living in korea

My Korean Apartment

I Am Not A Tree

homesickBeing homesick sucks. Some days when I wake up in the morning, I roll over and hope to magically find myself back in my own bed. Or, as I’m shuffling through the line in the lunchroom, I take one look at the food in front of me and wish like hell that I was about to eat a hamburger. Harder yet is seeing new pictures on Facebook of friends and family from home as they continue to live their lives…without me.

I knew this feeling was coming. It was inevitable. But that hasn’t made it any easier to deal with. What has helped, though, is when I:


Harry Potter: The Boy Who Taught English in South Korea

Back when you first decided you wanted to come to South Korea, breaking the news about your teaching-aspirations to your family was very emotional.


Explore Asia this Fall with Apple Tours and Travel

Korea has some incredible places to see and explore but sometimes it's nice to get out and travel other Asian lands. While the internet has made independent travel incredibly easy (and I'll be the first to admit, I love planning my own trips), sometimes it's nice to let someone else do the planning and booking and arranging for you. But in a country where English isn't exactly widely spoken, it can be difficult to find a travel agency that can cater to your needs without a language barrier.

Fortunately enough, Apple Tours and Travel, an agency affiliated with the US military's USO, is staffed with friendly English speakers who are eager to help you with your every need. From finding the best deals on airfare to creating itineraries, they pretty much take the dirty work out of traveling. With their help, there's no need to wait in long lines for visa processing or scouring the internet for hotel reviews and rankings.

My First Korean Birthday: 3 years older, 1 year wiser (maybe)

From the boys!

From the boys!

September 18th, 2014 was the official one-month mark for me being in Korea! More importantly, though, it was my birthday!


My First Month in Photos

I read about it happening to many other people who came to teach in Korea before me, and then I succumbed to the same phenomena. Due to jetlag, a lack of internet, and just getting acclimated to my new life here, my blog has sort of fallen to the wayside. I’ve also been so busy DOING things that I haven’t had time to write about most of it! So as a peace offering, here are some pictures that best capture what I’ve been up to during my first month in Korea!


What to Expect When You’re Expecting: Living and Teaching in South Korea

IMG_0093Throughout EPIK’s 9-day orientation, whenever anyone asked a question, the response always began with “it depends.” Regardless of whether someone was inquiring about school dress code, vacation days, or living arrangements, there was never one universal answer. As frustrating and annoying as these two small words got to be, I’ve seen how they also hold the most truth—and that’s after just a few weeks of living and teaching in Korea.


Nine New Korealizations

Closing in on my third week in Korea, it’s safe to say I’ve learned an obscene amount about Korean culture, food, a little bit of the language, and a lot about teaching. Below is a list of korealizations (observations/discoveries/random things) that have struck me most about my experience so far (the key word being “my,” as what I observe/perceive may or may not be totally true of the entire country!). In no particular order:


Seoul Food Shopping

If you live in Seoul and have no time to grocery shop, Home Plus now offers virtual/mobile shopping!



Korea's Best Grocery Delivery Websites

Seoul is, without a doubt, one of the most convenient places to live in the world. It's a 24 hour city, with businesses remaining open until the wee hours of the morning. It boasts an incredibly efficient and affordable transportation system.  And you can get just about anything delivered to your house. Including groceries. Which is particularly handy when you live in the hilltops of Gyeongnidan like myself.

Below is a list of helpful websites to use when you don't feel like hauling around heavy bags of veggies or fighting ajumma in chaotic supermarkets.

iHerb.com

Although I live in Itaewon and have easy access to a number of international markets, I prefer shopping on iHerb.com for the price, selection of food and quick delivery. iHerb.com is based in America and prides itself on having the best overall value for natural products in the world. You can find just about anything on iHerb, from user-reviewed breakfast foods and baking items to vitamins and toiletries. One of my favorite brands to order is Bob's Red Mill; I'm particularly fond of their gluten-free bread mixes, steel-cut oats, and soups. I'm obsessed with their hearty Vegi Soup Mix for $5.37 USD which sells at Itaewon High Street Market for the equivalent of $10.69. And I won't even get started on the mark-up of vitamins in Korea.

Surprisingly, the shipping is crazy cheap- a flat rate of $4.00 USD for up to 15 pounds. Shipping takes about a week and despite the more complicated customs process as of late, all you need to complete your order is an ARC number (either yours or a co-signer's).

First-time users can use the code STJ541 to save up to $10.00 USD on one's first purchase. Be warned, however, that once you start using iHerb.com, you WILL become addicted.




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