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New Beginnings.

I thought about what I was going to say for weeks. Holding everything off until the last possible moment. I slowly told people, hiding my excitement and eagerness. I always get nervous telling people who are important. My anxiety levels have never changed regardless of the reassurance from people around me. I had been searching for months. Looking for something that would inspire me and make me happy.

It’s hard to make yourself happy when you’re really not happy where you are. I’m extremely happy to be home, but feeling pretty stressed out by the lack of job prospects in my city. I’m not alone in this struggle, many people my age and younger (and older) are struggling. I’ve finally found something.

Through some weird coincidence I had a job interview on my birthday. I figured I was done for the day, I wanted to show them that I was eager, and I was serious about the job. And it all panned out. I was offered a job within the week. I’m so excited to start this new job, in a new area from where I am. Though it’s not local, I am able to stay IN Canada and in the same province. I consider myself lucky.

I’m heading up north to become the ESL director for an International Summer camp. I’ll be teaching every day and I’m so excited for it! These last few months of working retail (again) have been pretty draining to be honest, and I’m really excited to get some more career experience under my belt. I’m nervous to be around bugs, and to also be given quite a bit of responsibility, but I’m looking forward to the challenge. It’ll be 6 more weeks away from my loved ones, but I’ll come out of it with some great experiences and hopefully even better stories.

Look forward to posts about camp life, some photos of the Muskoka area, and just some stories of my experiences up there. It’s been hard to write posts about everything I’ve been doing at home because it all seemed so mundane to me, after a while. I’m sure everything gets like that though, I felt like that in Korea after a few months… Going to Seomyeon every weekend, noraebang and the like. I like the comfortability of life, and I hope I get just as comfortable up north.

Sorry this one is so short, I leave on Wednesday and I’m hoping to get as much family time as possible before I head out. I’m looking forward to some nice pictures, getting a nice tan, and teaching some kids! I don’t know how reliable my wifi will be up there but I’ll try my best to get a post up at least once every two weeks, or more frequently if I can manage.

Thanks for sticking around for so long with me everyone! Looking forward to more interesting content for you, and for me… haha

 

Until next time,

B.

 

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Time flies when you’re eating everything

20151104_102526.jpgI can’t believe it has already been a month since I left Korea. It seems like just yesterday I was rushing to the airport after cramming everything in to a cardboard box and mailing the things I couldn’t get into my overweight suitcases home. It was such an overwhelming and emotional day, and I just remember chit chatting and talking with the American border guards, happy to be able to talk to everyone. It was such an exciting time. It’s been so weird coming home and expecting things to be different but things have been shockingly similar. It’s so weird being home but at the same time it’s comforting. Like putting on an old sweater that still fits perfectly but you know is past it’s prime.20151104_193207.jpg

I hopped back into the job I left last year, so in some ways it feels like the
last year of my life did not even happen. But of course it did, and I’m
reminded of Korea almost daily still. There are lots of things I don’t miss, and lots of things I do, and of course I’ve had moments of reverse culture shock, so to speak… One of the main things that sticks out is how small everything is. I was so used to the shelter provided by all the tall buildings in Korea. Everything is so small and short and spaced out here. The tall buildings at home are fewer and far between.20151105_165544.jpg I am not used to seeing the sky so clearly every day! I miss looking out at the mountains on my way to work every day, and my lovely little walk through the park. Small things like that. I miss that so much!

I love my drive to work every day, it goes by so quickly and I missed being in a car (without paying for it, haha). It’s been super convenient being at home as my boyfriend, Andrew, has got his own car since I’ve been gone! I love the little road trips we’ve been going on. It’s changed a lot of things, making me feel almost grown up completely… even if I don’t really think I should be a grown up. I still feel weird about being home sometimes because I had prepared myself for things to be different and in some respects they were, but in many they weren’t.

It was really odd for me to come home first because a: I was riding in the car with Andrew for the first time with him driving (on a highway! in his car!) and b: the place I had called home before leaving for Korea did not exist anymore. My mom moved while I was gone and I had made arrangements to live with my boyfriend. We’ve been together for a long time and it is the next logical step. Our first month of co-habitation seems to be going well. It was just weird for me to go home to a place that didn’t really feel like home yet. It took me at least two or three months for my apartment in Korea to really feel like home… this place is a little easier to adjust to but I feel like I’m missing things!  It’s gonna take a bit of time to get completely comfortable but I’m getting there.

