My Big Fat Greek Holiday

Today marks the last day of my summer in Greece, as I hit the road back to Madrid at 6:30am tomorrow morning. This summer has been magical in so many ways, and whatever the opposite of magical is, in even more ways. Well, maybe not even more, I’d say way significantly less, but it always happens that the bad overshadows the good in the grand scheme of things when the heart is thrown in and has to be involved. I feel stuck in a very weird place as I return to Madrid, and a bit like Carrie did when she moved to Paris for the Russian. Yes, Sex and the City is always relevant. Always. And the episode that fits the mood is usually always on right when it needs to be. Carrie and the Russian aside, this summer saw its fair share of ups and downs, and I’d like to think it was worth it. Matters of the heart always make a leap worth it, right? Right!

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Anyways! While I’m not one to be overly emotional on this blog (just in real life), I can’t help but be when I reflect on my time in this beautiful country, spent with that beautiful gorgeous man who drives me cray. So, in an effort to not make this blog a diary of deep, I’m going to show case what made this summer absolutely exquisite and one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. In the name of love or not, I stand by my gut that coming here was a smart move and 150% worth it. If only to treat my eyeballs and tastebuds.

In bidding adieu to Grecia, and saying a new, and hopefully refreshed hello to España (minus my Crocodile), here we have the most memorable things I’ve laid my eyes and heart on this summer.

My First Meal Which Looked & Tasted Like Garlic

I also had Gemista (stuffed tomatoes and peppers), which I think might be one of my favorite foods ever.

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Paying a Return Visit To The Acropolis & Its Beautiful Ruins

I’ve always been a fan of vintage things over new things, and letting the inner hatred for tourists in Tevas flow freely.

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Cruisin’ The Athens Coast

A Real Greek hooked me up with another Real Greek to show me the Real Greek coast. Athens sure is gorge when you get out along the agua.

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Pretty Pretty Parga

Spent an afternoon basking in Preveza on the Ionian Sea, followed by a stroll through the gorgeous port city of Parga.

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Wandering And Wandering Around Ioannina

This city is insanely beautiful, sleepy, tiny, and 150% worth a trip to. It might actually be my favorite city on the mainland that I visited, but I’m also biased and spent the most time here.

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Ioannina’s Pamvotis Island, From Near & Far, Wherever We Are

My first day in Ioannina was marked by a vespa ride up to the top of the mountain to overlook Pamvotis lake and island, and later in the week I took the boat out to the island, which is pretty as a picture or two.

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The Insanely Old Bridge, & All The Zagori

This part of Greece that I raved about to everyone near and far was some of the most beautiful ang lush nature I’ve ever seen. Truly breathtaking, even while driving and running through the mountainous cliffs in pouring rain.

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Sunsets, English Breakfasts, & All The Waters in Corfu, Paxos, & Antipaxos

I stayed in San Stefanos, in northern Corfu, surrounded by Brits on their yearly summer holidays. I popped off to the neighboring islands, and ate far too many English breakfasts. It was delicious, I probably gained a clogged artery or two, and it was more than stunning.

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San Stefanos beach

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Agios Giorgios beach was my fave!!

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Antipaxos like WHOA!

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Clogging my arteries with a pseudo British lad.

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Agios Giorgios basking.

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Hiking my sweaty ass to Arillas beach.

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At the edge of the freakin world!

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Cat whispering in Old Corfu Town.

Leaving The Greek’s Apartment Everyday With This View

No wonder Lambchops loves blue and green. You’re basically forced to.

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My Big Fat Greek Village Summer Festival

Perhaps one of my favorite things I did in Greece was attend a village festival just outside of Ioannina. Everyone goes back to their villages during the summer, there’s parties, dancing, food, and tons of alcohol aflowin’. I partook in the dance (of course), and it was such a unique experience! My Big Fat Greek Jewish Wedding anyone?? Hora and traditional Greek dance up the ying yang!

These Delicious Lambchops Served To Me By Lambchops

Inhaled alongside a local bottle of Retsina and Coke, followed by Greek writing lessons. Yummy.

