ever make it back to these shores again…The upcoming trip is going to be so, SO much fun though. And yes, Hong Kong should be able to provide us with a decent coffee fix. Oh, and the food there….we’ll be in heaven! xxx
Amazing adventures guys. I just found your blog, but I look forward to reading about the end of Korea, living the life, and adjusting to Hong Kong. My husband and I move around the US a lot, but we haven’t had the courage to take on a new country just yet.
Thanks for your comments! We’re definitely having a blast trying out new places – thoroughly recommend it. I imagine moving around in the US can provide its own challenges/excitement being that its such a large and diverse country. What have been your favourite places? Do you think you will adventure overseas one day?
Enjoy India! I’ve spent some time there as well. Have never been to Delhi, but enjoyed Goa. I’ll look forward to your posts about it.
We’ve been told that every part of India could almost be its own country as the regional variations are pretty massive. Its such an amazing prospect to be able to explore it over the course of 5 weeks! While Delhi (and beyond) sound amazing, the more chilled our beach vibe of Goa will be much needed by the end of our travels we suspect! Glad to hear that you enjoyed your time there 🙂
Tonnes of excitement coming right up … can’t wait! Keep rockin’ out guys!
Cheers mate! The excitement is building with every comment and every day!!!
Hey, welcome (soon) to Hong Kong guys! I live in a “village” of sorts here, but it sounds like you two plan to be in the heart of the action.
Enjoy the goodbyes in Korea and safe travels in India.
Thanks. Can’t wait to get amongst it!
Brilliant!!! I love HK and frequent the require often every year so I think there will be done boozy meeting sheafs! Love Malaysia (Penang is one of my favourite holiday memories) and Singspore, shopping haven yes please 🙂
Will look forward to tales of India and beyond and until then, Busan misses out on your fabulous energy and the rest of the world can’t wait!
Hong Kong is amazing and we’re totally looking forward to checking out Singpore, KL and India too! If you end up in HK, come eat with us!!! Oooh we’re looking forward to stocking up on all those amazing Chinese ingredients too 🙂
So glad your adventure will continue! I look forward to all your upcoming posts and traveling vicariously through you guys. 🙂
Thanks for much!!! We’re having a blast thus far and looking forward to what the upcoming months may bring…!
Sounds like there’s going to be a ton of awesome posts to come! Can’t wait to read about your adventures 😀
We’re pretty giddy with excitement!!! We’ve started counting down the days of teaching left, hehe. And with a typhoon day today, that’s one less day to teach!
Congratulations on finishing your teaching contracts in Korea! I didn’t know the hell you guys go through each day while teaching abroad. I envy you and Dan for having the fortitude and courage to leave everything behind (family and friends) and travel like that! You definitely deserve that break. Good luck in Hong Kong, if you have any questions about that city, you know how to get a hold of me : ) I’ve been going back there every year for the past 3 years and every time it was an amazing adventure! The food…oh the awesome food and culture will rock your senses for sure. Who knows maybe we will bump into each other as we plan to travel to Hong Kong/Japan/Taiwan again in 2013. Cheers!
Teaching certainly has a LOT of ups and downs, but on the whole its a fascinating experience! The break is going to be much appreciated before we start on the next (very different) stint though. Hong Kong is going to be amazing and YES, perhaps we can have a meal with you next time you’re over that way 🙂
Wowheee! What exciting months ahead! Food in Singapore…definitely an adventure. And a life in HK! Marvelous. Lookin’ forward to more of your stories.
We’re looking forward to a whole lot of eating on our adventure, followed by a fabulous year of breathing in the sights and sounds of Hong Kong. I’m sure we’ll be overwhelmed with things to report!
Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!! Say it isn’t so!
I mentioned in your newest post that I’m planning a trip to Korea soon and you know……I was kindaaaa sortaaa secretly hoping that I might even be able to meet you two in person! But alas, my trip won’t be until after you’ve left it seems. 😦
I’m kinda sad to hear that you won’t be in Korea any more – – but I’m happy to hear that you’re gonna keep up the travelling (and even happier that you’re going to keep up the blog!).
Awww… good luck!! 🙂 Safe journies. God speed!
Awww what a shame! There are a couple of fellow WordPress bloggers heading over these ways and we would have loved to have met up and shown you all our random take on Korea! We hope you can find some useful (or at least funny) stuff in our blog for your trip here.
We shall continue to unleash our brand of crazy on the upcoming countries and we’ll have loads of time in Hong Kong to show the good, the bad and the weird. If you find yourself over that way (perhaps in transit to Korea?), do pop in for a chat and some dim sum!
Sounds good~ 🙂 Safe travels. I’m looking forward to hearing about your last little bit in Korea.
Whatevs. Sounds lame. 🙂 I’m not bitter OR jealous. Not a bit.
Yeah it’ll suck. Poor us.
All I can think is: SINGAPORE CHILLI CRAB! Haha don’t forget to pack lots of Imodium for India 😉
YUM…that’s definitely on our ‘To-Eat’ list! Mmm crab…
You have great upcoming adventures!! I’m planning my trip to Seoul in November & was hoping that you recommend some reasonably priced places with great food. Thanks in advance. And welcome (real soon) to KL!! Have a great feast!!!
Hi! We only spent a few days in Seoul back when we very first arrived in Korea…but we’re headed back at the end of next week so may be able to give you some more solid ideas at that stage. The fantastic thing about Korea though is that ALL Korean food is really reasonably priced – its so easy to eat well on a budget here! The food is delicious. We have written a few blogs about eating in Korea so they may provide a good starting point for kinds of food that are delicious/special in Korea – https://waterfallsandcaribous.com/2012/09/27/the-last-suppers-the-waterfallsandcaribous-guide-to-korean-feasts-2/, https://waterfallsandcaribous.com/2012/09/18/okkudak-chicken-aka-a-place-of-wonder-and-adventure/, https://waterfallsandcaribous.com/2012/02/07/cheap-and-cheerful/
We’ll post from Seoul so will highlight any spectacular places we find, for sure. And YAY we’re so excited about KL!!!
Thanks so much! Will be looking forward to your posts!! When you are in KL, try the local food!! & I can probably help suggest you some 🙂