I really miss the transit in Busan. I miss being able to hop on the subway and zone out. I did not miss the city bus here, which has increased its fare to $2.75 a ride, and always has an odd smell. The subway was quick, easy, and I usually never had to worry about small talk on my commutes. I also really miss my students a lot. I’ve been talking to a few of them on Kakao Talk but it’s not the same! I’m sad I won’t see any of them, probably ever again :(. I also miss a lot of the foods. Mostly pumpkin pajeon if I’m being honest, and also being able to get a delicious lunch for under $5.

Food here is amazing, I’ve almost made it through my entire list of wants from when I was in Korea, but it’s so expensive! I had a meal with my friends one night and I spent four times the cost of a meal in Korea. I didn’t even get any drinks with that…. I miss the low costs of Korea (food wise) but I also love being able to fold up my freshly dried clothes, sit in a huge lovely bathtub, and bake anything I want!teacher

What’s next for me though? I still don’t know. I feel like I keep repeating

that but I also have an idea of what I want. Andrew and I are at an
interesting point in our lives. We’re in between a lot of things, and I think that this could be a great opportunity for growth. I think I might be moving soon, and if I want to continue to teach or work in the ESL field, I know I have to do that. I also want to travel more! But that will have to wait until I get some more money saved, and get into a better paying job.

img_20151106_174228.jpgFor now, I’m content to hang out with some good people, eat delicious food, and spend the holidays at home. I’m so happy to be home for Christmas, and I’m loving all the holiday things everywhere. I do miss the lovely tree in Nampo though, so if you’re in Busan please go and see the lights for me! 🙂  My next post will be a well overdue travel post! Look forward to it!!

Until next time,
B.20141130_174447.jpg

 

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One Year!

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Probably one of my all time favourite photos I’ve taken in Korea.

It’s officially been one year since I arrived in Korea, one year since I made my first post detailing my lovely adventure to Korea… And in a few short days (count ’em: 9!) I’ll be making the journey back, and I’m sure that’ll be a story in itself… I just hope it goes quickly.

My time in Korea has literally FLOWN by. I don’t think I’ve ever had a year in my life go by so quickly and I’m so excited for what’s next… and to be honest I really have no idea what is. When I look back on my posts I think about how long ago everything was, but also how I can remember the details of it all. I’m thankful for my brain sometimes because I can remember the specifics of a lot of things. Sometimes it works against me of course, but when I have those vivid memories that people often forget I feel really lucky.

I really do treasure the times I’ve had here, and the people I’ve met. I have to say this was one of the best years of my life, and it was, truly! There were some dark times, some wonderful times, and plenty of in-between times. I’ve got to know a lot about a country I grew to love (and also to resent at times, to be honest) and to meet some new and wonderful people who I hope will be a part of my life for years to come.

This is just a quick post to say thank you all for sticking by me, reading my thoughts, and sharing your stories with me. I appreciate any comments I get, online or other forms (like real life, wow!). And I love sharing my stories with you. And honestly, I see blogging as something fun for me. I tell people who trash talk blogging that I do it for myself, and it’s true. I honestly write these posts as a journal that I share with whomever wants to read it. When you start blogging looking for views, or sponsorship, or trying to be an expert on something you have no idea about.. that’s what I think gives blogging and bloggers a bad name… but if that’s what makes you happy, let that flag fly.

And as long as it makes me happy, I’m going to let this blogging flag fly as high as it can…

Okay that got incredibly cheesy incredibly quick so I’m going to cut myself off. I’m off to celebrate Alice’s birthday with fireworks, lots of laughs, and hopefully some pumpkin pajeon. I hope you enjoy this impromptu anniversary weekend (yes there will be another post tomorrow!).

Until next time,
B.

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One Month Left.

wpid-img_20150923_142530.jpgI apologize for my absence, and I’m thankful for my new followers! Hello! 🙂
As of today, I have one month left at work. One month and a few days left in Busan. I’m still unclear on my leaving date as I’m trying to work out the logistics of everything. It’s so crazy to me that I’ve already been here for almost a year. The time has flown by so quickly.

