NaBloPoMo, Yo

Are you confused? Allow me to explain.

National Blog Posting Month, or NaBloPoMo, is organized by a site called The goal is pretty simple: post something new everyday. The serious writers among us may instead be participating in NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, and kudos to them. I’ll be blogging.

Coming up with new ideas everyday will be a stretch, particularly coming up with ideas worth expanding on. That’s one of the main reasons that I’m choosing to participate in this: it’ll exercise my brain, get me thinking about different things to write about and hopefully, in the long run, make me that much better of a blogger. I have a feeling I’ll be digging into the archives of my experiences, my semester abroad in Argentina or even as far back as my high school adventures in Austria. I’ve completely neglected talking about my three days in Northern Cyprus, back in January, and I’m sure there’s more material to find and work with. Interesting things are a-comin’.

So, get ready for a lot of blog posts! And get excited! If there’s anything specific you’d like me to write about this month, then please contact me. I’m sure I’ll be hurting for ideas at some point. (Blog prompts are available, but they’re more directed towards personal blogs.) In the meantime, sit back and relax while I do all the work.

To writing!

NaBloPoMo Progress to Date

1// This introductory post, you’ve just read it 🙂
2// Weird Noms: Salt & Seaweed Flavored Pringles
3// An Honest Review of 16 Months Studying Korean
4// Working in a Small, Private Middle School in Rural South Korea
5// The Characters of Sambong
6// You Know You’ve Been in Korea Too Long When…
7// iPhone Photoessay: (Delicious) Things I Consumed in Istanbul

8// How To Stay Warm In Winter Like a Korean
9// Foreign Movie Pick: “Friend” (2001)
10// Mini iPhone Photoessay: A Week of School Lunches
11// Pepero Day in Korea
12// Typhoon Haiyan, Human Suffering and Responsibility
13// iPhone Photoessay: St. Hilarian Castle in Cyprus
14// Featured Photograph: Red, Green, Yellow, Orange
15// Your Crash Course in K-Pop
16// The Slow Decline of Days
17// Random Snippets of Life in South Korea
18// Language Misadventures: How I Adopted and Unadopted a Dog Before 8am
19// iPhone Photoessay: (Delicious) Things I Consumed in Argentina
20// Photoessay: Bikes of Germany
21// Photoessay: Stunning Sunsets in Rural Korea
22// 13 Reasons Why Pittsburgh is the Best
23// The Superpower You Can Cultivate: Foreign Language
24// My Top 5 Wanderlist
25// 11 Christmas Gifts for Travelers, Vagabonds and Wanderers
26// iPhone Photoessay: Ruins of Salamis in Cyprus
27// Sacrifices of Travel: Thanksgiving Away From Home
28// Featured Photograph: White on Water
29// A Look Ahead: The Last Month in Korea


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Photoessay: My Backyard in Rural Korea

As many of you know, I live in a pretty rural area of South Korea. When I first started delving into DSLR photography, my backyard seemed like the perfect place to practice. Looking back, practicing around the neighborhood has also yielded some of my favorite shots.

Take a little walk in my shoes through these photographs. South Korea isn’t just Seoul, and if you get the chance to venture out and see this authentic and rough side of the hermit kingdom, then take it.

Backyard Series
Industry/construction is big in this area. So are pink and purple apartment buildings, apparently.

Backyard Series

Backyard Series

Backyard Series
I’ve been living right next to a barn full of cows and I didn’t even know it.
Backyard Series
The rice paddies never end.

Backyard Series


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Featured Photograph: Outdoor Mailboxes in Korea

This bicycle seems to have no owner, but sits pretty below my apartment mailboxes.

(If you’d like to buy prints of this photograph, you can do so here.)


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reality check: the bad in Korea

it’s not always rainbows and butterflies in Korea, which you might have the impression of from reading this post, this post and probably also every other post that I’ve written recently. I like to be positive, but it’s time for a reality check in which I list the things that are stupid about this country, then move on to still being happy. Continue reading reality check: the bad in Korea

Weird Noms: PB Sand

Sometimes when you shorten words, they mean something else…

Strangely, it didn’t taste very much like sand. I was looking forward to a taste of the beach, but I guess I’ll just have to chew a mouthful of rocks to get that. You win some, you lose some!


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happiness is tiny

I have a demanding schedule, but thanks to the little moments, I get by with a smile.

  • bright pink, painted, long fingernails (I bit my nails for years)
  • a clean apartment
  • cooking broccoli for the first time in Korea, yum
  • finding two pairs of socks in the sock package, not just one like I’d thought
  • wearing earrings I really like
  • folk music playing while I get ready for an evening
  • a night-time walk on the beach

and hey, the nice weather hasn’t hurt either.

accomplishing things in Korea: technology

I’m aware that the rest of the world may have already figured this out ages ago, but I am feeling prettttty accomplished right now. I figured out how to do something that completely changes my life. the world of technology is wonderful but dark and mysterious, and I’ve finally managed to cast light on one of the more important secrets hiding in the murky depths of cords and plugs and screens and stuff: I now am able to get my computer screen and audio to play on my TV. Continue reading accomplishing things in Korea: technology

That One Time I Traveled Three Hours for a…

I had a craving.

And so, I woke up this Sunday morning and packed my purse: I was headed to Seoul. I ate a quick breakfast and stepped outside, then walked a few minutes down the road to stand outside the convenience store and wait for the bus. Continue reading That One Time I Traveled Three Hours for a…

how to become exhausted

work a full-time job, which means rush through dinner four days a week to catch the bus and proceed to your part-time job.

teach an extra five classes on top of your normal class load, without warning or time to prepare. (at least those extra five were lessons from the book?)

continue to drill Korean words into your skull… over and over and over. Continue reading how to become exhausted

It’s a Korean thing: Kakao Talk

This, my friends is a little phone app called Kakao Talk. In Korea, this is more important than a lot of things… eating dinner, having a job, maybe combing your hair everyday. (Scratch that, nothing is more important than having recently combed hair.) It’s so important, because it’s the universal free messaging application used by Koreans. I’m not just talking young people here… I’m talking everyone. Like my co-workers. Like if my mom was in Korea right now, she’d have Kakao. Actually, she already does, because I made her and my immediate family download it. When I first got my phone, a Korean friend of mine took it and immediately installed Kakao. My phone was essentially naked before the Kakao app, now it’s fully clothed and ready to go out in public. If there’s a smart phone that exists in Korea without this application installed, it’s probably in the bottom of a garbage can. Continue reading It’s a Korean thing: Kakao Talk