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Dancing Umbrellas in Thessaloniki

These umbrellas are an art installation that overlook the sea on the Thessaloniki coastline. I found them on an Instagram search, and when I told the Russian girl I met that I needed to find them, we went on a stroll along the boardwalk, and voila!

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Swimming In Turquoise Water The Color Of A Highlighter In Lefkada

To get down to Egremni Beach, we walked down (and up!) 350 stairs on the edge of a cliff, only to be greeted by the perfectly crisp waters that surround the island of Lefkada.

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This Man & His Shiny Red Vespa

Thank you Mister.

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And with that, I’m off. Greece, you are stunning, and I hope you figure out your economic and political woes, mostly so certain people (eh hem) can lay off a heaping dose of the stress. Until next time, yassas, efkaristo, harika, cavla, kalimera, kalispera, kalinikta…and all that jazz.

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Where Have I Been You Ask?

Oh, hello there! It’s been a while, I’m quite aware. I hope you’ve been well since I last wrote to you many moons ago. In all honesty, I’ve sat down to pen some posts, and then got distracted by life. I’m also beginning to think Spain just doesn’t provide much stimulation to my senses quite like Korea did. I don’t feel that much I’ve done here lends itself to a story that I’m excited about. And well, perhaps that’s to thank for the lack of postings. But, on the other hand, I literally have no time for me in this country. Between school, private classes, Spanish classes, sporadic weekend travels, visitors, and getting my teaching license, I’ve been more exhausted here than anywhere else. I don’t know how I feel about it, but it’s overwhelming.

So that’s that, and I’d like to fill you in on the probably not-so-exciting-haps since I last posted here so you’re not completely out of my loop.

Goodbye Seoul Tapper, Hello Tapperilla

Did you notice the domain for my little home on the internet? Yep, I finally made the purchase of my little home, and seoultapperilla.com is all mine. It came to be quite randomly, actually. I was up really late one night (per the usual) and had been researching domain purchasing, and at that wee hour I just decided to do it. It had been long enough that I was still non-committal, so I decided it was time to be a woman and commit. So yes, come here or go there, and you’ll still end up here. YAY!

I’m Gettin’ Edumacated

Maybe you glossed over it in the above, or maybe you already know because I’ve been at it since December, but I finally bit the bullet and decided to get my teaching license! This has been something I’ve been sitting on for quite a while, since before my 3rd year in Korea to be exact, and well, I want to be a legit teacher and have my own classroom and plan my own lessons sort of like I did in Korea, but more. Spain has provided a bit of a stifling experience since coming here to ‘teach’, so now is the time to use it for what it is and work towards something more. It’s all online, and my job here in Spain is acting as my practicum. I will finish at the end of October, when I will then need to complete a series of tests, and pending my passing, I’ll be a real teacher – FINALLY. A real teacher in that absurd state of Florida, or wherever the wind blows me. I’ll be in the market for International schools, of which I’ve got a location brewing, and we’ll see what happens once I complete those tests and map out my remaining time in España.

Get Outa Town!

In the past couple months I’ve been on an ‘I must get out of Madrid’ kick. This city is exhausting. In March Jen and I popped off to El Escorial just outside Madrid, and then mid-month we had a long weekend where we hit up Barcelona for some Gaudi (in my gaudy), and Zaragoza in Aragón for some delicious tapa hopping and Medieval castle time. It was a completely last minute trip after rain rerouted our journey to Gibraltar, but with some quick research on the fly, we devoured our way through both cities.

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Barcelona was made for us.

In Barcelona we ate the best paella I’ve probably ever had. At least since my first trip to Barcelona back in 2006. It’s damn hard to find a solid paella in this country! While in search of Gaudi’s first commission, we also stumbled on a hidden gem in Bar Tomás, which serves up the greasiest plate of Patatas Bravas con Ali Oli. We had two plates and probably left with a few clogged arteries. But it was worth it.

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Goodbye arteries.

