Work in Progress

“In the best travel, disconnection is a necessity. Concentrate on where you are; do no back-home business; take no assignments; remain incommunicado; be scarce. It is a good thing that people don’t know where you are or how to find you. Keep in mind the country you are in. That’s the theory.”
–Paul Theroux

A human who loves the world, finds beauty in the unknown, and can't keep her feet on the ground. I like finding unique (and cheap) ways of making my way around the globe. Interacting with people while living, learning, and loving the culture I'm surrounded by.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

time travel

JuJeon Black Pebble Beach // Ulsan, South Korea
What is this magic? Nine months have come and gone (ten by the time I'll have this posted). Didn't I just get here? It was about this time last year that I was applying to jobs, figuring out which area I wanted to live in, what kind of experience I wanted. I was learning Hangul and familiarizing myself with the culture. Thinking back, I was so damn excited about getting here. I had this great expectation. Not of anything specific per say, but of an adventure into the unknown. So far, it has lived up to the hype. And, despite the fact that I have done so damn much, there is no way this chapter of my life is over quite yet.

Yeongnam Alps // Ulsan, South Korea

I am excited and incredibly relieved to announce that I have signed another contract with my school. My heart and soul is committed to Korea until June 2016 (at the least). I really hope the next year decides to slow down a bit. The weeks go by so fast, it makes me dizzy sometimes. I have great classes, I look forward to teaching them all - with the exception of maybe one class with a bunch of loud kids. I always have so much fun with my students, the young and old alike. Even though the little ones are more challenging, every little successful interaction we have and every time they read a word that they couldn't read the day before - I am overcome with an overwhelming sense of satisfaction and happiness. It is usually the highlight of my day. With my older students, it's less about the particulars about what they have learned and more about the conversations we have. We spend the end of class chatting, sharing funny videos, drawing pictures of each other, listening to music or talking about Korea dramas. I love these moments, the interactions with my students that are beneficial for both of us. 

My G3 girls, aren't they the cutest?!
Reservoir near my home // Ulsan, South Korea


It is finally time for me to come out of hibernation. Spring is in the air, and there are so many places I need to see. Cherry blossoms, national parks, beaches, islands, and green tea fields. Instead of being a hermit crab painting and drinking wine in my cozy little apartment - I am dedicating my weekends to exploring and discovering as much of Korea as I can. The month of May is going to be a doozy. There are various companies throughout Korea geared towards organizing trips for foreigners, which I am thankful for. It makes it easier, not that getting around Korea is difficult or anything. It's just nice being able to transfer money into an account, get on a bus, and have everything else organized. I have ziplining, hiking, caving, rafting, fishing, camping, and SO MUCH MORE on the agenda. Paired with three long weekends, May is going to be incredible. INCREDIBLE.

I've finally made the 20 minute trek to JuJeon Pebble Beach. It's been on my list for a while. Can't believe this place is so close and I am just now discovering it. We took our music and makgeolli and found a comfortable rock to sit on while we enjoyed the incredible weather and even more incredible view. We walked along the beach where ajummas were drying out seaweed on giant racks and loads of Korean families were taking advantage of the weather - camping out and eating (what they do best). I seriously love being so close to the sea. It's so easy for me to make it to the beach before or after work. It's like, free therapy. If I every need to clear my mind or slow down - the beach and waves and sand is always waiting for me. I love bring my journal, kindle, and crystals out with me to post up on one of the life guard stands with a coffee and snack. It is something that will be missed when the time comes to move on. 

In my free time I've been a busy little bee. Between hanging out with some really cool kids, working in the evenings, and trying to enjoy this season as much as possible, I haven't been seeing much of my apartment. When I am home, I've been trying to cook and juice and bake and lift weights (the key-word here is "trying"). My freezer is currently filled with some gluten-free strawberry muffins and banana bread, breakfast burritos, pizza dough, and mini quiches. There are a few things on the agenda for this weekend, which is going to consist of spring cleaning and organizing. I am hoping to get some beach and friend time in as well, since the weather report seems quite promising. Soon, I will be moving into the apartment next door to mine, which has more windows but a little less kitchen space. I am excited for the change, REALLY excited for some natural light.

Daewangam Park // Ulsan, South Korea
I am lucky enough to have a little extra time off this summer, which I will utilize to visit Vegas. VISIT. It's going to be surreal, just stopping by. Saying hello and goodbye in the matter of ten days. It's going to be bittersweet - but I am freaking thrilled to see everyone, and my dogs. There are so many things I want to do and people I want to see, I get a little overwhelmed thinking about it. Between my family and my friends and the cheese section at whole foods, my time is going to be tight. I want to rock climb at Red Rock and go grocery shopping. Visit my family in Utah and eat Mexican food every day. I want to be lazy with my friends and cuddle with my dogs.

Daewangam Park // Ulsan, South Korea
The Hood // Ulsan, South Korea

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