What a whirlwind couple of weeks we’ve had! I was so fortunate to have my mom come visit us here in Hanoi. It was her first time in Asia and we absolutely loved showing her Vietnam. We took some time off work and managed to visit Hoi An and Halong Bay with her. I’ll be writing about our time in both of those places hopefully sooner rather than later.
Other than that, we’ve also started looking for a new apartment. We love our current apartment but we’ve found that we aren’t saving as much as we were hoping to. We’ve been looking at places that are about $400 cheaper than our current place and are still really beautiful! Just the other day we looked at a one bedroom apartment in an old French building with a balcony looking right over the lake. We are going to look at some more tomorrow and are definitely excited to find our new place!
I’ve also been researching Masters programs and I think I’ve found the program that I want, the best part is that it offers a chance to get a teaching license after the completing the Masters program.
We found a swimming pool with a view near our apartment so I have a feeling that we’ll be spending a lot of time there as the weather gets hotter.
Willy had to have a minor surgery recently. He’s had a cyst for over a year that we had gotten checked before but while my mom was visiting it grew huge in a few days so we had to get it removed. But he did great and is back to his normal self again.
Work has been going good…busy but good. I’ve been learning so much in my role as a senior teacher. In the five months that I’ve been senior teacher I’ve had a chance to train new teachers, observe current teachers, write blog posts for the company website and create and deliver an academic workshop. I’m hopeful that I’ll continue learning even more as time goes on.
That’s about it for now, but I’m really hoping to get better at writing more frequently in the future!
I have been a terrible blogger! I can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve posted a blog entry.
Life has been very up and down here for me so I’ve just been really focusing on trying to get settled, getting outside and into the mountains and reading more.
I also started my job, which has been exhausting! Running around after 3 year olds all day can be tough and I find that I’m exhausted in the evenings!
My state of mind has definitely been up and down a lot here in Denver. I have been having a hard time accepting that things definitely aren’t going the way we had hoped and then continuing to hope that it will get better.
We are both trying to figure out what career choices are the best for us, I think this current job that I have has helped me realize that I definitely don’t want to be teaching young children long term. The dream of getting a job in marketing is still there and it’s stronger than ever now, so fingers crossed that something will happen for me!
But every time that I’m feeling low or lost (which was happening quite frequently) I try to get lost in the beautiful outdoors of Colorado and remember why we moved here (which works…EVERY TIME!).
I can’t believe that after all of the dreaming, planning and worrying we are finally here!
We have been here for a couple of weeks now and so far so good. We love our apartment and the area seems pretty safe. We are only a 20 minute walk from the beautiful Sloan’s Lake which is amazing!
The city itself is only a 15 minute drive away and the mountains are to the west of us and not too far away either. We have been busy trying to meet new people and get ourselves established in this city.
It’s so much harder moving to a western city than it was moving to Korea. You are so obviously different in Korea that it’s easy to meet other foreigners and people are willing to go out of their way to make you feel more comfortable in their country. Here, we are just like everyone else.
It also seems like people don’t really say hi to each other here in our apartment complex, I guess it’s big city syndrome but myself and Jason are both making sure to say hi to everyone (although we have gotten a few surprised glances).
We are still job hunting. I’m quickly realizing that when it comes to job hunting, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know and unfortunately we don’t know anyone here.
We’ve joined a website called meetup.com that has been a bit of a life-saver for us. It allows you to join different types of meet up groups (there’s a group for everything!). We’ve been to a couple of them, one was a dog walk in a city park and the second was at a dog friendly brewery in the city. It was definitely nice to meet some new people and make some contacts as well as seeing new places in the city. We have a few more coming up this week.
We also joined a website for expats and went to a meet up with them. It was so much fun and we met a girl that had also taught in Korea and a guy that had taught in Japan so we immediately hit it off with them.
I’m excited for what these next few months will bring (I’m really hoping, they’ll bring us both jobs!!).
I haven’t been blogging much recently, the time for packing/selling and getting rid of all of our belongings has come so we have been really busy with the apartment recently. I also haven’t been taking many adventures recently either, it has become very hot and humid here in Korea so I fear that the days of being able to camp enjoyably are over for now. I only realized this yesterday when at midnight, I was woken up sweating to find that our fan wasn’t working. We quickly realized that all of our power was out. Looking out the window I see people everywhere below us with torches, there were also fire brigades and ambulances. Apparently someone crashed in to our complexes power supply and it shut off the power in the entire complex! That’s thousands of people without electricity right there!
We had an awful sleep because our apartment felt like a sauna. Things got worse the next day when with the power still off, the water was shut off too! It meant we couldn’t even have a cold shower to cool off. The government had sent out text messages that day too warning people about the heat! We could’t believe that we didn’t have any a/c or fans on the hottest day of the year. Both myself and Jason spent the day realizing how lucky we are that we do have a plentiful supply to water and electricity usually…something many people in the world don’t have. Our power came back on last night and we are all very happy!
We have also just started pet-sitting our friends dog Mio. She is such a beautiful well-behaved dog who actually manages to keep Willy calm too so we love having her around!
