South Korea, Travel

July Update

July Update

Playing Catch up

Time for our July Update! As you may know, it is now December (almost January). I am backtracking a good few months, I realise this, but bear with me! I’d like to continue our monthly updates, as memories for ourselves and to keep family up-to-date with our activities. While I’m feeling inspired in the holidays I’ll be playing catch up with our monthly updates! So, for now, let’s go back to July!

July Update – in a nutshell

In July, we were still in South Korea. Doing a part-time teaching contract while searching for new opportunities abroad. I hinted in our June Update that I had had some leads, but I was very hesitant to share too much before things were confirmed! Well, as you may be aware, things worked out and the job search was successful. July was a whirlwind month spent signing contracts, applying for visas, visiting embassies and booking flights. I got a job teaching English in Sweden, and was due to start at the beginning of August! In addition to this, we had a special visitor from South Africa and had to pack up our home and lives, once again!

South Africans in South Korea

My friend arrived at the end of June and we spent almost two weeks flitting around Korea in the extreme humidity, post typhoon! It was a bit of a juggle, with us still working a few hours a day and trying to take trips and do some galavanting. But it all worked out great! We went to the beach in Busan, got lost exploring Gamcheon Cultural Village (yet again), tried all the delicious food at The Nampodong street market, dressed up in hanbok at the grand palace and walked our feet off in Seoul! We were so excited to finally share some of Koreas amazingness with friends from home!

River Rafting

Our friend (and boss) Sunny has been such a blessing to us in Korea. She has helped us out and made our short time in Korea so homey, convenient and fun! As our time together drew to an end, we decided to do something adventurous to create some memories together. Her and her husband suggested going white water rafting (which is something I have always been terribly afraid of).

july update

We went west towards Jirisan for our day in the sun and booked into a pension for the night. There are plenty tour companies that run these rafting tours, and I can’t quite remember which one we used, but this looks like it! The rafting wasn’t really “white” and was actually quite slow and boring on many parts of the river. We were able to jump off and swim alongside the boat to cool down. Just when we started getting “bored” and wishing we had a cooler of beverages in the boat, we arrived alongside an oasis. This oasis was created by the rafting company and sold plenty of delicious snacks. We very quickly demolished ramen, pajeon and a kettle of makgeolli. With spirits restored, we climbed back into the raft and continued for another 300m. These guys did it right with making an extra little income stop shop!

Packing up Home (again)

All that was left after this was to finalise our move. We had to stay in Korea until we received our work permits from the Swedish embassy in Seoul. however, we couldn’t book flights until we knew when exactly we could leave. There were so many if’s and buts. We slowly started packing some things into a box to ship to Sweden. We determined what could stay with Mark and go in his bag IF I was able to go home to South Africa between Korea and Sweden. Of course, I didn’t want to leave Mark with too much to do should he be packing up on his own. But, I also couldn’t leave him with nothing for a week if I did get to go home.

I’m an Aunty!

One of the main factors of my decision to pop in for a visit back home was because my brother and precious sister-in-law had a baby!! On the 19th July 2018, while teaching a class, I got a text message announcing the wonderful news. I stopped mid -sentence, picked up my phone and shrieked with joy! The first pictures of our beautiful addition. My mind was made up…I HAD to go home! But… our work permits still hadn’t arrived. I spent the next 36 hours searching for cheap flights (as cheap as they get when you book 4 days in advance). The very next day our permits arrived! I booked the flights to South Africa and then to Sweden a week later. Mark booked his straight from Korea to Sweden.

South Africa for a Week

It was a whirlwind! After I took the longest route possible ever to get home – I finally met my gorgeous nephew. Much of the week was taken up with visits at my brothers’ house, just soaking his baby newness all in. I’m in love! I met another special friends’ 7 week old cuteness too. I was so lucky to have these two special women on maternity leave. I’m so grateful to have been able to spend some quality time with them and their babes.

I also got to celebrate a very special 5th birthday party, and hang out at markets with my mom and dear friends. Of course, I got to cuddle my precious puppy and have a few tea times with my amazing gran. It really was a “take in everything you love” week. Who knows when we will be able to get back home again. Thank you home, for filling up my love tank!

Goodbye Korea, Again

Just like last time, it wasn’t any easier to leave Korea. We rekindled old friendships, went on more adventures, and settled into Korean life with a great sense of ease and familiarity. korea will always be one of our favourite places in the world. Delicious food, unending adventures and a home away from home. Thank you, and goodbye, SoKo. We’ll see you again, I’m sure of it.

So that was the July Update! Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for Augusts where you can see how we settled into our new home and job in Sweden!