Added To My Chain of Visitors, & Conquered Another Continent

It’s no secret that people love to come visit my homes-away-from-home, and in the last month I added 3 new ones, plus a second offender. Over Semana Santa (Easter week), sista and the Diamond sistas came for a visit. The Traveling Yarmulkas ate too much Tortilla Española in Madrid, wandered through the medieval Alcazár of Segovia that inspired Walt Disney’s castle, and jumped continents to AFRICA. We all got far too excited when our 8 feet landed in Marrakech. I don’t know why, but that continent seems like a tremendous deal. We explored Morocco in the quickest way possible as we rode some camels, slept in the Sahara, ate tagine up the ying yang, rocked a Kasbah and a shmata, and acquired a stalker. It was a fabulous whirlwind of sista time!

Shmata rocking through the Atlas Mountains

Shmata rocking through the Atlas Mountains.

I also had that second offender in a Lambchop, who was my chariot for a weekend. I got rowed around by a dreamboat through the Retiro Lake, and then we rented a beautiful little Fiat that he whizzed us around Spain in. I finally got to see Toledo, Spain’s once-upon-a-time capital, and we returned to Segovia’s Alcazár. Since I had promised him in a letter written at 15 that my family would take him to Disneyland, what better alternative than Disney’s inspiration? We took the scenic routes, and my, how Spain’s beauty opens up when you’re not traveling via public transport. The view and the company was absolutely divine.

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Castle with a view.

To Infinity & Beyond

As for the future, 7 months in Spain have come and gone, and my first contract is nearing its close at the end of June. Come end of the month, I will be popping back stateside with a chop on my arm, a coast of California to road trip, a wedding to attend, too many beautiful faces to see, and a couple tests to be taken. After jamming all that into the mix, a summer of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants in Greece awaits me. And, well, then it’s back to Madrid in October for my second contract, and who knows…

Of course, these are just snippets of what I’ve been up to, but I have full intentions of logging all of the stories behind the haps. Perhaps I left something out, I very well may have. Questions? Comments? Concerns? Will you be in Greece this summer? Holler at me! And of course, if you’re not already, you can get the day-to-day scoop over on Instagram where I actually keep track of my life in real time. 

I Finally Stood In North Korea

You could call me, in all my matourity, a DMZ veteran if you’d like, seeing as last weekend marked my 4th visit to that very very scary border to the North.

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I went once on Mama’s Schaeff’s birthday when sista came to visit me on my first birthday in the Koko. I went twice for 2 leisurely bike rides along the barbed wire majesty, and even got interviewed for all of Korea to witness. But, this last time, this last time I’ll have you know, is the most legit it has ever gotten, and will ever be gotten, unless I ever actually go to visit the North, which is highly unlikely. But never say never. 5 is a good number.

I finally got to check off that fatty trip to the Joint Security Area / Panmunjeom from my Korean Bucket List, and stood two feet in the North next to a soldier guarding the door to the Hermit Kingdom.

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I think many people are pretty out of the know when it comes to the two Koreas, so when they hear I live in Seoul and that it’s within an hour’s drive of the North, people are like WTF ARE YOU DOING, GET OUT OF THERE BEFORE YOU GET BOMBED. But it’s so not like that.  It’s so chill, and the North’s shenanigans are so far removed from anyone’s waking thoughts. 

I say this because I never get scared knowing that I’m so close to Kim Jong-un and his missles and $800 bottles of brandy.  But, last Saturday I could feel myself getting more and more tense as we reached the JSA. And honestly, it wasn’t because I thought anything would happen. But it’s just such an intense place, and the dress code was so strict, and the security just to get into the JSA required 2 busses, no pointing, no taking pictures of the building behind us, no walking behind soldiers and no touching of tables. There were so many rules and I really had to practice keeping my gestures to myself, because you know I like to gesture. I fucked up, as you’d imagine, but I’m still here so it’s all good.

The tour that we went on took us to 3 places at the DMZ. The first being Camp Bonifas, which, fun fact, is home of the world’s most dangerous golf course. One wrong move and your ball could land in a field of unexploded mines.  Camp Bonifas was named in honor of the Captain who, along with one other, was murdered by North Korean soldiers for cutting down a poplar tree, in what has since been deemed The Axe Murder Incident of 1976. Our tour guide could not stress this incident enough. Everything he spoke about, which I’m not sure his facts were all straight, always came back to this Axe Murder Incident.

