The Tourism Paparazzi

The tourism industry in Korea is on point.  With hundreds of festivals, social media groups, and weekly events and programs, it’s so easy to find things to do in the city of Seoul and other areas of the country.  A lot of trips and programs are specifically geared towards foreigners, and this last weekend was no exception.

Jolly Times in Jeollanam-Do

Over Korean’s Memorial Day weekend I traveled to the southern province of Jeollanam-do, South Korea.  Since the holiday fell on a Friday this year, I was gifted with a rare three-day weekend.  I traveled through a tour company with about 50 other foreigners.  With the amount of things packed into the trip, three days felt like a week!

Job Description: True Korean "Ajumma"

General Description A true Korean ajumma goes beyond the literal translation of “aunt” and delves further into the stereotype of creating a third Korean gender: man, woman, ajumma.  She, the candidate, will possess a broad knowledge of traditional Korean recipes and mothering, as well as grandmothering and possibly great-grandmothering depending on experience.  If successful, candidates will contribute greatly to the ajumma cliche providing irritable customer service while somehow maintaining the public’s respect.

A Fortress Guarding Beef Ribs

Although Korea is a small country and you can find the same cuisine across the nation, each province or city prides itself on one specific dish.  In the case of Suwon, South Korea its famous meal is sogalbi (beef ribs).  I traveled 30 minutes outside of Seoul with Korean friend, Mrs. Hoa, to meet her former professor, Mr. Cho, now a dear friend, in Suwon, who wasted no time in taking us to the most famous restaurant in the city.

Olango, Philippines: "The Most Beautiful Place in the World"

During my winter break in February, and after a visit from my lovely parents, I took a few of my leftover vacation days to make a quick trip to the Philippines.  That sentence in itself is already awesome, no?  “A quick trip to the Philippines?  Sure, I can do that.”  Security at Cebu’s airport.   The Philippines are composed of 7,000 islands, so planning my trip was no easy feat.  It was hard to get started.  After careful research, and a lot of blog-reading, I chose a tiny “resort” on the lesser-known… Read More

Welcome to Korea, Mom and Dad!

Mom and Dad on the plane. As an expat living in a country as different and far from my home as Korea is, nothing is more comforting than having visitors.  Especially when those visitors are your one and only parents!  My adventurous side doesn’t come from nowhere, so I couldn’t wait to introduce my mom and dad to Korean life.  Taking after my organized mother, I did a ton of research and composed a very detailed itinerary for their 11 days with me in February.  I had planned a lot of sightseeing… Read More

Korean "Luck Pockets"

A museum’s hanbok cultural program. Traditional Korean clothing, known as hanbok, is vibrant and elegant.  While old-fashioned it is still sold in various markets (at a hefty price), custom tailored, and worn at special events and holidays.  Even in the modern day and in my short time in Korea, I’ve seen hanbok numerous times, in shop windows, during traditional performances, or just on the street around a national holiday.  Many palaces and museums offer cultural programs that allow visitors a chance to don the beautiful clothing and parade around the grounds as royalty.  Hanbok is a… Read More

How to Catch a Fish Dinner in Eight Simple Steps


Korean Staff Dinner Wins in Overtime

My school’s principal is a social man who loves his Korean alcohol.  Scheduled about once a month, staff dinners are a morale and team spirit booster.  To celebrate the start of the new semester, I traveled with my new colleagues to the coastal city of Incheon, about an hour west of Seoul.  In rare form, this dinner included an overnight in a pension on the beach.  This dinner was not for the faint of heart.  Looking back on it, I feel like I participated in a sporting event, some of the games… Read More

Christmas in Korea, Featuring Germany and Belgium

With this being my first Christmas away from home, and in a country so far away, I’ve been feeling a surplus of Christmas spirit with very little outlet.  So I decided to bring an American Christmas to Korea.  I wanted to gift my Korean co-workers and friends with something “über” traditional to my home country.  I had no idea how ironic my use of the German word “über” would be…My first thought: candy canes!  What is more iconic to the jolly holiday than those adorable peppermint sticks.  My goal was to find them… Read More