Category Archives: South Korea

Learning Korean culture through hiking.

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Remember how I told you guys we loved to hike?

That’s pretty much an understatement.

This past weekend we found ourselves back in the mountains after taking a two week hiatus while Tom nursed a sprained ankle from playing volleyball.  I probably said (at least five times) ” I am so happy right now.” It had been two weeks of not hiking and while I had really enjoyed two weekends in our lovely little city of Yeosu I was itching to get back to what we love to do- hike.

7 peaks later and at our 7th National park we found ourselves loving the beautiful fall colors. We started at 10 am and finished around 4pm allowing plenty of time for us to be in nature together, climbing mountain peak after mountain peak, and time to just- think. It dawned on me near the end of the hike that (almost) everything I know about Korea I learned from hiking. I mean we have spent hours in the mountains so perhaps I am bias. Everything from food, culture, terrain, and just life in Korea I have learnt from days we have spent in the mountains. Let me break it down a bit easier for ya. I added in pictures from our weekend hike in Naejangsan National Park.

Korean Kindness-

Our first hike in Korea and not knowing a thing about how long it would take, what to pack, how much we would wanna eat, etc. We set out to find ourselves just a bit exhausted and extremely under packed when it came to food. There have been countless times we have been offered food, drink, or even just company, and it helps refuel us through the remainder of our hikes. Which brings me to my next point…Korean community.

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Community in Korea-

Ah! Where to begin. Koreans love family. They love community. They love togetherness. To be quite frank- I love it too. We love that they sit together in circles sharing food, drink, and laughter. We have seen people dancing, eating, laughing, and relaxing together at the top of the mountains. We have been invited to join the fun and we have sat next to groups admiring the fun. The community reflects back to what I have seen while I have been teaching as well. The students try to share treats, they share picnic lunches, and their class becomes a family. It’s all about community in Korea…and I love that.

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Korea is stunningly beautiful. 

Whoa. We have sat at the top of mountain peaks overlooking beautiful fall colored valleys. We have spotted cities from afar. Seen the sea that looks royal blue for as far as the world goes. Islands littering the backdrop of what looks like a painting. Gosh, the list just goes on: rivers winding through the base of a mountain, waterfalls, people on other peaks, mountain ridges giving you 360 degree views of just plain gorgeous. We’ve seen the seasons change from spring, to summer, to autumn , and have learned that each season brings a new look at beauty as we discover it through hiking. We have learned about the land from hiking Korea and we understand how to adapt for hiking as the weather has changed.

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Koreans are committed!

The majority of people we see hiking typically consist of an older population. They don’t give up and they are pretty tough. I love passing climbers on the way up or down and hearing them shout excitedly after I greet them politely in Korean. Korean’s are the hardest working people that I have met, but they sure do know how to celebrate when they get to the top of a peak. Photos, food, and soju (traditional Korean drink) galore. If they are into hiking they are committed right down to their matching outfits and ridiculously expensive hiking gear/outfits. They work hard and they play hard. They are committed to finish what they start and will encourage you along the way with their greetings in Korean. I love when they shout “ASA” (sorta like: “get it!!!!”) and “FIGHTING” ( sorta like: “don’t give up!!!” which sounds like “Pi-ting”)

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Tom atop a busy mountain peak in Naejangsan National Park!

Food

Tom and I usually pack nuts, trail mix, ham sandwiches, granola, fruit, and lots of water for our hiking treks. Koreans pack full on meals when hiking. I have even seen them pack hot water in a canvas and concoct up some delicious noodles at the top of a mountain. I never underestimate what they will pack when it comes to food. I’ve seen noodles, Kimbap (Korea’s version of sushi rolls) plenty of soju, and entire ensembles of pots/pans and a full on meal. We have learned that Koreans love to eat (don’t ask me how they all stay so thin) and they love to go all out with their meals- even at the top of a mountain.

