Tag Archives: Camping

This week, This Past Weekend, and in 90 Days.

Standard

Wow! It’s been an incredibly busy week over here and it’s only Tuesday. The good news is that we have a 3 day work week this week which means 4 days off to travel Korea. I am super excited to hike/camp this weekend, but I have hardly had a second to think about it as my “to-do” list continues to grow and grow. Do you have weeks or days when you feel like you can hardly keep up? I love being busy, and I love the chaos (I know I am crazy for loving it, right?!) BUT I am really looking forward to 4 days of hiking/camping with my partner n’ crime along with our friend Pat starting tomorrow when we will make the trek a few hours away for some awesome hiking and camping.

This week:

Featured Expat

I’m now officially a “featured blog” on the Expat Blog website (a website with TONS of amazing blogs from expats living abroad!!!) Which I am pretty pumped about. Take a gander over to my new blog listing here and leave me some love in the comment section at the bottom of the page. To my fellow travel lovers out there: take a look at their “country listing section” where you can check out over 1,977 blogs sorted by country of interest. I have said hello to hours of awesome blog reading while planning my dream trips/ must see countries!!! Our “must see” travel list just keeps growing.

This past weekend:

WE explored yet another gorgeous island which you can read all about HERE where my awesome husband documented our entire day trip/ hike. He’s pretty darn cool. I am glad we are married.

029

In exactly 90 days:

We are going to Mexico. YUP MEXICO! For my dear friend’s destination wedding that I am in. EEP! I am so beyond excited. Tom and I didn’t plan on traveling from South Korea to Mexico since it is quite the hike, but we are so excited to be spending time with them in Mexico AND I am thrilled to stand next to such an amazing friend on her wedding day. We will spend 5 days in Mexico for the wedding with an (extremely) quick pit stop back in Wisconsin, USA to see our family for just 5 short days.

Katie and I in back when we both lived in Fiji in 2009. SO thrilled to be in this gals wedding on her big day in January.

Tom and I both have to be back in Korea to teach English winter camp right after the wedding so it will be a whirlwind of a trip (not to mention the insane jet lag I am sure we will have!!) but we are really blessed to be able to take the opportunity to spend time with our family even if it’s just a quick few days.

Lastly, after the quick 5 days in the USA as well as 5 days in Mexico we will have around 10 days left of vacation to use come end of January/ Early February after we teach winter camps. Right now the top 3 countries in the running to visit in February are as follows in no particular order:

Indonesia

photo from 123rf.com

Philippines  

photo from squidoo.com

photo from squidoo.com

OR

Thailand 

taken from iasaglobal.com

Which one would you choose? All of them are new to Tom and I so maybe we will just roll the dice?!? How do you decide when they all look equally amazing?

Lastly, travelin friends n’ family: Any tips on overcoming jet lag fast? I’ll probably ask this question again as we near the big trip to Mexico/ Wisconsin. We need all of the tips that we can get.

Love to all you from South Korea.

-e

Advertisements

Jirisan Mountain AND Bijindo Island- Chuseok break

Standard

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):

1585

Exploring near the camp site in Jirisan

Exploring near the camp site in Jirisan

1601

1610

Nothing like fresh mountain water...

Nothing like fresh mountain water…

1618

Goodbye Jirisan National Park and Hello Bijindo Island :)

Goodbye Jirisan National Park and Hello Bijindo Island 🙂

1685

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.

1641

4 tents. 8 friends.

4 tents. 8 friends.

1668

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

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

1728

Sometimes the greatest adventures are just outside of our doorstep.

Namhae (in a nutshell) Island Kayaking, Camping, Sangju Beach

Standard

Namhae is an island that is to the East of where we live in Yeosu. On Saturday, Tom and I took a bus to Suncheon, and then transferred on a bus to Namhae! Total travel time from Yeosu was about 2 hours. First stop a 4 hour kayaking adventure trip. I had heard great things about this man named Julio who runs a kayaking adventure business. We found his number online, and he spoke excellent English! We waited at the bus station once we arrived in Namhae for Julio to pick up our group of 7. We drove about 25 minutes to his shop near the sea, and also right near the famous German Village. Julio told us that in the 1960’s many Korean nurses and miners were invited to work in Germany in exchange for pay. Germany had a high need for more workers while Korea had skilled workers, but not the money to pay for the jobs. After living and working in Germany some Koreans had married Germans, and wanted a place to come back “home” to.  An area of Namhae was created as a place for these Korean/German families to come back to Korea, and live peacefully. According to my husband Tom there are only 3 of those original families still living in Namhae…as they are probably in their mid 80’s by this time. We spent the afternoon kayaking/exploring. We had a delicious German beer in the German village after our adventure, and caught a local bus to Sangju beach. Namhae has about 48,000 residents, but is becoming a popular destination for visitors. They are known for growing spinach, garlic, and rice. There are plenty of “pensions” (cheap hotels) to stay in…or set up a tent, and sleep under the stars. Another thing I love about Korea is you can just about camp anywhere for FREE!