First group shot at Camp Bonifas. Fun fact, the girl next to me refused to wear the skirt provided since her’s was too short.

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Just beyond Camp Bonifas lies the JSA, which is comprised of blue buildings that straddle a thin cement slab separating the North from the South, and are maintained by the UN. The particular building where tourists are allowed to enter is where the military meetings necessary to uphold the Armistice Agreement are hashed out. I’ve heard it can get pretty wild in there when they get going, stomping on tables and ish.

By entering the building on the left, you can legally say you have been in North Korea, but a photo will have to act as your passport stamp. Just beyond the blue buildings is North Korea, and if you look close enough, just up to the left of the soldier’s shoulder you can see a North Korean soldier standing post.

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Visitors from North Korea can also come to the JSA for a tour of the DMZ from the North, and apparently just the day before there were tons of North Koreans. We were told not to point or return any friendly waves or smiles if we encountered any North Koreans. Not because of anything malicious towards them, but because if we were to do so, they could take that as us believing that North Korea is great and use it to further brainwash their people. Pretty fascinating and I didn’t even think of that as an issue until told not to. Of course I pointed because my fingers have a mind of their own. Thankfully no North Koreans were in sight.

This soldier is standing directly on the border, and we found out the hard way that you are not supposed to walk behind him when Jenny accidentally did. Whoops.

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You’re also not supposed to touch or put anything on the tables, which again, we fucked up on. Well, Veny did. Triple whoops.

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No trip to a huge attraction would be complete without this guy, his big smile, and my “THIS GUY” face. We were also the last two out of the building. I’m seeing a trend since Dokdo. Token troublemakers.

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They also took group shots of us, where girls had to bend down like sorority girls. I’m also pretty impressed with their turbo airbrushing skills.

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Following in the haste of Dokdo, I almost forgot to get a picture of the room in its entirety, so here is the cockeyed shot I got as we were bolting out the door, last but not least.

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On our way out of the JSA we stopped at the Bridge of No Return, which we were not allowed to get out and see, but just view from the bus.  As the Korean War drew to a close, prisoner exchanges were done here. They were given the choice to stay in the North or South, but if they crossed over from one to the other they were never allowed to return again.

We just take selfies here.

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And our final, final stop was at Imjingak, where I’ve actually been on all my trips before this. Imjingak is home to the Freedom Bridge, which was used after usage of the Bridge of No Return was shut down following the Axe Murder Incident.  I didn’t get a photo of the bridge, but we did get this sick shot. That’s North Korean soju that I’m downing on ‘G” for Garry.

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Last fun fact for you. While military service is mandatory for men in both the North and South, service in the South is just around 2 years depending on your branch, whereas 10 years of active duty is required in the North.

If you’re looking to catch a tour of the most heavily militarized border in the world, the tour group that we went through was called Tour DMZ. We originally wanted to do the USO tour group that sista and I went through when she was here, but that is sold out for months, so we got the next best thing. For a half day tour to only the JSA the cost is 85,000won. There is also a DMZ and 3rd Infiltration tunnel tour, and another combining the two tours. 

I’ll leave you with a pointer for the wise. If you are hurtin’ to purchase some North Korean liquor at the gift shop at Camp Bonifas, I’d probably advise against it, unless you want to burn yourself from the inside out.  Spend the cash monies on some North Korean wons instead.  Now you tell me! Have you been to the DMZ / JSA or even North Korea? What did you think? Were there any differences between this tour and your’s? 

 

30 Spectacular Things I Conquered Before 30

My twenties were freakin AWESOME, and everything they were supposed to be, according to every Buzzfeed post you’ve read in the last 5 minutes.

I started them in love with a spectacular guy, got far too intoxicated all too often at the so appropriately nicknamed University of Casual Sex and Beer, entertained a handful of delicious guys who’s names all started with the letter J, graduated college and immediately hopped a Eurail through Western Europe with my bestest friend, suffered a brief heart murmur for a hott Italian boy named Giuseppe while in Barcelona, worked my ass off in the industry that I always dreamt of being a part of, revisited the place where I became a woman atop Masada, and picked my life up to move to the place I only thought I never ever wanted to live, ever.