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We had an absolute blast hiking this past weekend and I love being able to document our life here on the blog! Here are a few more of my favorites:

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This guy and the beautiful Korean fall. I am one lucky lady.

This guy and the beautiful Korean fall. I am one lucky lady.

Exhausted and full of sweat.  Pure bliss on one of the peaks.

Exhausted and full of sweat. Pure bliss on one of the peaks.

Almost done!!

Almost done!!

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Every good hike must come to an end… finishing at Naejangsa temple.

Gaedo (Gae Island)

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It’s already been over a month since we took the trek to Gaedo on September 28th!

We are loving living just a quick boat ride away from so many gorgeous islands. Yeosu, our home city, is full of islands to visit just a hop skip, and a jump away. If we haven’t been hiking/camping we have been exploring islands. Gaedo marks our 8th island we have visited since moving to South Korea in April.

It rained most of our day trip to Gaedo, but we didn’t let it rain on our parade.

It was the island of cows. Seriously though. It was.  We trekked through trails overgrown fields up and around three hill climbs. The views of the sea littered with even more islands was completely stunning, but the cows were everywhere. I felt like we were back in Wisconsin. Lisa and I wouldn’t make eye contact with the cows as we passed them.  Just kept our eyes on the prize of the trail lost somewhere under the tall weeds. I am pretty sure these massive creatures of muscle were tied to the ground by a rope…although I am not entirely sure. What’s to say with a pull of their massive tree trunk legs they couldn’t snap the rope and charge at us? Tom trekked through ahead not even phased by the bulls who kept letting out what sounded like a cry-for-help-kinda-moo. Here are some of my favorite pictures from the day we spent on Gaedo. A beautiful little, quaint, and quiet island somewhere in the Sea off of Yeosu, South Korea. Tom has documented the trip extensively here for those who may want to venture there yourself. It’s spectacular. You should.

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Our trail.

A trail that once was.

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We made it through the cow invested field.

We made it through the cow infested field.

Lisa in the weeds.

Lisa in the weeds.

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Snuck in a picture with this guy. ;P

Snuck in a picture with this guy. ;P

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Back on flat ground

Back on flat ground

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Linking up with Bonnie @ A Compass Rose

10 Stunningly Beautiful Korean Hikes

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Tom and I hike A LOT. Many weekends in Korea have been spent hiking and we can’t think of a better way to see Korea then when you hike. We absolutely have grown to love it since moving to Korea seven months ago. I have mentioned a few of the hikes we have done. Like Wolchusan and the Bijindo Island hike, but for the most part I’ve left it up to my husband Tom to do most of the hiking documentation in his sweet blog. We have now accomplished six of Korea’s National Parks, and countless more smaller ones in our area. Inspired by our incredible friends, Tom and I hope to make it to all 16 National Parks in Korea. Right now, we usually pick a “loop” route (if the park has it) and we always make sure to summit the highest few peaks in each park. Once we have conquered all sweet 16 we will go back and do other trails we didn’t make it to the first time.

Oh man, and the leaves are changing now. Talk about beautiful.  Next weekend, we have plans to hike another mountain named Naejangsan. It’s apparently the PEAK weekend to see the leaves changing colors and the best place in Korea to view the fall colors. I’m such a summer gal at heart, but fall is tugging at my heart strings. Sweaters, cooler air, gorgeous leaves, and coffee. Korea, your beauty is shocking, and you’ve completely stolen pieces of my heart. From our arrival last spring when the cherry blossoms were just starting to bloom, combating summer heat while frolicking in your sea, and now the absolute natural beauty of fall. You’ve got me hook, line, and sinker, Korea.

I have picked my 10 favorite pictures of our hikes thus far in Korea. Most of the photo credit goes to Tom, but I am his wife so I get to use steal them as I please :p

Deogyusan National Park:

Jeju Island Olle Trails:

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Gae Island (Gaedo):

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Jirisan National Park:

Bijin Island (Bijindo):

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Hallasan National Park:

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Woraksan National Park- (The completion of 10 peaks in 3 days):

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Hwahdo (Hwah island):

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Songnisan National Park:

Gubongsan (The view of some of our city-Yeosu):

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Do you like hiking?

