A Look Ahead: The Last Month in Korea

book coffee happiness

It’s the end of November and it has been for the past week, but this November has absolutely flown by. The everyday blogging, the everyday work, the weekend commitments and events, book-binging and the daily routine of having a dog have all contributed to the light speed with which the month disappeared. More and more, I’m looking ahead.

This December isn’t just the end of the year, it’s also the end of my time as a middle school ESL teacher in Korea. I’m making that very specific on purpose; I will very likely be returning to Korea and ESL is a pretty marketable skill, but I can’t say I want to do it in this context again. It’s just not my cup of tea, but I’m grateful for the experience and wouldn’t trade it for much. (Maybe mashed potatoes, though…)

Let’s take a look at what’s coming up this next month:

A trip to Jeju Island. Technically I leave tonight, November, but I come back on Sunday, the first day of December. I’ll be trying to see as much as possible, eating as much as possible, and generally just going against my usual travel philosophy of spending all of my time at a coffee shop watching people.

– My November Reading Roundup! Look for that within a few days.

Selling my precious, bright green car with a maroon pleather interior. I’m going to be so sad to see it go. Princess Fiona has treated me quite well, this past year.

– Running a benefit pancake brunch for friends in town to try to raise some cash for Typhoon Haiyan victims. Pancakes will be involved, so that makes up for the stress of cooking things that people need to eat.

– Ridding my apartment of extra things. I’ve got clothes, books, general things and I live outside of town, so a “garage sale”/come-to-my-house-take-my-things-for-free situation won’t be possible. I have a feeling this may be my biggest stresser.

– Other general preparation, like finding and buying Mary a dog crate for the flight over (suggestions? please tell me!), those last dinners and one-on-ones with friends, shipping things home for which there is no room in my suitcase, making sure to eat everything delicious ever, one last time. (If only I could eat Bingsu again!)

– Eating three meals of macaroni and cheese, because my mom sent me some Easy Mac from the USA. I am actually quite excited about this, it may be one of those (three of those) bright spots in the midst of a hectic and stressful month.

– Finishing all of my Christmas shopping; buying online and making sure it’s delivered on time or grabbing any last-minute souvenirs from Seoul for family members.

– A goodbye party which will be super sad and hopefully also involve cake, because cake is delicious.

– A 36 hour Christmas in Korea and Pittsburgh (due to a Christmas flight and the time difference), my birthday in Pittsburgh, and the beginning of a very unplanned and crazy year to come.

Well, December, you’re pretty much already here, so come at me! Bring it on!


Do you have suggestions for keeping stress levels down this month? How about for a good airplane dog carrier? What does your December look like?

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11 thoughts on “A Look Ahead: The Last Month in Korea”

    1. Thanks so much, Steve! I just sent him a message on FB, which will land in his “other” inbox aka Narnia, but hopefully he checks Narnia somewhat regularly…

  1. Happy trails! I’m signed on for at least another year in lovely South Korea, but I’m thinking 2015 it will be time to head back to the States. I’ll continue to follow your blog!

    1. Thanks! Enjoy your last year (or two? University jobs are hard to give up with all that vacay time!) and good luck with the eventual state-side job search. Thankfully I still have a lot of roaming left to do, so my blog isn’t going to become completely boring hah! I’ll be following along with yours too.

  2. Oh you will be taking Mary with you? That is good. I’m so sad when animals are left behind.
    Is she small enough to have with you in the cabin or does she have to go underneath? I think if you can, have her with you… My parents have travelled with our dog lots before and she is too big to be in the cabin, but those flights were only for a few hours to a different part of Canada. Another thought is if you have her with you while you are waiting between flights is to get the little disposable pads that dogs can pee on. I saw someone with one last year when I was flying home for Christmas. Not sure where you could get them in Korea… but something to consider!
    All the best with your upcoming transition!

    1. She’s definitely coming home with me, the expat community is too fluid for me to find a good solid alternative home for her.

      And carry-on is the plan, though she’s a little bigger than the requirements… fingers crossed there’s some goodwill in the air on my Christmas day flight!

      And I do plan on keeping a pee pad inside her crate, just in case, but she’s a weirdo and refuses to pee/poo anywhere except on grass. Hopefully she won’t hurt herself, holding it in too long! We’ll see. I’m sure it’ll be an experience, no matter what haha.

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