Sangju beach is gorgeous with beautiful sand. The downside to this is that the beach had many people camping there. Tom and I are more about secluded/quiet beaches, but the views at Sangju were stunning, the sand felt like silk, and the water/beach was CLEAN! I highly recommend it. The one downside to Namhae is that the local buses don’t run as frequently as we are used to in Yeosu. (you can almost always catch a bus to anywhere in Yeosu within 15 minutes) Namhae covers a BIG portion of land…there are taxi’s, but from the bus terminal to Sangju beach it is about 20,000 won or 20$ American dollars. Many people rent cars to explore! Although, of course you can do it without one as we did. Just keep an open mind to waiting for a bus, or flagging down a taxi 🙂 We found lots of information about Namhae Island here and information on Julio’s kayaking here (Note: Julio’ place has moved from Dumo village to near the German village)

:)

🙂

photo (11)

photo (10)

I am a lucky lady ;)

I am a lucky lady 😉

photo (7)

Taking a break in the German village with some good beer!

Taking a break in the German village with some good beer!

Beautiful views on the bus to Sangju beach

Beautiful views on the bus to Sangju beach

photo (2) - 복사본photo (8)

Headed to the beach!

Headed to the beach!

Sanju Beach

Sanju Beach

photo (12)

photo (13)

1010313_4783476357177_253506435_n

Our weekend in a nutshell! 🙂

Pieces of our life…

Standard

Looking through pictures on my phone I am realizing that I have TONS of pictures that are like little pieces of the puzzle to our life in Yeosu, Korea. They are all so special to me, because put together they represent our daily life here in Korea. I decided that I should add the pictures to our blog that make up our every day life here. So often (me included) we over look the beautiful little snap shots of just a “normal” day. It is all apart of the big puzzle.

This is our life as of lately.

Love the flowers in full bloom!

Love the flowers in full bloom!

Care packages from our family= so much love.

Care packages from our family= so much love.

Monsters on my wall created by 3rd graders after teaching them my dad's favorite book "Where the Wild Things are"

Monsters on my wall created by 3rd graders after reading them my dad’s favorite book “Where the Wild Things Are”

My littlest "monsters"

My littlest “monsters”

Fireworks on every beach we have camped at!!! Koreans love their fireworks (and so do WE!)

Fireworks on every beach we have camped at!!! Koreans love their fireworks (and so do WE!)

We  have spent 4 weekends so far CAMPING!

We have spent 4 weekends so far CAMPING 🙂

I adore the open air markets.

I adore the open air markets.

:)

🙂

My walk to the bus stop after teaching at my "Friday School"

My walk to the bus stop after teaching at my “Friday School”

Tom's new hiking backpack- name TBD

Tom’s new hiking backpack- name TBD

Fresh fruit right off the tree in Jeju. Tasted like a cross between and orange and a grapefruit.

Fresh fruit right off the tree in Jeju. Tasted like a cross between and orange and a grapefruit.

We FOUND CHEESE!!!

We FOUND CHEESE!!!

Tea from South Africa, Wine from Chile, and Korean BBQ for dinner. Love it!

Tea from South Africa, Wine from Chile, and Korean BBQ for dinner. Love it!

My view EVERY SINGLE day walking to the bus stop after school. It will never ever get old.

My view EVERY SINGLE day walking to the bus stop after school. It will never ever get old.

:)

🙂

Lights on a bus to visit friends in Mokpo. ;) Normal.

Lights on a bus to visit friends in Mokpo. 😉 Normal.

I am one happy teacher :)

I am one happy teacher 🙂

Sometimes we forgot to take a moment to appreciate the little pieces that make the big picture SO beautiful!!!