I don’t know if it’s the beauty, the silence of nature, the one foot in front of the other, or the accomplishment of getting to the top that I love more.

Korean food through the eyes of this American expat.

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I haven’t mentioned much about the food in Korea. The truth is: I LOVE Korea, but I struggle with the food. It isn’t Korea’s fault. They dig lots of spicy grub, chili paste, and fish (often raw plain sliced fish.)

and I am just a girl who doesn’t dig that stuff. I’ve also never been a big meat eater which has proven to be a bit of an issue living in Korea.

When I eat something spicy my mouth feels on fire. It hurts. The smell of raw fish makes my stomach turn…and chili paste is a staple ingredient in cooking here. Oh, and the garlic. It melts off the skin of those who eat, and love it in Korea. If you have lived here awhile- you know exactly what I mean.

I so desperately wish I could love the food like my husband does. He craves Korean food. I can’t even imagine what that feels like. I’m over here like #PassTheCheesePlease and #WhereMySaladBeAt?

I love Greek food, I CRAVE Italian food, I enjoy some delicious Mexican food, and yup. I’ll admit it. I love me some classic American food. Indian food?  You bet! I can’t get enough. Why, oh why, can’t I just love Korean food?

Here’s what a typical school lunch looks like in Korea. As a matter of fact this was my lunch today:

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I’d like to add that there was a spicy fish soup that came on the side that I couldn’t squeeze into this picture. So there was that.

…it isn’t  all bad. I have found some things in Korea that I do like, and I should also add most foreigners that I have met really love Korean food.  I’ll first explain the Hodok that is pictured above, and then I will show you 5 foods that I do like in Korea!

A new discovery! It’s sorta like a flat pancake with honey/brown sugar inside.

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1. Mandu:

If I had to explain… I would say it’s a cousin to the American “pot sticker.” Or maybe you call it a dumpling? Basically it’s a dough outside with meat/veggies inside. You can get all sorts of variety, but I stick to plain jane meat/veggie kind.

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2. Waffles:

It’s usually sold as a “street food” or sometimes in a coffee shop. I love them.

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3. Samgyetang:

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It’s fresh chicken soup. With an entire  mini chicken in it. It’s not spicy, and it doesn’t have garlic! The inside is stuffed with a little rice, green onions, and topped with just a bit of egg.

4. Japchae

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This doesn’t have seafood, chili paste, or a lot of garlic!!! Think stir fry. It has noodles made from sweet potatoes, sliced veggies, a pinch of mushrooms, and sometimes has slices of beef. They often times season it with soy sauce and/or sugar!

5. Pajeon:

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Also a pancake like texture. It is made mostly from flour, egg, and green onions. I like the one with sweet potato mixed in.

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Who knows, maybe by the time we leave Korea I will be a kimchi (fermented cabbage with chili paste) loving, spicy food craving, American kinda girl?

Dang. Odds are that I probably will never love that kind of food.

– I’ll just keep trying it with a smile on my face. (While my eyeballs feel like they are popping out of their sockets, and my tongue feels on fire.)

Do you enjoy spicy food?! I am still trying to understand what it is about spicy food that people love/crave.  I want to taste my food…not taste fire!!!

I’ll keep it cool over here :p

-elicia

Life in Korea. It’s rad.

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I’m not sure when walking past a restaurant with this:

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OR this:

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became normal life to us in Korea.

It’s become our life. Yeosu is a port city. So one thing it’s known for is it’s fresh seafood. Many restaurants have tanks for live fish or other unknown sea creatures that they cook on the spot if you order it.

When did living 3 miles from the beach/ocean become our “normal?”

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When did all of the amazing hiking/camping we have done just become a normal weekend activity?

