Yoga at Home

img_0880Other than lucking out with an occasional group of foreigners holding a free class on the Han River in the summer, all of the yoga classes here are either held in Korean or are also far, far away. So when we moved to Korea I started practicing almost entirely at home. I have been using an online streaming program (Gaiam TV) along with making up my own flows as a I go.

img_0883Sometimes yoga at home involves playing with the dog, which can be a plus or a minus depending on how likely it is I will become highly distracted and give belly rubs rather than do boat pose.

I have enjoyed the freedom to do whatever I want to do during class when I’m practicing in my living room. When something doesn’t seem to suit my body, I’m much less shy about modifying or even sitting it out in the privacy of my own living room. This is something that shouldn’t be a problem in a real class either, but I have noticed that it is just easier to not do something when no one else is going to see you not do it. Continue reading

A Quick Trip Home

Over my school break I was able to go home to Colorado for the first time in almost a year and a half. Ryan’s vacation schedule is a fraction of mine, so Ryan and Roo stayed behind in Korea.I hate the long flight and was crazy to agree to getting to Colorado after 19 hours of travel then promptly driving to Indiana (an 18 hour drive) to see family there. However my brother ended up not being able to get off work which gave me one day of recovery. Even through a jet-lagged fog, it was wonderful to get a day to spend in Colorado catching up with Carissa and Ryan’s family before heading to Indiana.

In Indiana, I had a measly four days to catch up with family, but got to see everyone and squeeze in a few yoga classes in between. The highlight of the party was of course the babies, my second cousins. IMG_7821 IMG_7806 IMG_7829 IMG_7824

All the baby-holding led to at least seven people forbidding Ryan and me to have babies while abroad. Opinions, opinions.

After a short visit, I flew back to Colorado to catch a bachelorette and engagement party for Elaine. She doesn’t get married til May, but we squeezed in all the parties while she was in Colorado visiting her fiance’s family so we could all go. I’m very grateful that I’m missing as little as possible while living half way around the world. Continue reading

The Last… Half of 2014

2014 led to a pretty strong standstill for the blog, but with a plethora of photos and nowhere to put them, a 2014 recap is in order.

In the fall I took two trips to Seoraksan, once with Ryan and friends, and once as a school trip. The first time we still caught the fall colors, although we were weeks past the rush on the designated “peak foliage” dates 🙂 Unfortunately, there was an intense fog. This hike was the same one we did last year (Ulsanbawi) with sweeping views over the sea and surrounding mountains, but this time we could hardly see past our hands. IMG_7147

IMG_7119The next day of our trip was nice and sunny, perfect for our walk through Heulimgol Valley. Continue reading

From There to Here: Our New Home

After a very fulfilling and extremely busy summer full of visiting friends and family, travel, and work (hopefully the first and only summer with work), we are finally getting back to the blog.

As the year progressed at our first hagwon in Songpa-gu, Seoul, Brittany and I both noticed an overwhelming restlessness that permeated our jobs. Despite our well-intentioned and extremely kind administration, classwork and curriculum were tedious, obviously ineffective, and frankly boring. While we loved our neighborhood and experiences, our apartment was…unique. Being fairly unsatisfied with our jobs and our apartments, but still digging Korea, we got new jobs, and with them, a new city and new friends.

Our new home is just outside of Cheongna-dong in Incheon, Korea. We had pretty low expectations for Cheongna, aka “The emerald of the world” (self-proclaimed). Cheongna is a fairly new development on the outskirts of both Seoul and Incheon. On our original ride out on the train, we couldn’t help but feeling we were moving to the Nebraska of Korea, as the sprawling cityscape gave way to farms and older looking small cities. Continue reading

The Tourist’s View of Seoul

When my family came to visit this summer, we got the chance to head to some big tourist destinations in Seoul that we hadn’t been to. We even took the Seoul City Tour Bus – a hop-on, hop-off route to all the big tourist spots in Seoul- making us officially tourist material. The bus was a good way for us to get around to a few of the sites without too much walking for my jet-lagged family.

Namsangol Hanok Village

IMG_6148 copy The Hanok Village was surprisingly interesting, mostly because of our volunteer tour guide, Reggie, a high school student practicing his English and nervously sharing historical anecdotes about the different houses.  Continue reading

Korean Baseball: Fighting! Fighting!

For my family’s visit in June, we decided to head to our first Korean baseball game. After watching some games on TV and hearing from others, we anticipated Korean baseball games to be way more fun to attend than American games. We headed to Jamsil stadium to watch the Doosan Bears and the LG Twins.

IMG_6142 copy We attempted to buy tickets online in advance but never did manage to figure it out, so we just showed up at the stadium before the game and bought tickets. At first this seemed bad; the tickets were for a general area without assigned seats, and everyone was sprawled on the empty seats, which were covered with food and blankets. Families were having picnics on the upper walking-area, and I thought we were going to spend the whole game standing up, with my grandma (in her eighties and visiting Korea!) standing the whole time. Luckily, once we started asking around, families very happily moved their jackets and food and other goods and offered us seats. Continue reading

Uisangbong Hike

 

Uisanbong Hike LabelIn May we met up with a few friends to head to Bukhansan National Park in Seoul for a hike. Ryan had been to the park once before and had an awesome time previously, so we were both excited for the trip. Bukhansan is situated in the middle of Seoul. It’s still so crazy how, with such an overwhelming amount of people and buildings, these mountains just spring up from the middle and are so quiet, clean, and peaceful.

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We ended up taking an entirely different route than Ryan took before. I was a little bit terrified of the steep, slick rocks on the way up, but after being assured that we weren’t going to take the same route on the way back, I felt better. Going down would havebeen really difficult. We used ropes attached to the rocks to haul ourselves up.  There were less people than some other hikes we’ve been on here in Korea, and it was a really fun and challenging hike up. Continue reading