Tag Archives: Traveling

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


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.


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:


photo from 123rf.com


photo from squidoo.com

photo from squidoo.com



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.


Malaysia bound!


So, the day is here!!!

Photo credit- Lonely Planet.

Photo credit- Lonely Planet.

The one where the backpacks are packed, and we are Malaysia BOUND. We will be gone for 10 days. If you missed the post on our Malaysia Plans go ahead and give that page a little click if you wanna know what we “plan” to be up to! You’ll see where I organized our “plans” into a nice little post… I say “plans” because I’ve learned our ideas/plans don’t always work out BUT that makes for some sweet travel stories.

In all honesty…we only have one place booked out of the many we will stay at in Malaysia (to sleep.) Why? WELL. This vacation kinda sprung up on us…and FAST! With wrapping up our first semester of teaching, teaching two weeks of English Summer Camp, a NEW car to travel Korea in, and the weekends we have spent at the beach/ visiting friends…we honestly haven’t booked places to stay, planned out the trip to a “T” and I honestly have no idea what food we will eat, where the best beaches are, or where we will sleep. Thanks to the iphones though…Tom discovered an app called- Hostel World where we can enter our location, and it brings up cheap places for us to stay in the area. Perfect, right? So here we go! Off to explore. It’s so fun to check things off on bucket list that I made back in March! There are quite a few I still need to tackle over the next few months, but we have winter break for that! ;)AND actually we have already started to plan winter vacation when we have a month off to travel in January. I can’t wait to tell you where we are headed!

First things first though.

What I do know…is that those trips (the ones where there is a rough sketch of ideas/things we want to see) are the BEST ones. I have no doubt there will not be a shortage of backpacker places for us to stay, people for us to meet, and things for us to do. Tom and I actually both prefer the road less traveled vs. the resort stays (and so does our wallet), the backpacker resorts, and also maybe even sleeping on the beach where we have done plenty of that here, here, and here! WHO KNOWS where this trip will take us, but the unknown is pretty darn exciting.

…and I sure can’t wait to discover this next adventure that is unfolding…

The blog will remain not-so-up-to date for 10+ days..where I will be hanging with the orangutans, climbing the tallest point between the Himalayas and New Guinea at 13,436 feet above sea level, and scuba diving the beautiful reefs of Malaysia, visiting night markets, maybe a river safari, and OF COURSE looking for adventure! Like I have said before…this life does NOT seem real. Still pinching myself that we are livin this dream.

Don’t worry though! (I knew you were worried) 😉

I will be back SOON. With plenty of travel stories to knock your socks off!

Until then…

Stay cool blog readers.



Make Every Moment Count…


When I was just about to start my 6th grade year my dad joined the air force, and later told us we were moving to ENGLAND!

I had no idea then how lucky I was.

From seeing the Leaning Tower of Pisa, The Mona Lisa at the Louvre in France, skiing the Swiss Alps in both Austria and Switzerland,  climbing to the top of the Eiffel Tower, hiking the 5 cities that make up the gorgeous Cinque Terre in Italy (my personal favorite in Europe), visiting the Colosseum in Rome, meeting the queen of England, getting blessed by the pope in the Vatican city,  exploring  massive cathedrals in Germany, wandering the streets of Belgium, seeing the famous tulips in the Netherlands, driving through the rolling hills of Scotland, Ireland AND Whales. Not to mention exploring England’s Stonehenge, visiting Parliament, Big Ben, The Crown Jewels, and riding the London Eye. Countless castles, delicious food, and plenty of adventures.

These memories are just ones that come to mind when I think of my experience as a military kid living in Europe. I can positively tell you that I learned more in those three years about culture, food,art, exploration, traveling, history, and the world then I EVER did from a textbook. Even as a teenage girl I will never forget looking up at the work of Michelangelo at the Sistine Chapel in Italy, and feeling my stomach do somersaults. I hope some day (God willing) I will be able to provide these same experiences to my own children with my husband.

The world is incredibly big. It was in that moment it hit me how much there is to learn from history…and how big the world really is. That chapel was completed in 1481. INCREDIBLE.

Middle school quickly turned into high school. During middle school I wanted to be in the States.

During high school all I wanted was the freedom that college would bring.

During college all I wanted was freedom from studying AND working. I wanted freedom to be in the “real world.”

Now, I am in the real world.

I can tell you today with a happy heart I am finally learning to appreciate the moment.

Living in this moment. Enjoying the journey (and every step along the way!)

So, I will just be here in my little Korean corner of the world.

Living, enjoying, and loving life.

Making every moment count.