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This is my second time ever that I am breaking my "no selfie rule" but it's a thing in Korea...so I am rollin with that! Camping in September.

This is my second time ever that I am breaking my “no selfie rule” but it’s a thing in Korea…so I am rollin with that! Camping in September.

Korean hikin' photo bombing!

Korean hikin’ photo bombing. This describes the crazy adventure we are on- so perfectly. If a picture could tell a story 🙂

When did I become so incredibly fascinated with the changing colors of the leaves?

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How was it that God blessed me incredibly with a husband I love more than I ever thought I could love a human?

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So, when does something become normal? What is normal?!

Whatever it is. Please, Korea keep being our normal. I can’t get enough of these amazing adventures we are on.

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Why I live for last minute trips- Jinju Lantern Festival

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Last week Tom and I scored four days off from work!

We had planned to hike and camp three National Parks while making a summit on 10 total mountain peaks on Thursday/Friday/Saturday (October 3-5th) of our long weekend.

We had both had pretty busy starts to our short week of work. It was over my daily coffee/break time on Wednesday with my Korean coworkers that something had caught my attention. My coteacher mentioned and begun to frantically show me pictures of the Jinju Lantern Festival.

…and it looked seriously AWESOME.

I got busy teaching classes and distracted with lesson planning. When 4pm hit I shot Tom a text prying to see if maybe he was interested in making a quick stop at the Lantern Festival on a whim before our big hiking excursion.

We weren’t packed for our big weekend of hiking/camping. We didn’t really know where in the city of Jinju the festival would take place. We didn’t know how to get there, how far it would be, where we would stay, or what time the festival ended. With a bit of teamwork speed packing, the help of my coteacher to translate festival info, and lots of excitment…we hit the road! We found out it was just a quick hour and a half car drive away from Yeosu. We arrived around 9pm in the city of Jinju. Checked into a cheap motel, and walked a few blocks to the Namgang river.

…and then I proceeded to walk around like a kid in a candy store for the next 2 hours… Stopping my kid in a candy store state to snap photos like a madwoman.

The Jinju Lantern Festival originates from the lantern lighting used during the Japanese Invasion in Korea that took place in 1592. The lanterns were used as precaution to try and prevent Japanese troops from crossing through the river. The festival takes place on Namgang river in Jinju, South Korea.

It was my absolute favorite festival we have been to in Korea. We had the perfect fall weather. The lights were so beautiful. We walked around the Jinju temple, both sides of the river, and stopped to snack on delicious Korean street food. We also had fun naming the countries that some of the lanterns displayed. The U.S was represented by a Statue of Liberty lantern!

I love last minute trips. For the spontaneity. The excitment. The element of surprise. The anything-can-happen vibes.

How could you not love a festival of lanterns?

Jinju Lantern Festival at a glance:

Putting our wishes on the wishing wall!

Putting our wishes on the wishing wall!

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Getting ready for our close up :)

Getting ready for our close up 🙂

Traditional Korean clothing.

Traditional Korean clothing

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These lanterns were created by students.

These lanterns were created by students.

View from the bridge overlooking the river

View from the bridge overlooking the river.

Exploring the Jinju temple
Exploring the Jinju temple

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The citizens of Jinju were able to purchase these lanterns in advance and write their wishes on the lanterns in the tunnel. There are over 30,000 of them!

The citizens of Jinju were able to purchase these lanterns in advance and write their wishes on the lanterns in the tunnel. There are over 30,000 of them!

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Each festival in Korea had the opportunity to have a lantern representing their city's specific festival

Each festival that takes place in Korea had the opportunity to have a lantern representing their city’s specific festival.

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Taking a break with some delicious street food snacks :)

Taking a break with some delicious street food snacks 🙂

Getting ready to release our "wish" lantern into the water!!!

Getting ready to release our “wish” lantern into the water!!!

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My favorite picture...