I feel like the first 9 months were on fast-forward. Weekends were filled with new people, new places, new foods, it was amazing. The last two months have been equally as good but more refined. I’ve got into patterns of heading to Seomyeon most weekends to shop, making my way to Gwangan every month for the foreigner market, spending most Sundays in bed relaxing. Or throwing myself into whatever plans people had going on. It’s been wonderful and insane. That’s the best way I can think of it.

Part of me had to withdraw from seeing people after August. It had been a super social month for me, and though it waswpid-img_20150912_143518.jpg wonderful I was pretty drained. I do feel like I spent September wisely though. I finally made my way to Maitre Artisian, a beautiful French Bakery in Namcheon, I found Honey butter chips in a store for the first time since my birthday (I think the craze has died down!), went back to SOL pizza for a delightful dinner, had Gumbo House again (I need to go once more before I leave, I think!), and I even went to a zumba class! September has been pretty successful.

My last weekend in September was spent in Busan, on my Chuseok staycation. I got some errands done, had a housewarming night in, and contracted a wicked cold. It came at the best time where I could be lazy all weekend… I also did some shopping and saw a movie. All pretty mundane stuff but it was nice to have a break wpid-img_20150924_211027.jpgfrom work.

I really only have three weekends left in Busan as two are spoken for! I’ll be heading to Gangwon-do to High 1 ski resort for an alpine rollercoaster and a k-pop concert! Then I’ll be going to Osaka and Kyoto the following weekend for a last-minute trip to see the Golden temple (another thing off my bucket list!). I’m hoping to volunteer at BAPS the 18th of October, and then the following weekend, the 24th-25th, there will be the Busan Fireworks festival! The weekend after is Halloween and it might be my last weekend in Busan. I am still uncertain of when I’m going home, but it will be early November.
I don’t know what else I want to do before I go home but here’s a tentative list:

-Dr. Fish! I want to try it out and I found a place, I have to try to go!
-Gumbo House and SOL and Papa’s Tacos one last time.
Delicious dakgalbi one more time…
-Fireworks festival
-Go  to go to the Studio Ghibli architecture event at the Busan Museum of Art
-Go to Gyeonju to see Anapji pond at night. I have already been to Gyeonju but I haven’t seen Anapji at night, it looks beautiful from pictures so I want to go back!

As for this blog, well I have some thoughts and ideas for the future and I hope you’re as excited as I am!

My next couple posts will hopefully be more informative, and I hope you enjoy them!

Until next time,
B!

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On Friendship and an announcement?

Disclaimer: This is a bit different from my usual weekend fun posts, I don’t go anywhere in this, maybe just back in time and into my own brain but I do hope you’ll enjoy it nonetheless.

I watched a YouTube video the other day that stuck with me in a way I didn’t expect. I mean, I went through a phase of watching basically only YouTube videos, became obsessed with YouTubers, went to YouTube conventions, etc, so I’ve seen a few YouTube videos. But this video in particular stood out. A video from Michelle Phan, a woman who I’ve watched since before she had 100k subscribers, now one of the most famous female YouTubers out there. I had not seen a few of her videos in a while, they all got to be too much for me, too many products pushed, too much of her “sincerity” that ends up being so sweet it makes your teeth hurt. I watched this video and within the first minute she said something that made me really think… “Many people say friendship is forever, but I think friendship is fleeting.”.

Sit there and think about that for a minute. I can’t speak for everyone but the idea of “best friends forever” has been ingrained in my mind since I was 4 years old. When I thought I had my first best friend. Now our relationship wasn’t ordinary, he was the boy next door , but we spent all of our time together and I loved hanging out with him. It wasn’t until we started school that our friendship was questioned (boys and girls can’t be friends!). And then he moved away, so my best friend spot was empty. I remember feeling heartbroken for a while, I thought best friends were supposed to be forever, but they weren’t because he moved away and left me. We had our moms drive us up for visits but it wasn’t the same as banging on his door and demanding he come to the forest with me to go exploring. The nineties were a harder time for long distance relationships of any sort. I couldn’t text him, email him, message him on Facebook… We had just got our own computer and even that was a hushed affair that we snuck inside when no one was around. Our huge Packard Bell was one of the first in our little co-op.

I remember going back to school in the first grade, looking for my new best friend. I had floated around from group to group, recounting memories from recesses in kindergarten. I was a kindergarten bull. Not bully, bull. I would pretend to be a bull and run into unsuspecting boys. If you ever read this, I’m sorry Taylor. More people moved into the house of my former bestie, an older girl who my sisters befriended, and a new boy moved two doors down from them. He and I became friends, and to this day I still have him on Facebook.