And well, since the last decade and everything that came before were so breathtakingly tremendous, I thought it only appropriate to send them out with the same bang that they came in with, only with less vomit and blue tongue.

So, without any further ado, here we have 30 bomb diggity things I did before turning the fab age of 30 this Monday!

1. Skydived out of a helicopter while attempting to shout “HOLY SHIT!!” over the Swiss Alps, in Interlaken, Switzerland.

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2. Road tripped cross-country to spend Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Disgusting.

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3. Grew my first grey hairs in my “Garden of Grey” while coordinating fancy events and GLAM SQUADS for Jenny from the Block.

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4. Got LASEK and “restored” (if that even means they were ever perfect) my eyes to 20/20!

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5. Got my degree and hit the road for a month through Western Europe with MayMay.

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6. Went on Birthright, and big surprise, came back head-over-heels in intense L**E (?) with a sexy IDF soldier.

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7. Went fishing for the first time in Phu Quoc, Vietnam and caught a school of my very own fish…that I later ate.

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8. Was a bridesmaid for the first time in the wedding of 2 of my dearest high school friends.

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9. Watched, with pure glee, as my favorite dance teacher tapped his face off as Mr. Braithwait in Billy Elliot on Broadway.

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10. Took an authentic Thai cooking course in Chiang Mai.

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11. Schaeff family roadtripped to Graceland, Mt. Rushmore, the White House and nearly all 50 US states in a 15 seater van.

12. Saw *NSYNC, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Madonna and The Rolling Stones (amongst others….) all live in concert. Teeny bopper fo lyfe.

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13. Spent a Fab 4 New Year’s Eve on stage with Kanye West in Vegas, long before he was half of Kimye.

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14. Made the overseas move to Korea and lived in my own apartment for the first time.

15. Swam with Spinner dolphins in the wild, off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii.

16. Had a great young love (and a big chunky camera!)

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17. Took a bath with, and rode an elephant, through the Thailand jungle.

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18. Gallivanted through Angkor Wat.

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19. Got Bat Mitzvah’d atop Masada, while my family laughed beside me, and then I slathered my body in Dead Sea mud.

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20. Laid with baby tigers, spooned a mama or papa tiger, and caught a couple tigers by their tails.

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21. Got stuck in a typhoon in Osaka, Japan with nothing to do but karaoke Celine Dion and drink sake all night long!

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22. Walked (quite scared) through the Red Light District and watched a live sex show in Amsterdam.

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23. Let my knockers out as part of a Rocky Horror Picture Show shadow cast.

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24. Saw Heath Ledger and Ben Affleck on Leno, James Franco on Conan, sat front row at Ellen and went to the Grammys! Shameless “I’m so LA” brag.

25. Witnessed an actual sea parting, with Moses, during Passover, while wearing a “Shalom” fanny pack, in the Jindo province of Korea.

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26. Visited Dachau Concentration Camp in Germany (and took this severely awkward photo), and Anne Frank’s hiding place in Amsterdam, two WW2 places I’ve always wanted to see.

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27. Taught myself how to make a few signature Koreans dishes. Here we have some kimchi jjigae.

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28. Shot a Vietcong AK-47 in Saigon.

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29. Learned to read and write Korean.

30. Started and MAINTAINED this here bloggy blog!

 

HELLLLLOOOOOO 30!!!

Lucky Number ’13

With the finale of 2013 behind us, I thought I’d throw together a nice lil round-up of some of the whathaveyous that occurred, and some of the thoughts, feelings and doings that made this last year my best, most favorite yet. I feel like it’s so cliche to say the past year was the best yet and “2014 really needs to top it”, but when I reflect and look at myself and how I truly feel I’ve grown as a human, I’m entirely certain that this past year gradually saw me grow into the skin I am meant to be in.

Here goes…in absolutely no particular order.