My favorite picture…

Jirisan Mountain AND Bijindo Island- Chuseok break

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I’ll admit it… Ever since we moved to Korea I have had it in my head that we should be “traveling” every chance we get (while this is something Tom and I both want to do) for whatever reason when I think of “travel” I think of airplane, leaving the country, and discovering a new country that I haven’t been to.

We have been really lucky to have had three 4 day (or 5 day) weekends since we started in April with another 4 day weekend coming up the first week of October…along with 10 days of vacation in August when we went to Malaysia, and also a really big 21 day winter vacation coming up in less than 100 days!!! Why is it that EVERY single time I find out we have days off or vacation days coming up that I feel the need to leave Korea when Korea still feels new to us? We have certainly not explored all that Korea has to offer, and I would even go as far to say that we haven’t even discovered 1/8 of it!!! Without fail, though, as soon as I hear we have vacation I am frantically checking AIR ASIA’s page to find the cheapest deals to travel Southeast Asia.

What I am getting at is simple: Some of the BEST vacations we have had have been ones where we stayed in Korea to explore and travel. Like Jeju island, Discovering the Shinan Islands, and this one- the one I am about to tell ya about! I’ve learned it’s the simple things that make me happy… AND that can happen just as easily (if not easier) while we discover more about Korea. Tom and I have a list started on the things we want to do in Korea that include things like: The tour of the DMZ, Making it to all 20 of the National Parks to hike (and hopefully more then once), Visiting all 33 of these beautiful islands, Staying in a traditional temple overnight, skiing with friends in the winter, and attending various festivals around Korea such as the famous Mud festival, Jinju lantern festival, and the tea festival that takes place not to far from where we live…just to name a FEW!

Korea has SO much to offer and I imagine our list will continue to grow the more we discover. For Korean Thanksgiving which fell September 18- 22 this year… First, Tom and I decided to hike in Jirisan National park. It was in Jirisan over the Korean Thankgiving that we hiked the second highest peak in Korea after tackling the highest peak in Korea at Halla Mountain on Jeju island in June. We spent two days camping in Jirisan National park before we packed up our stuff and headed to meet 6 of our friends for 2 more days of camping on Bijindo (Bijin island.) The city we first drove to was called Tongyong (about 2 hours from our city of Yeosu)  where we boarded the ferry. We did a lot of relaxing, a bit of hiking, sunbathing, swimming, and even snuck in some marshmallow roasting n’ s’more making. YUM. CNN wrote about this slice of paradise here where we first became intrigued with the thought of visiting Bijindo.

Don’t get me wrong… I am always excited when we decide to visit other countries (and I am so pumped to tell ya what our winter vacation plans are when we have 21 vacation days in January/ February this year!!!!) but it was such a great lesson for me to learn that we can still “travel” when we are traveling Korea.

Below are my FAVORITE pictures from our 5 days off (excluding the big hike as I know Tom will document the hike very soon):

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Exploring near the camp site in Jirisan

Exploring near the camp site in Jirisan

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Nothing like fresh mountain water...

Nothing like fresh mountain water…

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Goodbye Jirisan National Park and Hello Bijindo Island :)

Goodbye Jirisan National Park and Hello Bijindo Island 🙂

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Hiking Bijindo

Hiking Bijindo

Casual workout during our hike :)

Casual workout during our hike 🙂

Love this guy, this view, and hiking.

Love this guy, this view, and hiking.

The view from the top of the hike. STUNNING!

The view from the top of the hike. STUNNING!

Sunny and 80 all weekend. My favorite weather.

Sunny and 80 all weekend. My favorite weather.

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4 tents. 8 friends.

4 tents. 8 friends.

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The most beautiful sunsets I have seen in ALL of Korea.

The most beautiful sunsets I have seen in ALL of Korea.

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Sometimes the greatest adventures are just outside of our doorstep.