In the first grade I tested a few girls as my new best friend. I remember spending days alone, trying to sort out what I really wanted. I still do that now come to think of it, but I spend less time trying to capture bees from garbage cans… I was a weird kid and, surprise, I’m a weird adult too. One day, my mom came home and gave my sister Megan and I a set of best friend necklaces each. Hers were ducks I believe, and mine were two sassy cats. One said best, the other said friend. I don’t remember where she got them but I do know Claires had a huge section of best friend key rings, necklaces, earrings, etc. They were burning a hole in my pocket the next day at school. I didn’t want to put mine on until I found my new best friend. And then I thought I found her. A girl named Kelly, whose father had a birthday the day before mine, who lived 10 minutes away (5 minutes running) from me. She wasn’t next door but she was a whole lot of fun. I remember her eyes lit up when I gave her the necklace. We wore them around, making sure everyone knew we were best friends. But then I did something I didn’t expect. I became friends with someone else, and she did too. We slowly floated apart and then one day I decided I wanted my necklace back. She was very mad at me then, even wrote an angry journal entry about it. She made sure to show me the entry from the day I gave her the necklace, something along the lines of “Today Brittany gave me a friendship necklace. I think we’ll be best friends forever.” I think it was in that moment that I realized that best friends don’t have to be forever, and they don’t even have to be the same person.

When you’re little, there’s the idea of someone being your best friend. The one you hold above everyone else. But as I grew older, the people I considered best friends were growing. I had a group of best friends. I remember being jealous when one of my best friends in grade school would get a new best friend. There would be arguments “You can have more than one best friend.” “No you can’t, there was to be one that is THE BEST.”. Those fights seemed to mean so much to me at those times. I remember being very upset when my best friend, who I gave the necklace to the second time, had found a new best friend. And I had introduced them! I felt like such an idiot. I should have kept them separate. I felt selfish and stupid, and I do still think that way sometimes even now. But ultimately, I’m thankful for anyone and everyone I’ve had a relationship. Regardless if they were the person I bulldozed into, or the person I took a friendship necklace from. People come into our lives for a reason, and they leave sometimes too. I think the sooner we realize that, the better.

Some people are lucky, they have friends that they will remain friends with for life. My mother for example, and my “aunt” Kelly. They’ve been friends since high school, and they laugh about the stupid things they did as kids all the time. They haven’t been attached at the hip all their lives but they’ve always been there for each other whenever they needed it. My oldest friend and I had a falling out in the last few years and it was for very good reasons, I think. She had a child, moved away, got married… She changed, I changed, and we accepted it. It was kind of sad for me to realize the relationship was over. I still think about the laughs we shared and smile, but I know our lives are different now. We can’t pretend we’re drunk on Chicklets gum, or play golf on a busy street… I think I’ll have friends I’ve been friends with for a long time but I don’t know if I’ll have the same best friend forever. And when I saw that video, I really thought about it. Friendship is fleeting, it can be forever, but a lot of relationships change. You change and grow as a person every single day.

I like to think I’m not the same young girl who ran into boys when they annoyed her. Though sometimes I do get the urge to… My ideas about life have changed, the people I’ve been around have changed a lot too. I find myself thinking every day about people and who I like spending time with. I think friendship, like any relationship, requires work. Living abroad and even going to University away from home, allows you to be surrounded by whole groups of new people. I’ve met some amazing people in the last 5 years of my life that I hope will be around forever. Or least a really long time, but it’s not without effort. Especially since these people are scattered around the world.

Living in Korea makes friendship sort of hard. You meet many people, from all walks of life, and you get to know them. Some people build romantic relationships, some people build lasting friendships. But they all require an effort. It’s been hard being here, developing relationships with people, because no one stays here forever. Some people stay one year, some people stay several years, but people come and go all the time. Since arriving in October, I’ve said goodbye to more people I would even like to think of. Now some people I was closer to than others, but it still sucks to not see them around all the time. One of the best things is that new people are coming all the time too. I’ve met some incredible people in the last couple months, and that just solidifies my thought that people come in and out of your life for a reason.

