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…