People have been asking me for weeks, “When exactly are you moving?” And I laugh and say, “Oh, I don’t know. We’re still waiting on [insert the item of the week here].”
It’s been really hard to mentally prepare ourselves to leave Korea. We know we are leaving, yet none of it has seemed real. Today we had our first glimpse at reality when we got word that we are definitely leaving Korea on June 4th… next week. With only 5 days to spare, our tickets have now been booked. Continue reading →
Only a couple of scenic hours by bus from Seoul is the east coast town of Sokcho. Most famous as the gateway to the phenomenal Seoraksan National Park, Sokcho actually has lot more to offer to the discerning traveller with a little bit of time on their hands.
Four years ago I followed my dreams all the way to South Korea and this beautiful country has changed me more than I could have ever imagined. It’s hard to remember the person that I was so many years ago, but I can say with all certainty that I am nothing like her anymore. Sure, my core values are the same, but my mind is broader, my outlook is brighter and my heart is full beyond belief.
I’ve known we are leaving Korea for a while now. Dave’s role on his project is coming to an end and he was put on the “must move” list a few months ago, which means that our time on this project is up. Until recently we had no idea where we will be moving so it was easy to hide behind ignorance and stay in denial.
After weeks of agonizing waiting, Dave got his job placement email. His next job is taking us to Texas — we are moving to Houston at the end of May. For me, that means that my life outside of Texas is coming to an end.
Houston is new and exciting… and scary. Even though I am from Texas, it’s a huge state and I have honestly only visited Houston once. And that was to visit Dave when he was on a business trip!
While I can’t wait to get back to “normal” life, I know it’s going to be excruciatingly hard to leave Korea. It’s hard to cope with the reality that I am leaving and I don’t know when, or if ever, I will be back. It hasn’t set in yet, but I know it eventually will.
For now, I’ll continue to fantasize about trips to the grocery store, owning our own furniture and being just a few short hours away from my family and friends. “Future Meagan” will have to figure out a way to say goodbye to a country she adores and to some of the best people she’s ever met. I do not envy her.
Three and a half years ago I was obsessed with Pinterest (who hasn’t been at some point, right?!) and spent hours searching for things to add to my Korea Bucket List pinterest board. One day I found a pin about rail biking in Korea and immediately my heart was set on doing it. Unfortunately, the southeast corner of Korea where I live doesn’t have a single place to rail bike so it took me a very long time before I could make my dream a reality.
A few months ago we discovered we had booked a hotel close to a rail bike after doing a facebook check-in and seeing 레일바이크 (Korean for rail bike) in the list of choices. We went and I have to say that rail biking was just as fun as I had imagined… I loved it! As soon as I posted a photo of my experience on my blog’s facebook page, I immediately had people wanting to know how they could rail bike too. Continue reading →
Getting engaged is a pretty big deal and hopefully it’s something I will only experience once in my lifetime. It was really important to me to tell as many of the extra special people in my life in person, which is why I went through great lengths to keep my engagement private. Until now. Dave and I met in Korea a few years ago and I’ve known he’s the man for me since the beginning of our relationship. Besides being an exceptional human and treating me amazingly, he puts up with me and actually finds my quirks (putting it kindly) charming. We have a pretty dreamy life together. I’ve actually known a marriage proposal was coming. You see, buying an engagement ring in South Korea isn’t an easy task so I knew that Dave was buying a ring when he went on his business trip to Texas in October. Dave had also already spilled the beans that the proposal would be in 2014 so my mind was working overtime to try to figure out the when, where and how. Fortunately, Dave was feeding me all sorts of false information to throw me off the scent. Continue reading →
Tomorrow I’m making the long journey home to Texas for a two month long visit. I am so incredibly excited to see my friends and family. I am very lucky in that I get to travel home pretty frequently compared to most (about every 8-9 months), but it’s still hard to be away from “home” and the people I love for such long periods of time. Living abroad definitely takes its toll on a person.
This year I get to spend Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years with my family, spend a long weekend in NYC with my best friend, see Justin Timberlake in concert and celebrate my Dad’s 60th birthday with him. Pretty amazing, right?
As well as missing people (who are definitely my top priority), I also miss other comforts of home… FOOD! Korean food is excellent and I have been making sure to fill up on it before my long trip home, but the food in Texas is hard to beat. Here are the top 5 things I’m looking forward to eating when I’m home.
Seoul. One of the largest cities in the world. It is easy to become lost in such a sprawling metropolis. With seemingly endless things to do and see, it’s hard to know where to start. Simply searching through top 10 lists will bring you the usual tourist stuff: Namsan Tower, Namdaemun Market, and so on. If, however, you are looking for something unique or off the beaten path, you’ve come to the right place. We have compiled a list of places that are sure to make your trip to Seoul memorable. We also know that everyone likes to travel differently so we tried to cover all the necessary bases!
We recently went on a major road trip on a mission to visit Nami Island, which is in the far northern part of Korea and very far from Ulsan. The night before leaving we booked the Benikea Hotel (short for Best Night in Korea) in Wonju. Because we waited until the last minute, we had to book a “luxury” room for 10,000 won (about $10) more. When we got up to the rooms, we both had a laugh because the room looked like someone from our grandmothers’ generations could have been the decorator. Most hotels in Korea go for the ultra modern look, but this one had a giant vintage sofa, antique wooden furniture and to top it all off, there was a full desktop computer set up in the room. If I didn’t already know that Korea has the fastest internet in the world, I would have expected to hear the shrill sound of a dial-up modem when trying to connect to the internet. Continue reading →
Jeju Island is said to be the paradise of Korea, and the number of tourists that flock here only supports that sentiment. Seogwipo-si sits on the southside of the island, less than an hour’s drive from the main city of Jeju-si. It has a small town feel with the amenities of a larger city, making it an awesome place with something for everyone. Although there are plenty of museums and indoor attractions in the area to keep anyone entertained, the best spots to visit are definitely the natural wonders. Below is a guide to the best outdoor spots to hit when visiting the south side of Jeju-do.
We travel around Korea. A lot. If I had it my way, we would go on road trips every single weekend. That’s easy for me to say because I don’t work or drive so by the weekend I am beyond anxious to get out of Ulsan and my little expat bubble. Dave is really understanding and even though he is completely exhausted by the weekend, he lets me drag him all over this amazing country. (To be honest, I think he probably prefers it to when we stay home on the weekends because then I usually get the organization bug and he still gets put to work!)
One of the big reasons why I blog is to inspire people to travel around Korea because it’s a truly beautiful country. Most of us are here for anywhere between one to three years and I can honestly say that it’s just not enough time to see all that Korea has to offer. Since we started traveling so frequently, I get asked one question repeatedly: “How do you find all of these places?!” The answer is kind of complicated. There isn’t one magical source of information. My blog will continue to be a great place to get travel ideas, but here are few of my main resources when planning adventures around South Korea: Continue reading →