The friends you make abroad will stay with you your entire life, physically if you’re lucky, but emotionally for sure. No one from school will ever know this part of you completely. They won’t understand how ridiculous your craving for cheese sticks is at 3am. They won’t understand how wonderful it is to sit at a convenience store for hours with a Korean couple who just want to take you all out for dinner and then never see you again. They just won’t understand that part of you never wants to come home, but you know you have to at some point. And you won’t understand why they don’t want to hear you talk about your life outside of them. Many of your life stories will involve places they don’t know, customs they don’t get, people they’ll never meet. It’s hard to think of someone who has been in your life for so long not knowing or understanding you completely,but when you travel or leave your comfort zone, you spread parts of yourself all around the world. Wherever you go you leave parts of yourself, whether you want to or not.

There are many people who I love with my whole heart, even if they don’t realize it. Every friendship, no matter how short it was, has shaped me into the person I am today. But I think a big part of a good relationship, romantic or not, is knowing when to move on. I don’t believe in cutting anyone off, but as friendships grow and change you’ll realize you start drifting apart without even really knowing.  A person that was a huge part of your life one year may be nonexistent the next. You can think of it as sad, but I’d prefer to think back on all the good things you got out of that friendship. As you grow older, you change. It’s inevitable. You’re not the same person you were in elementary school, you’re not the same in high school, you’re not the same after. If you can accept that you’ve changed, and find people who accept that too, I think you’re lucky. People can grow together, apart, and back together. I really do think friendship is fleeting, rather than forever, at least in the physical sense. You can’t expect to stay close to people forever. It’s sad but it’s true.

When you make the effort, send a message, reach out, and get a reply, you know you have something good. I have several friends who I don’t talk to, nor do I see every day or even at all, ever, but I still love and appreciate them all.  There’s my wife who I send monthly updates to, the guy who I constantly check up on (sorry, not sorry), my love in England, my love in Wisconsin, and several friends from high school that I still regularly talk to. It’s an effort. All relationships are. Friendship can come easily but it doesn’t stay unless you’re both willing to make it. I do think, as do some of my friends, that there are varying degrees of effort though.

Some people have an advantage; they live in the same city as you, they have the same time zone or they catch you at a good time. People are busy in their everyday lives, even if it doesn’t feel that way all the time. We’ve all got our own stuff going on, and I think to keep a relationship meaningful, you need to dig deeper in conversations. It’s easy to get into a routine and continuously ask the same questions like “What’s up?” “What are you doing today?”, but there has to be more to that. I see my core group of friends here in Korea more than twice a week usually, and when the conversation seems to go in the usual direction, I try to throw them off. I tend to ask  questions that make people think and those can lead to some of the best conversations. The seemingly meaningless conversations can be just what you need sometimes though, and having people who understand that can be great. I feel like there are friends I have that I can count on for conversations that can lead to anger, tears, or just general catharsis, and friends I have where these daily conversations will be the deepest I’ll ever get with them. Some people are just more open to discussions than others and it’s not a bad thing. You just need to get all your bases covered I think, and if you can find that in one person or ten people, you’re going to be fine.

So where is this coming from, you may wonder, if you even got this far… Recently I’ve been thinking about my life here in Korea. How I feel like I’m at my best, like I am my best person here. I have met some really great people, and even though it’s really hard to be away from my family and friends, I’m enjoying exploring the country, getting to know so many new people, places, and things… It’s a lot to process and think about and I find writing to be cathartic. I always have. I’ve been thinking about staying in Korea. I haven’t told many people this because the idea is still new to me, but I had never really thought about my life beyond my first year here. I have attachments at home, people I love, people I care about… but I went to school to learn how to be an ESL teacher. I’m finally here, doing it, loving it, and I’m going home after my first year? I know I’ll be going home after my contract ends in November, but I don’t know how long I’ll be staying there.

I have four months left in my contract, and now people are asking me what is next? Am I staying? Am I going?  I’m even wondering to myself “What’s next?”. The only answer I can think of is “happiness”. I hope the happiness I’ve felt here continues for the rest of my life, or only increases.

As for now, these are my thoughts on friendship and life… I hope you enjoyed reading it. If you did, or you didn’t, I’d love to hear from you. And I’d just like to say a special thank you to the friends I shared this with before posting, your thoughts and ideas helped me greatly.