Other than that, the school semester is officially finished. I have a 3 day camp in both of my schools, one finishes tomorrow and the other one is on in a couple of weeks, luckily both camps have the same theme. I usually do elaborate camp themes (past ones include Harry Potter and Pirates) but this year my co-teacher and I decided to do a storybook theme camp combined with lots of reviewing of what they learned in the first semester. So far it’s been going well and the students seem to like the activities and games that I’ve prepared… to review the lesson “Please, Help Yourself” we will be making waffles tomorrow which we are all excited about!
The kids had to finish the story in one of our storybooks.
Once camps are finished, I’ll only have 4 more days left in school, it’s crazy how fast it’s all going by! My final visa interview is on Monday, I have been a bag of nerves lately with the fear that I will forget to bring a document or that I’ve completed a document wrong. So fingers crossed that it will all work out!
The realization that I’m moving to America is also hitting me, I am feeling so scared and nervous! But i guess that’s completely normal!
I can’t wait to share my camp details with all of you and hopefully start going on a few more adventures now that we are on our school holidays!
I realise that I haven’t written an update in quite a while and since there has been quite a bit going on here in Korea I though now would be the perfect time.
Well, I guess the first thing that I should talk about is the big thing that has been dominating the media, my conversations and in some ways, my life, it is of course MERS. People are pretty scared here in Korea. Whether it’s necessary or not, I’ll let you be the judge, but the hysteria and panic is full blown.
MERS cases have been mainly found up in Seoul and the northern regions but over the last week a case has been found in Busan (the city next to us) and I’m constantly hearing rumours of it being in Gimhae. In fact, hospitals here in Gimhae have had to send out text messages to let people know that the rumours of MERS being in their hospitals are false and if you are caught spreading the rumours then you will be arrested. Pretty crazy stuff!
School has been running as usual here, except that my 6th graders 3 day school trip to Seoul was cancelled and our regional English Speaking Contest has been postponed. We have no idea when the contest will be held again (presumably after vacation, which means that I won’t be here) But some schools are continuing on with the prep.
I have a medical check for my American visa next week in one of the biggest hospitals in Busan, I’m hoping that there won’t be any new cases down here as I don’t want anything to affect our departure in September! I have even bought myself a face mask (something I always promised myself that I wouldn’t do!)
Enough about that, what else has been going on? Well last weekend I got to host Holly from Adventures With Holly. It was my first time meeting a blogger that I have been following and it was great to get to hang out with her. She is in the middle of a cycling tour through Korea and Japan which was pretty cool to hear all about.
Myself and my friends have finally booked a Temple Stay at Beomosa temple in Busan for next month. It’s been something that I’ve wanted to do for the longest time and is on my bucket list so I’m pretty excited about that (hopefully MERS won’t ruin it for us). I don’t have a lot more planned for this month but I definitely do want to take some last minute road trips or weekends away so keep tuned for that 🙂
What adventures have you been up to? I’d love to hear about them!
The cherry blossoms have arrived which can only mean one thing…IT’S SPRING!
These past few weeks were busy ones for me. Last Wednesday was Jasons birthday so I’ve been trying to plan the best 30th birthday for him. We celebrated it this past Saturday and luckily he had a great day!
I organised a scavenger hunt for him. I’ve realized that once we leave Korea in August we’ll never be able to return to all of our “first” places. So his scavenger hunt led him to our first hike, the first place we kissed, we said I love you, our first date, where we met and finally to where he proposed (which is our apartment) where we had a small party with lots of food and drink.
I gave him his first clue of the day and sent him off in a taxi by himself. I could tell that he was a little worried that he would be spending his birthday just walking around by himself. But I had planned on having one of our friends meet him at each place and the day went perfectly! He told me that it was his best adult birthday which was so nice to hear.
Yesterday myself, Jason and Willy took a walk around our neighborhood to take in the cherry blossoms. It’s crazy because they only last a week or two before they are all blown away so we feel like we need to appreciate them every chance that we get!
We have also been taking some time out over the weekends to relax and enjoy the beautiful weather.
Tomorrow we’ll be going to Jinhae where the biggest cherry blossom festival in Korea is held. The festival doesn’t begin until Wednesday but with our busy schedules and rain forecasted this Friday we decided to go tomorrow before the rain blows them away.
I have been researching other festivals that are coming up in Korea over the next couple of months and we are hoping to make it to a few of them. I really love this time of year!
We also bought a new tent and are excited for that to arrive and for us to take some camping trips again soon.
We have a short trip to Seoul planned this Sunday and Monday as we have our first appointment with the American embassy for my Green Card application. I’m so excited/nervous about this next step that we are taking.
So there are plenty of fun stuff coming up this Spring that I’m excited to share with you.
Right now myself and Jason are in Singapore spending some time with my niece Sarah. We are absolutely loving it here and can’t stop eating all of the delicious foods!
Tomorrow we’ll officially be starting our (belated) honeymoon and fly to Bali for a couple of weeks so there probably won’t be many posts or updates. I’m taking tons of photos to share with all of you though.