Back in 2000. With my sister :) Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy.

Back in 2000. With my sister 🙂 Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy.


Next stop: Borneo, Malaysia.

Next stop: Borneo, Malaysia.


A country I had heard of, but knew absolutely nothing about. A place where when I began to research I found has the  highest point between the Himalayas and New Guinea (Mt. Kinabalu-13,436 feet above sea level.)

A country full of culture, delicious food, rain forest trekking, river safari tours teaming with wildlife, stunning scuba diving, and magnificent night markets.

How could we choose anywhere else?

I am beyond excited.

This is what I know:

1. We decided on East Malaysia also known as Borneo, Malaysia because of our desire to hike, explore the rain forest, and scuba dive. First: We fly into Kuala Lumpur- Malaysia’s capital. Then we’ll catch another flight to East Malaysia.

2.We will be doing 2 or 3 scuba dives here (not sure which islands yet!  There are 5 in Tunku Marine Park):

photo from etawau.com

3. We will be attempting to climb Kota Kinabalu in ONE day- the tallest point between the Himalayas and New Guinea at 13,436 feet above sea level. We found the inspiration to hike in one day here. If you are a new reader you can track our hiking treks on Tom’s blog.

photo from the theplanetd.com

4. We will visit the Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary- Where orangutans are rehabilitated back to independent wildlife living. Can’t wait to see these amazing animals 🙂

photo from sabahtourism.com

5. We will be taking a river safari down the Kinabatangan River- to hopefully spy some Pygmy Elephants ( we would have to be really lucky!), crocodiles, birds, and maybe even a proboscis monkey.

photo from insabah.com

6. Visit the night markets! In both Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu.

photo from junesapartment.com

–This much I know.

I know we are so excited to head to Malaysia in just 5 short weeks!  We are going into the trip with an outline of a plan. Hoping for the best…expecting the worst. We will have a some what flexible schedule, but embarking on this adventure with the idea that the BEST adventures are the ones that aren’t planned, and the understanding that ANYTHING can change in a second.

Here is to an incredible adventure ahead with my husband… Off of the beaten path!

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” Lao-tzu


It’s really quite easy.

If you have been following my blogs you probably know how much Tom and I adore Korea. I recieve messages and comments literally daily with people commenting on how we are making this possible, telling us they are jealous, and asking how they can do it too.So, I’ve decided that I would dedicate a blog post to tell you just how EASY it really is, that anyone can do it (including you!), and tell you a few reasons why I love our life so much.

Let me start at the beginning. During my 5th grade year my dad joined the Air Force. Which meant we moved from the midwest United States to England. For 3 years my family extensively traveled Europe. When we moved back to the states it was to California. During the middle of my sophmore year of high school we moved to the small town of Marshfield, Wisconsin. I didn’t know it then, but I believe the years as an Air Force kid sparked a desire within me to see the world. After high school I had dreams of going to school in California, but felt limited because of out of state college expenses. I choose University of Wisconsin La Crosse, and decided to pursue teaching. After about a year of college I grew extremely restless. I studied abroad in the Fiji Islands for 6 months, and had an extremely hard time coming back to Wisconsin to finish my college years. I wanted to see the WORLD! I’m sure glad that I stayed in Wisconsin or I probably wouldn’t be married to my partner in crime today. For those of you who don’t know Tom he is a true midwest  all American boy at heart.  When we started dating again I didn’t care about my dreams to see the world any longer, because without him I didn’t want to travel the world anyway. When we got married I figured we would be in the U.S for the rest of our lives…

and then he surprised me!

I don’t think it happened over night. We would have long talks about seeing the world, and what life meant to us. We prayed a lot about where God wanted us to be. Slowly, I think he just began to see how big the world really is…On facebook, I would see pictures of our friends from college who had moved abroad…and I would share with Tom. I think deep down we both were seeking adventure, and needed change. Let me break it down for you in the most transparent way that I can:

* We are currently both English Teacher’s in South Korea. Stress is low, and most importantly each day is FUN!

* We moved to Korea 2 1/2 months ago.

* We sold lots of our stuff or donated it. It was extremely liberating.

* We will be able to travel extensively!! First up? Malaysia.

* We will pay off ALL of my college debt by living here…and it’s $35,000 dollars. On top of this we can SAVE  money!

* Most importantly. Both Tom and I agree that this is the BEST decision we have ever made. Living in Korea not only is spectacular, but because of this opportunity we will be enabled to volunteer/travel for an extended period of time after we leave South Korea.