Thanks!
B

More posts like this: here here here
Michelle Phan video

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April Showers…

wpid-img_20150411_230653.jpgApril was a really fun month. It was really rainy but the beautiful days were amazing. I mean my first baseball game got rained out, and the cherry blossom festival was a bit gloomy but I did end up going to a game! The next weekend wpid-img_20150411_193430.jpgactually. On April 11th, I watched the Lotte Giants (Busan’s team) get beat by the Hanhwa Eagles (Daejon’s team). We sat in the Unreserved Seating, which was really a great view. And for $7! It was a steal. The group of us enjoyed snacks, some enjoyed beer, and we watched our team lose horribly. I also bought a set of thunder sticks, and we all wore the regulation orange plastic garbage bags that you do at Korean baseball games. Overall, it was a fun game and I enjoyed it! Afterwards, we headed out and got some dakgalbi! Which was amazing of course, the restaurant wpid-img_20150411_164557.jpgnear Yanjeong is the BEST. The following day, Megan and I made our way to Centum city. We wanted to explore the shopping area, we got food, and just had a nice chilled out day. The week at work went pretty quickly because I was so absorbed in doing the final speaking tests. So odd that I’m done 1.5/3 semesters at work!!

The following weekend was the foreigner market! Every month, since January, there’s been a foreigner market in the wpid-img_20150418_142000.jpgGwangan area of Busan. Each month has had more and more vendors, and three bars: Sharky’s, HQ, and Beached bar, are filled with vendors selling various goods. It’s a great place to get hummus, cheeses and yogurt, and other dishes that are delicious and wanted by many foreigners. It’s so nice to have an event like this and it’s really gotten popular. It also brings a lot of the foreigners out there and it’s always nice to see a friendly face. A group of us headed to Brunsweek, a restaurant in Gwangan, for brunch before the market. Gillian, Megan, Karolyne, and I enjoyed our brunch and also got a few things at the market. Following the market, we hung out on wpid-img_20150418_161054.jpgthe beach enjoying the sun and sipping some drinks. Later on, we had a delicious BBQ meal that was SO very good. We also ended up at HQ where we reunited with a big group of people as the rain started to fall outside. After an instance, I wasn’t really in the mood to be out but I was with a good group of people and we made our way to Eva’sTicket in the KSU area. It was pretty much empty when we got there and the staff was kind of rude but we had poutine, and then a group of us from Hwamyeong left. Overall it was a good Saturday night, but I could have done without some of it…wpid-img_20150419_205017.jpg

On Sunday, I had a super chilled out day with Megan. It was REALLY rainy, so we took the subway to Homeplus, got some groceries and then headed back home. We ended up going to see a movie too, Kingsman. I have already seen it but I liked it enough to see it again. It was really funny watching someone else watch it too.. haha. Overall I had a good weekend, and sometimes you just need a day to chill out.

The last weekend of April was pretty busy! A big group of us hung out at CU on wpid-img_20150425_033722.jpgFriday night, drinking and having fun. In Korea, it’s not uncommon or illegal to drink in public and one of the cheapest places to get drunk is at the convenience store. (Convenience stores, good for more than just snacks;)) There was a guitar, lots of friendly Korean guys, and just a great group of people. It made Saturday a little bit difficult for some of my friends, but we all made our way back to Sajik stadium to watch the Lotte Giants play the Samsung Lions.

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AND WE WON! It was an amazing game, I left a bit before the ending but it was a really good game. We won 12-9. It was one of the more exciting games, compared to the first one I saw. A few of us were pretty tired so we just grabbed some dinner and made our way back home on the subway. I don’t like feeling like I’m wasting a good night out but sometimes wpid-img_20150425_194908.jpgwhen you’re tired, you’re tired.

The following day I wandered around Hwamyeong with Megan, we got some birthday cake ice cream cones from McDonalds (they were amazing) and had a good snack at Hurdy Gurdywpid-img_20150426_153211.jpg. It was a beautiful day to walk around. We ended the night by watching the sunset with pizza from Gillian’s new beautiful apartment! I had crazy apartment envy now. (Gillian is one of the newest girls that has moved to Hwamyeong and she’s a lovely person!!).
The last week of work was pretty chilled out because it was the end of the semester, I was finishing up textbooks. My boss even gave us a few short days and a day off (on April 30th.) I used that day to go shopping and exploring in Haeundae, as I don’t get to make it there that often! OK BT is an awesome plus sized shop there and I got some nice black jeans from there. (I’m wearing them now!).