Hahwado- a little slice of heaven! (Hahwa island)

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Before our Chuseok weekend ( Korean Thanksgiving) where we had 5 awesome days of camping, hiking, and island life…

We visited two islands by the names of Sado and Hahwado. I documented Sado here if you missed it. With last week being a two day work week I was only able to squeeze in enough time for two blog posts. SO, I will wrap up our island hopping weekend from September 14th before I plunge into posting about our Chuseok adventures. Just like the last post on Sado…some of the pictures are from Cory and Michelle’s camera while the first 4 are from my iphone.

Hahwado was about 45 minutes away from our city of Yeosu by ferry, and marks our third island we have visited off of Yeosu. It was a fabulous island where we did a 5km (easy) hike around the island after first exploring Sado. I loved Hahwado because it had the tiny island feel but also had people out and about, it had a small shop/restaurant that was open, and we met some pretty cool Koreans along the stroll around the island.

“Beautiful cliffs with panoramic views of islands along the horizon” is the best way to sum up Hahwado island in one sentence, but (as always) I will let you see for yourself!

There is something I just ADORE about pictures of Korean fishing boats, the water, and the islands in the background.

There is something I just ADORE about pictures of Korean fishing boats, the water, and the islands in the background.

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A sleepy little town…

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Trekkin’ along the island path.

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What a VIEW!

4 friends. An incredible day of island hopping. What more can I ask for?

I read this the other day from a dear lady and I couldn’t agree with her more:

“Looking back through pictures these last few months I was thinking, dang, I so want to be me! And I get to be me- whoop! And I get to have the coolest life ever……filled with gratitude for everything and everyone in my life. Don’t be jealous, come and visit me so you can have the same.”

There is just ONE thing I would like to add to the above quote…and that is this: it is ALL about perspective. You may look at your life, and think that it doesn’t compare to the adventures that the next person is having. If your “adventure” looks different then mine right now it doesn’t mean that one is better then the other. YOUR adventure could be getting out for a walk around your neighborhood, exploring a nearby city, a trip to the zoo, or making cookies with your kids.

Whatever your life looks like right NOW I hope today you find peace knowing that your adventure is an amazing one. If it isn’t amazing get out there and make stuff happen.. I believe in YOU!

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Enjoy a new journey today! Your journey may mean walking instead of running around, taking the time to appreciate the little things, or sending a message to a friend you haven’t spoken to in awhile.

Love love love,

e

My favorite moment of our day: This kind Korean family we met along our journey.

My favorite moment of our day: This kind Korean family we met along our journey.

5 things I LOVED about Sado (Sa island)

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Since fall is lurking around the corner… this past weekend Tom and I along with our friends Cory and Michelle hit the islands for some island exploration. Since Yeosu is a coastal town it provides TONS of opportunities for us to get out and explore islands by ferry. This past weekend we headed to not one, but TWO islands in the same day. We loved exploring, relaxing, and discovering Sado. Here are my top 5 reasons why I loved Sado!

– Side note. Most of the pictures were taken with Cory and Michelle’s amazing camera!!! Although, a few are from my iphone 😉

1. Dinosaurs. Sado is known for it’s dinosaur fossil tracks- and also the massive dino replicas that are scattered throughout the island.

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2. These beautiful stone wall walk ways. The island was pretty vacant besides a few “adjumma’s” also known as korean older woman. There are a few people who live on this itty bitty island, but what the island lacks in size it makes up in beauty! – Which brings me to my next point.

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3. The gorgeous beaches (Sado has two) and the clarity of it’s water was stunning.

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Storm rolling in. We got lucky and just a few sprinkles for 10 minutes or so. Made for some awesome photos.

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4. Spending time together AND with our friends.

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5. Simplicity. Sado had no other tourists on the island except US! We actually only saw a handful of people. It was just the simple island life for us, and only an hour by boat from Yeosu. One of the 14,985,830 reasons I love Jeollanamdo province (the province we live in) more on that later though!

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This will be my last post of the week as we only worked a 2 day week!!! It’s Korean Thanksgiving here this week known to Korean’s as Chuseok. We will be off hiking, island exploring, and relaxing with friends. Next week I will share our journey to Hwado (another island we visited this past weekend) AND our 5 day hiking/island trip we are about to embark on.

