A lovely Korean coworker created this video when I left South Korea in 2014.
I have vowed to start blogging again because…
This should come as no surprise to anyone: I am putting my things in storage and traveling again. I bought a one-way ticket to Cartagena, Colombia. (Curious about the cost? A one-way from Denver to Cartagena: $156.39 USD.)
The plan in Colombia: to live abroad while working my job remotely. I have been with Pro R.E.A. Staffing for a year and have been working remotely the entire time (moved from Georgetown, Texas to Crested Butte, Colorado to Denver – all while working my same job). Now, Colorado to Colombia.
So, thank you, Rikus.
My friend Rikus is right. I have been living in Colorado since Thanksgiving, yet have not posted anything about all the beautiful hikes I have been on or the wonderful people I have met. Those posts to come…
Honestly, I have a love-hate relationship with blogging. I love it when someone says they read a post or found a post about Korea helpful. I spent years thinking only my mom and grandma read it. “Hi mom!” Yet, I hate how much time I spend thinking about how to make a post perfect, yet each post fails my expectations and standards for myself. More on being a type-A perfectionist later, too...
- visit 30 countries by 30
- visit 100 countries before I turn 65
- visit every continent before my 50th birthday.
- visit six continents before my 30th birthday; I’ve visited five already.
Here are the countries I have visited – in order.
- U.S.A. – 1990
- Ireland – 2009
- The Vatican
- New Zealand
- Peru – 2011
- Poland – 2012
- Czech Republic
- South Korea – 2013
- Cambodia – April 2014
- Japan – October 2014
- China (Shanghai) – October 2014
- Thailand – November 2014
- Myanmar – December 2014
- Mexico – July 2015
- Canada – July 2016
Earlier this year, I worked in my company’s publishing department editing a Korean history book. While a lot of the information blended together because of the extensive detail and use of Korean names, I did learn a little about the Silla Kingdom and its grand history. Among many things, Silla is credited for creating the first unified Korea by conquering the two kingdoms of Baekje (백제) and Goguryeo (고구려). The Silla, an ancient kingdom of Korea, once called the city of Gyeongju its capital, which is partly the reason I wanted to visit.
Outside the Gyeongju Express Bus Terminal, Chris and I rented a scooter for 25,000 won for three hours. After we picked up a handy map of Gyeongju in English from the tourist center outside the bus terminal, we hopped on our scooter and hit the road.
Not too long later, we arrived at our destination: a famous temple. Bulguksa (불국사) is the main site to see in Gyeongju. The temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the biggest temples in Korea. The structure standing today has gone through dozens of renovations, but it was incredible to think that Koreans were on this sacred land more than 1,400 years ago building this very temple.
We skipped seeing the Seokguram Grotto (석굴암) because the weather started to turn on us (check out my sweet rain poncho!). We hopped back on the scooter and headed out to see a sex museum; however, the steep admission of 10,000 won each scared us away.
On our ride back to the bus terminal, I spotted a line of luxury cars parked casually in a coffee shop’s parking lot. We stopped to take a peak (and a handful of photos). To no surprise, we weren’t the only ones enjoying the view.
Getting to Gyeongju: I took a 50-minute bus ride from Dongdaegu bus terminal. The cost is no more than 4,300 won ($5) each way.
My last day of teaching was bittersweet. I was excited for S.E. Asia trip coming up, but sad to leave my students, knowing that I’d likely never see them again.
One student, Chan Ho, was getting so excited to tell me something that he began to stutter. He couldn’t think of the English. Then finally he stops and says in a very serious tone, “Sarah Teacher, you are the Best English Teacher.” he pauses for dramatic effect, “Of..My…Life.” “Thank you, Chan Ho.”
I highly recommend staying at the Mercure Seoul Ambassador in Gangnam Sodowe. Chris and I celebrated his promotion with a night here and drinks in their rooftop bar.
642 – Teheran-ro 25-gil – Gangnam-gu
135-910 SEOUL – 대한민국
Tel : (+82)2/20506000 – Fax : (+82)2/20506053
Mail : email@example.com
A Seoul must-stop: Vatos Urban Tacos.
The atmosphere is vibrant and the place is always buzzing with Koreans and foreigners. The margaritas are big in size while the tacos are big in flavor. My personal favorite are the Kimchi Fries.
Smothered in braised pork carnitas, killer kimchi, cheese, cilantro and onion and sour cream, doused in their own hot sauce, the Kimchi fries are mouth-watering good.
Whether you’re there to chow down on some gourmet tacos, topped with spicy chipotle and seasoned goodness, or just there to drink, Vatos Tacos is the place to be.
A few years back, I visited the world’s largest ball of twine. It was as anti-climatic as you would imagine. It was on my bucket list to be a tourist in my own home state of Kansas.
In October 2013, I moved to Daegu, South Korea and started what would be a yearlong journey of teaching English Monday through Friday and traveling every weekend. I met a man in May and quickly fell in love as we explored Korea together. When my contract ended in October 2014, I set out alone for two months traveling through four S.E. Asian countries.
Once I returned to the U.S., I embarked on a two-week road trip through America with Chris, the man I fell for in South Korea. Now, I am packing up my belongings at my parent’s house in Kansas and preparing to move to Georgetown, Texas, a town outside of Austin.