The first weekend of May was pretty fun and a super long weekend for me! May is shaping up to be a super exciting month. Tomorrow, May 9th, is my birthday. And I’ve got some nice plans that include going to the monthly foreigner market, going to SpaLand, and the following weekend I’m going to a festival in Seoul, and then wpid-img_20150426_180523.jpgfollowing that there’s a long weekend where I have a visitor coming from home! I’m very excited for what May has to bring, and I’m also excited to be a 24-year-old!

Now, I’m probably going to go back into my old format, since I’m a bit more caught up, and I’m going to do some more detailed posts about my favourite places in Busan, the ones that I keep returning to.. haha. Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great weekend! I know I will!

Until next time,
B.

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Six Months in Korea/ Top 6 things I love about being in Busan.

wpid-img_20150329_130726.jpgI usually try and come up with some sort of creative title but I am just so excited that I can’t possibly think of anything… Well that’s not true, I just want this to be seen as something a little bit different than what I usually write. I usually write recaps of my adventures, places I go, things I do, etc. But this is just going to be one of those posts where I just start writing and then stop when I feel satisfied. It’s going to be a mix of both of my usual posts and some of my self-reflection posts (like the one here). So as of April 20th, I have officially been out of Canada for 6 months. As of today, April 23rd, I will have been in Busan for 6 months, 6 months since I started this blog. And as of May 1st, I am into my 6th month of my contract. Now what does this mean?

Well, I’ve already halfway done the contract of a year. SO that means I have to start doing interviews for my replacement soon. Even interviewing people to replace Lee. I really want a good person to fill my shoes. My school is wonderful, and although the schedule changes often it is a great place to work. And I have to start thinking about what I am going to do when I get home… Life is going to be very different in a few months.. I just have to make the most of my time here now and also save as much as I can!

So, now, without further ado here’s my top 6 things I love about being here!

  1. The cost of living. It’s ridiculously inexpensive here. From clothing, to taxis, to meals out… I can save a lot but also buy a lot for a little bit of money. My most expensive taxi ride has been like 20,000w and that was like a half an hour ride. Meals out are filling, cheap, and I can usually get away with spending $10-$20 including drinks. $20 is an expensive meal for me here, where it’s the norm at home.
  2. Always something to do. There’s always some sort of festival going on, or a sporting event, just something. I feel like I do something fun every weekend and it’s great. I think it’s a combination of wanting to make the most of my time here and also just wanting to experience new things so I sometimes push myself to do things even if I usually wouldn’t. I do like festivals at home but I feel like I make myself do things here.
  3. My job. My job is wonderful. I have a great group of coworkers, a generous boss, a consistent work flow (2-10 or 9:40-6:40), and some good kids. Not all my kids are angels but I have a few favourites that make even the toughest classes worth it. And my boss buys us dinner weekly, so that’s nice.
  4. The Rose Park. I’ve heard this park referred to in many ways but soon enough it will be full of roses and the name will make sense. I have to walk through this park every day when going to work, Lotte Mart, the subway, whatever. I have to walk through it and I love it. In the last few weeks there were beautiful cherry blossoms and now the park is lush and full of flowers and greenery. At night there is a chorus of frogs singing to me on the way home (it’s creepy and funny, it actually scares some people). I love walking through the little park and I love on sunny days when it is full of people just enjoying the day.
  5. Bakeries/Bubble tea I love the bakeries here. I know that people often complain that you can’t get good bread in Korea but I love some of the crazy things they come up with. I will miss them when I go home.
    It was no secret that I liked bubble tea at home but coming here and being introduced to Milk tea… I can never go back now. I really love it. I put these two together because I usually get some bread at my favourite bakery and then go get a bubble tea.
  6. Jimjilbangs. I really have grown to love jimjilbangs and I will miss the lovely bathhouses when I leave. I like sitting and soaking for a few hours and then relaxing in some comfortable clothes. I like spending time there with friends and even having a cheap place to crash when I am in another part of Korea.

And so that’s it, my top 6 for now. I’m sure they’ll change when I’m done the next six months and I’m sure I’ll add more but for now! These are my 6 favourite things about being in Korea right now!

Six months down, six to go. Hard to believe that time is going SO quickly here. I have made some great memories, some even better friends and have seen some incredible things. Let’s see what the next six months has to offer.

Until next time,20141207_170714
-B.