So why don’t more people do it? Well, I don’t know. If I had to take a guess though I would say this:

1.Fear of leaving comfort-  They have security back home. They have built a life. Leaving comfort is scary. Taking the jump is the hardest part. What about responsibilites? Kids. Jobs. House. I want to tell you we have met people who live in South Korea from the U.S or Canada, and they have kids! We have met people who have just graduated college to those who are past retirement age…and I am not kidding. We have met those who are married, in relationships, and those who are single. They have shown me that it can be done with a family! I have no idea what our future will bring- but leaving comfort was such a blessing to us!

2. The unknown Is it safe over there? What do you do with all your belongings? How do you know you will get paid? These are just a few of the questions we have been asked. I’ll keep my anwsers simple. YES. It is safe. I feel more safe here in Korea than I did back home. There is a very low rate of violence crimes. When all that jazz was happening with North Korea- It was just ridiculous if you ask me. All media sensation. I felt ZERO threat! Our belongings- we sold them or donated. Some stuff that we couldn’t part with we are storing in a very small storage unit, and Tom’s parents were so kind to store our wooden bedroom furniture. How do we know we will get paid? We work for the government in public schools. So, there is no worry or concern about recieving payment. It’s easy.

3.Finances- Many people have debt bogging them down. Especially newly graduated students, not to mention bills, car payments, house payments etc. We didn’t own a home so that part was easy (but we have met people who do still have a house back in the states!) We sold a car. We kept a car in storage. So how are we able to pay off debt, save, AND travel? Well, the schools provide us housing. They reimburse us for our flights out here, and back when we are finished. We get paid once a month. Our landlord pays for water, internet, and cable. I get $100 a month for “commuting-to-work.” Our expenses here include food, $150 a month for our two iphone bills, and any money that we spend on travel…which leaves us a lot of flexibility to save, pay off debt, and travel.

There are many recruiting companies out there to recruit English teacher’s to teach abroad. We went with Canadian Connection, because they came highly recommended to us by our friends. It was completely free on our end, and all we had to do to get started was apply! Tom and I are both really happy we went with Canadian Connection. I hope through my post I was able to show you that it CAN BE DONE…if you really want to make it happen. This life we are living is too good to not be shared! I understand that living abroad is not for everyone, but for those who are intrigued/curious  I wanted to show one way that it can be done.

The journey begins with a single step.

Each of our jouney’s look different, and I think that is what makes life so special.

I want to know… what does your journey look like right now?

The view from our journey...

(photo credit to Orman’s)The view from our journey…


Bonaire Beauty



It’s been far to long since I have posted last. That’s far to many memories and days that are lost in the sands of time. It is my promise to myself that I will strive to update much more often. I also eh hem… forgot about this until a wonderful person gave me a friendly nudge in the right direction.

So here I am. In April I decided on a whim to visit an old high school friend who lives in the beautiful island of Bonaire. It is truly a slice of heaven. My temperature from island fever remains to rise as I returned to the homeland. After living in Fiji for 7 months, visiting the Bahamas, and then experiencing true Bonairian life I realized a piece of my heart lies in the islands. Now, also in Bonaire. I experienced scuba diving for the first time and felt like I had been missing out on such a beautiful part of life. It was one of those experiences of complete serenity. Seriously, I can’t even find the right words in the English dictionary to describe what scuba diving was like. I was apart of the underwater world and there is nothing like it I have ever even come close to experiencing. I was able to tour the island. I was able to each day go out on a massive sailboat and snorkel for hours on end seeing sea turtles left and right (which has been a dream of mine.) I laid out in the sun for way to many hours and just breathe fresh air. I was able to most importantly…spend time with a long lost friend who I dearly cherish.


I decided to take this trip because I thought I deserved it. After, I got back I was reminded that I deserve NOTHING in this life. Selfishness. It’s an interesting topic. I think humans are all to selfish all to often. More to come on this later..

The Bonaire trip though, couldn’t have come at a more important, and vital time. I am now head on into the application process for “real” teaching jobs. I have had interviews and just received a call back for a second interview. It is for a kindergarten position…and while I couldn’t be more excited I think I would have taken all of these job opportunities for granted if I wouldn’t have taken this trip. I came to understand how precious life is, how much I am in love with the man I am marrying, and that I deserve nothing.

I decided on this trip that although my heart and some of my passion is in traveling I now know that life wouldn’t be life without my Tom in it. I don’t want to leave him to travel the world and I don’t want to live life without him. That goes to say that I will continue to travel in the summers and I will continue to hope that we may go to South Korea to teach or join the peace corp. BUT right here…right now… this second….life is pretty amazing. Even from this itty bitty-wisconsinite corner of my world.