Livin’ the dream…

Standard
Livin’ the dream…

June 1st and 2nd are best described as what I would like to call a true adventure. Our friends Pat and Alyssa came to visit us in Yeosu. We had planned a weekend island hopping, and camping! I’d like to say though, that the best adventures are the most unplanned ones.

With the ferry times to some of the more popular islands around Yeosu not working out with our schedules…we thought we would try our luck with a ferry to a small island only 5 min away from the mainland. First going to the wrong ferry terminal used for day cruises we were instructed on the new ferry terminal we needed to get to. So on we went in a taxi! Onto the ferry and across the water just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the mainland.

Upon arrival we randomly got on what looked like a shuttle bus to a hotel. We were taken to a resort and told to camp in what I will call the backyard of the resort! Pat, Tom, Alyssa, and I were determined to find a beach, and camp on the ocean. Upon hearing there were no beaches on this island…back to the little slab of cement the ferry docks on to take it back to the mainland…typically I would call it a port, but slab of cement was exactly what it was. From the mainland we decided to go to a beach on Dolsan. Dolsan is an island that is connected by bridge to the mainland of Yeosu. Back in a taxi we went again this time with a plan, and a location in mind.

Arrive at beach #1 on Dolsan. It has a lovely marine life aquarium. ANDDDDDD a beautiful beach of…wait for it…. rocks! Not ideal for camping with tents. We begin searching for a beach with SAND. Began talking with the manager of the marine life aquarium, and long story short he had his co worker drive us about 20 minutes down, up, and around Dolsan to our final destination. Bangjukpo beach. Hotel California blared on the speakers while we all sang along as we zig zagged through the gorgeous countryside of Dolsan to the beach. I remember smiling so big that it hurt. Looking at Tom thinking “man, life is so good here…we are living the dream” and I know he thought just the same thing.

Watching baby goats frolic in the grass, collecting massive amounts of beautiful sea glass, a campfire, wonderful korean families with so much love to give, fireworks, relaxing on the beach, and simply enjoying the wonderful company of our friends…have all brought me extreme joy this past weekend.

We made it!!!

We made it!!!

My hubby!!

My hubby!!

043

044

baby goats

baby goats

052

058

056

Love the sunset...

Love the sunset…

:)

🙂

063 090

091

Saturday's journey in red to Bangjukpo beach...Jangdeung beach journey in blue (Sunday)

Saturday’s journey in red to Bangjukpo beach…Jangdeung beach journey in blue (Sunday)

On Sunday Tom figured out how to take the city buses to the most beautiful little beach called Jangdeung beach. It was secluded, clean, and the mountains littered the backdrop. Our phones had both died so we have no pictures this time! That just means we need to visit again soon. It was about an hour trip… and I can’t believe the buses go out there. No town really. Just the fresh country air, sun, and the sand.

My heart continues to do leaps n’ bounds of joy. As every single day is a new adventure waiting to be discovered. We are just here in this little corner of the beautiful world…Livin’ the dream.

On the coast of somewhere beautiful…

Standard
On the coast of somewhere beautiful…

Soakin up the sun, sunlight dancin’ on the water, and I wish I was there 🙂

I am thankful for the company of wonderful friends (some old and some new) who make Korea seem even more like our home. I am thankful for great conversation, and dancing under the stars. I am thankful for the sun, sand, the Yellow Sea, and a little island called Oedaldo. I am thankful for a lovely fire after dark…complete with fireworks on the beach.  I am thankful for our health. I am thankful for friends who love to laugh, explore, and push themselves out of their comfort zone. Today, on Mother’s Day in America I am thankful to the moms everywhere who love their kids unconditionally, and have pushed them out of the nest to spread their wings and fly-even when that’s the hardest thing to do. I am thankful especially to my own mom for bringing me into this world, and for encouraging me to always be independent and strong. I am thankful for my mother-in-law who brought her son (my husband into this world) and for raising him to be the man he has become today.

My heart is full…and I am incredibly thankful for this amazing, and precious life I have been given.  Last night, as we fell asleep under the stars I couldn’t help, but send up a quick prayer to God thanking him for blessing me in so many incredible ways.

DSCN2215

Oedaldo Island

Oedaldo Island

tents on the water :)

tents on the water 🙂

072

100

093 087

girls oedaldo oedaldo DSCN2225

090

112