Watch “21 Things To Do BEFORE TRAVELING ABROAD” on YouTube

Mina Oh always has helpful videos and I found this one to be just that!


What was going to be a fun birthday month and reunion, will no longer be happening. I won’t be going to Korea anymore this year, and everything’s been cancelled. I don’t really want to get into exact details on here, other than just to say I am devastated that the very one thing I’ve been looking to all year has been taken away from me.

I will try again another time to make it back to Korea, to see my old friends, and re-visit favored places while also discovering new ones! I’ll continue to work hard on my Korean.

I don’t know what I’m going to do in November. I’m thinking of staying with a friend in Dallas during then for a week or so. I need a change of scenery, and I don’t really like being at home for the holidays. I stopped placing a lot of emphasis on my birthday a while ago, but I had that after the fiasco of last year, I could make it up to myself and have a better birthday this year. That still didn’t happen. I’m not going to where I was hoping to go. Maybe I can still do something to salvage it by being with a friend I care about.

I’m still trying to work through everything’s that happened in the last day and a half. I’m really glad to see that I do have people who are actually supportive of me and gave me encouragement and comfort when I told them I wouldn’t be going to Korea anymore (since I had been talking about it a lot this year).

I don’t know how to properly express how much I was looking forward to this trip.  I don’t care if my disappointment comes off as whining to people who don’t know me.

I’ll make it back to Korea soon, just like I will with the other countries I’ve been to that I have special memories and friends with ♥

2019년 9월 7일

Lately I’ve been thinking maybe I should use this blog for more than just a travel blog, especially since I don’t travel that often overseas! After this Korea trip in November, I won’t be going out of the country for a while, sadly. And I wouldn’t necessarily want this blog to just lay dormant. Although, it’s been a while since I’ve had a personal, daily blog.

While I try to decide things, here’s a blog entry in Korean about my day today! (This wasn’t checked prior on Lang8 or HelloTalk, so there’s probably some mistakes.)

오늘은 아주 재미있었어요!

수업일 끝나면 선생님과 선생님의 여동생과 두명 친구들 같이 식당에서 가서 점심을 먹었다. 많이 한국어를 말했다. 그리고 선생님은 나는 한국어를 잘 말 한 했다. (더 열심히 연습해서 더 잘 할 거예요!) 나중에 버블티를 마셨었어요~

I don’t know how to express how great today was. I struggle a lot with loneliness and social anxiety, so I’ve been trying to connect more with people while also getting back to solo stuff that makes me happens. It’s a struggle, but I’m working hard to keep going.

Another thing about today, one of my classmates/new friend that I went to lunch with actually lives in the same town as me and is the same age as me!! And she’s also very into kpop and has a bts fb group (that I joined). It’s so great to have somebody nearby, I don’t even know how to explain it.

topik 1 results

topik results

Topik results came out and when I saw my score I cried—I didn’t get do as great as I was hoping for. I felt really let down and for a moment questioned what was the point of spending effort to study Korean if I can barely pass Topik 1. Nico talked me through it and really helped put things into perspective. I didn’t fail. I still got Beginners 1. My reading score was apparently a little higher than the average score (63.5), which I found amusing. And all the language people/polygots I admire all started from somewhere. Not to mention, I did initially take the Topik as something of a “practice.” I wanted to see how well I’d do on a proficiency test and if all this time spent learning would add up to anything. Also, my language classes offered to pay its students to take the Topik, and I couldn’t pass that up.

My test didn’t have the writing option and I’m not surprised at my listening score. I don’t hear very well, be it English or Korean. It’s kind of hard to explain to people how sometimes it takes me a moment to process what someone is saying. Not only that, but with the Topik I actually started getting tired of the listening portion. I felt myself slowly using interest and wishing it’d end soon because it felt like the conversations were dragging.  I think that’s something I’ll have to work on more for next year–to stay focused even if the listening portion feels too long.

I feel better now and not as devastated. It’s not going to deter me from studying Korean and the other languages I want to pursue. If anything, I plan to work harder so I can get Topik II next year and hopefully after that, above 🙂

한국에 돌아가다

It’s official–me and Nico are visiting Korea this November! I bought the tickets last night.

I’m so happy and excited to finally be going back to Korea! It’ll be 3 years this August since I was last there and I can’t wait. We’ll be there for 2 weeks and we’re planning on visiting Seoul, hopefully Busan, Incheon, and perhaps Daegu or another city. We’re going to Incheon during our last few days there to visit our current Korean teacher/friend and her family! It’ll be so good, and I’m also super excited to visit old friends and favorite old spots from my study abroad days in Korea.

Who knows, if I’m lucky enough, there’ll be some concerts during then I can go to. Fingers crossed!

thailand summer vlog

finally got around to putting together a little video from my trip to Thailand! Even though it was a goal of mine, I’m honestly surprised I managed to do it. For one, it took a long time for me to actually get it together. Secondly, I’ve made other similar goals (RIP Korea study abroad zine) that I never got around to doing. I’m very proud of myself! I didn’t record as many videos I planned to while in Thailand, but I think this small glimpse somewhat summarizes my time there.

I used videos recorded with my phone and digital camera, and edited the video using Vegas Pro 14. I’ve never done video editing before, so this will probably look very rough, but I tried my best. I will keep practicing!

I saw this comment (also screenshotted below) on twitter that made me lose my mind because it’s funny, but mostly it’s so true. Two years ago when I was preparing to go to Korea, I saw a lot of these kinds of videos. I still see these types of videos being made on Youtube.

There may be some small cultural differences when it comes to how dating works in one culture versus another. But for the most part, the basics of dating is the same everywhere. You either hit it off with someone or you don’t. I find it peculiar that things like “Dating in Korea/How to Date a Korean Person” (specifically, a guy) is seen as some big mystery. Then you read/watch about them and find that it really isn’t a big mystery. Surprise, they’re just like any other human being. (Then again, I don’t care to date in general, so what do I know? ¯\_(ツ)_/ ¯)

I’ve also never really got why some people have to be specific about the race of their partner (i.e., “My Korean Boyfriend”) for no particular reason. I don’t think it’s a big deal to make content that discusses specifc experiences that have occured because you and your partner are from different backgrounds and how it might have affected you. I think it’s unnecessary to make something titled “Me and My Korean Boyfriend Go Bowling.” What does being Korean have to do with bowling? It feels like “showing off.” It feels like fetishizing. It’s no better than if a Korean person bragged about having a foreign partner like it’s some type of cool achievement.

I don’t know. It just feels gross. Especially since the people who go to Korea or any Asian country, and make these videos, wouldn’t do it about their home country.

Also, once you’ve seen one video called “Clubbing in Korea: Storytime” you’ve basically seen them all.


Tutoring a language: All you need to know

Very helpful advice!

Lindie Botes

I started tutoring when my mom, an English teacher, moved to Japan and passed her students on to me. I mostly learnt from watching her give lessons. It helps if you’re a language learner yourself – you’ll figure out what the best way to learn a language is, and then use that way to teach.

Of course. I’ve found that in South Africa, Korean schools and tutors are extremely sparse and difficult to find. For that reason, many people started approaching me personally and asking for lessons. When I realized the demand was there, I started selling myself as a tutor, but I always provided a disclaimer that I’m not a native speaker. In this case, always tutor BELOW the level you speak. Don’t attempt to tutor someone who’s as advanced as you are – you don’t…

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