Enjoy life and create a journey this week.

-elicia

linking up with Bonnie for Travel Tuesday!

Our life as of lately.

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The past few weekends have consisted of a half marathon, saying goodbye to friends whose time in Korea is complete, drinking wine, spending time on the gorgeous beach just 2 miles from our apartment (just let me brag one more time! I have never lived by the ocean) catching an awesome FREE jazz concert, new bible study, and getting the classroom ready for another semester of school.

The Weather: Has cooled down quite a bit, and is now comparable to summer in Wisconsin/ Minnesota. This week has been low 80’s and the humidity has vanished quite a bit! We can hike again-after taking a 2 month break due to insane humidity. We are excited to get back to enjoyable hiking, biking, AND running!

Our Schools: Both of our schools are back in full swing of second semester! We are loving being able to commute to work together, and having a car makes our commute to work about 15 minutes. NO complaints there. Two out of my three Korean co teachers have changed at semester. I am so lucky to have two new awesome co teacher’s who help me teach the English classes. They ROCK!

Our Apartment: We finally have a couch, and our apartment is finally decorated. It took 5 months, but it is cozy. We have had friends come visit, and the apartment has crammed fit 4 guests-6 total adults! If only you knew how small it is with 6 adults in there!! BUT we are thankful (it’s paid housing) … it’s new… AND we don’t live in a huge apartment complex like many of the Korean apartment buildings. Ours is maybe 15 apartments total in a small building vs. the 30+ story apartments that are scattered around our city (and much of Korea.)

After 5 months in Korea: We are falling more in love with our city-Yeosu. The view from my school (on the mountain) over looking the bay are second to none. We have the sweetest landlords who bend over backwards for us. We aren’t taking a second for granted. We are SO incredibly thankful for the opportunity to live, teach, and travel Korea (and also all over Asia!). I think it’s safe to say that we will be in Korea (granted our jobs will have us again) for longer than a year. Life here is so amazing. It’s easy. It’s stress free. It’s incredible to me that we can travel… AND pay off my university debt…AND SAVE- all while loving our day to day life/jobs!

The view from my school- it really never EVER gets old. So stunning.

The view from my school- it really never EVER gets old. So stunning.

Getting ready to change the desks in my classroom into groups. I don't miss this typical "korean style" of desks in rows. Ick!

Getting ready to change the desks in my classroom into groups. I don’t miss this typical “Korean style” of desks in rows. I much prefer groups of four.

We love live music.

We love live music.

4 friends. A road trip to the middle of Korea. A half marathon AND 18 pounds of grapes.

4 friends. A road trip to the middle of Korea. A half marathon AND 18 pounds of grapes for finishing!

Saying goodbye to my dear friend Alyssa. Her pictures of Korea were a huge inspiration to us moving to Korea...and we have spent lots of time camping/exploring Korea with her and Pat (pictured left) Alyssa is off traveling for the next 8 months and Pat will join her for some traveling in November when his teaching contract is up!

Saying goodbye to my dear friend Alyssa. Her experiences in Korea were a huge inspiration to us moving to Korea…and we have spent lots of time camping/exploring Korea with her and Pat (pictured left) Alyssa is off traveling for the next 8 months, and Pat will join her for some traveling in November when his teaching contract is up!

Wine/Apples/ Wisconsin cheese a special treat for us on a school night. ;)

Wine/Apples/ Wisconsin cheese a special treat for us on a school night. 😉

New bible study in Yeosu we were invited to.

New bible study in Yeosu we were invited to.

Darren and Rozanne- off to live in Thailand! So happy to have met this dynamic duo through our friend Melody. They spent 5 years in Korea, and Tom and I really enjoyed getting to spend some time with them at the tail end of their Korean journey.

t and e

Ungcheon beach- just 2 miles from our apartment 🙂