With the Christmas season in swing and my last semester of university coming to an end, I have neglected to post updates on the visa status and what the next 6 weeks will hold. To cut to the chase, I did receive my visa and I was all sorts of happy and wistful as I looked at it but I can say with certainty that I haven’t had a doubt about going on this journey. I’ve found inspiration at every corner and even in the most random of moments to light my way. However, there are the few questions that I think many soon to be ex-pats hear or will hear and I want to address some of those now.
For starters, I often hear, “Korea? Like North Korea?” which to no end makes me scratch my head in wonder and to which I usually reply sardonically, “Yes, that exact one except a bit more to the south.” Another thing is that in the US when you tell people you’re going to teach English abroad their first thought is that you are going to Spain, France or Italy (basically somewhere European) because even though it is foreign, you won’t necessarily feel out of place. So once I tell them, “No, I decided to teach in South Korea”, I inevitably get the follow up “Why?”.
If you have read my previous blog then you know why and I won’t bore you by repeating myself. However, I think the “why” is an important topic to mull over in making a decision to live outside your home country. That “why” needs to be something, a feeling or goal (etc), that can pull you up when you hit low points or when you need affirmation that you made the right choice to up and move.
With that in mind, I’ve begun to start to thinking about what I need to wrap up in the States and what I need to get ready to go. I, like many other people, am a notorious over-packer so before I leave I will make sure I make a list of all that I am taking. Once, I’ve been in Korea for a couple of months I can update everyone on what actually was a necessity and what was just my anxiety about being unprepared talking.
Until next time!
A couple of weeks ago, following the Paris trip, I was in London and looking forward to seeing all the historical sights and everything Harry Potter related. The primary purpose of this post is to outline some of the things I did but to also give other first time England travelers a bit of a head start.
Day one: Traveling from Paris was so much easier by train as it is easier to travel with wine in your suitcase and you don’t have to deal with all the misery that altitude has on your eardrums. The first day was just a quick walk around of sorts as I had an online final to take for school, bleh, but it was one of the most relaxing days of travel.
- Travel tip: There is a chain of hotels called Premier Inn and they have a sub-chain called “the hub”. I would highly recommend checking them out as they are affordable AND they are close to London’s main attractions.
On the list of activities for the day was a stop at Westminster Abbey, the London Bridge, Tower of London, and the London Eye (now renamed Coca-Cola London Eye).
King’s Cross Station
Kings Cross Station
Tower of London
Indian food for dinner
- Travel Tip: If you have apple pay on your phone you can scan your debit/credit card at the turnstile as you enter and exit the Underground you save a lot of money. This is because electronically it picks the best pay rate for all of your travel times throughout the day and compiles it into one payment on your card (at the end of the day). Some trains will also let you use this method!
On our second day we walked around, stopping to have a proper tea and scone, before heading to the showing of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 and 2. If you are a Harry Potter fan this is a must see as it can only be described as enthralling, magically, and unparalleled. If you can’t make the play you can, however, check out the Warner Bros. Studio near London where all of the franchise was filmed! It will take a train (use apple pay) and a bus (2.50 round-trip) to get there but it is completely worth it. We went on our last day and it was an amazing way to end the trip! Between these days, we went to Oxford to check out the University as it is one of the oldest and I love academic stuff. Like many college towns, it has its own unique atmosphere and some of that has to do with the buildings, literature and history of the town itself but overall it should be one of the things to check off your bucket list.