1. A Penny For My Thoughts

As I’m sure you know, I love writing, but I was never one to really keep a consistent journal or diary of personal thoughts until this year. When 2013 started, I found myself having feelings that were getting squashed, and began tormenting me into weird girl-over-analyzing-mode.  I hated that feeling, and I hate not being able to communicate properly, so I really made a conscious effort to carry a journal around with me everywhere I go, in case I just need to jot something down, or get something out of my head and onto paper to at least clear things up for myself.  I also made a point to blog more consistently, and took a crapton of my time to organize, categorize and tag my home on the internet into some semblance of searchable order.

2. I Can See Clearly Now, The Blur Is (Almost) Gone….

Remember this post? Well, unless we don’t talk regularly, you’d know that I finally got my peepers zapped, and for the first time in over 20 years, I can see (almost) crystal clearly with the aide of nothing but my own two hazel eyeballs! As silly as it sounds, in the past year I wavered a lot on whether or not to go through with the procedure. I have come to really love my specs, and they’d become a huge part of my essence, so the thought of giving them up simply made me very sad. In the end, I decided that not perfecting my eyes because I like how I look in spectacles is a stupid reason, because HELLO, fashion glasses! My world of options has just opened up exponentially as I transcend into the world of poser! Not to mention, if I decided to get LASEK back at home, I’d be paying thousands upon thousands (literally) more than I would here, where the procedure is probably done 10x better and more frequently.

I ended up going with Gangnam Saint Mary’s, based off the recommendations of some friendzies, and their super attentive and thorough care. Awesome place if you are lookin’ for that 20/20.

This was me for the first few days post laser blast acid trip:

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3. Lights, Camera, Action!

This year I took the liberty of throwing myself into some performance things that were all my own, and a few for charity at the begging of a scammer (that secretly didn’t need any begging whatsoever).  On a whim, I auditioned for the shadow cast of Rocky Horror Picture Show, something that frankly FREAKED me out, took me well out of my comfort zone, and had me feeling the happiest and most liberated I’d felt ever. I joined a flash mob dance class and found myself crossing “Participate in a Flashmob” off the ol’ Bucket List. I haiku battled Yo Mama to a runner up seed, and then saw my dream of Lip Sync battling (though I wish against one Jimmy Fallon), materialize into full fledged felt lobster claws and a first place redeeming win!

Here’s my latest in the Let Your Freak Flag Fly department:

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4. Signed, Sealed, Delivered

The thing that probably helped me grow the most this year was having the courage to be completely vulnerable and say exactly how I feel, putting it on paper, signed, sealed, delivered the old fashioned way. Even though it didn’t return the results I’d hoped for, it returned something quite necessary to light a fire under my ass to move on with my life. My words are out in the universe which makes me feel amazing, and now I know what I really truly want, and it’s not going to be one-sided work anymore. In fact, I’m glad I didn’t “get” what I thought I wanted, because I gained the perspective to know that’s not for me. You really can’t change people and just have to accept them for who they are sometimes, it is what it is, and exactly how it should be. Even though the situation still makes me a little sad when I think about it, overall I’m 150% happy with what and where we are now. Onward and upward!

5. On That Gypsy Life

The year began with my first trip home in 1.5 years, filled with tons of food, family and the coolest friends who flew in from everywherez. Only to be followed up with training and boating and bussing my way through Thailand and Laos. I played with tigers, cooked authentic Thai cuisine, border-crossed into Laos in the back of a pick-up truck and temple hopped til my feet hurt. I planned my first ever solo trip to Bali and the surrounding islands, where I got my fortune read by the famous Ketut Liyer, got stranded in the middle of the Gili Islands whilst snorkeling, and took the most invigorating yoga class ever. Cori visited me in Asia for the 2nd time, and we conquered Tokyo and its robots. That there is a city which is more fantastic than I had ever imagined. I even became one of the less than 1% of the Korean population to touch down on that sacred Dokdo soil. I’d say it was a mighty successful year for that passport of mine.

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6. Speaking Of Passports…

I added 48 brand spankin’ new pages to mine! Mama Schaeff may think all my passport excitements are silly, but that passport is my most prized possession. And, well, now I’ve got 48 more pages to stamp full of journeys!

7. Anyeong “North Korea”

It was a huge decision when I decided to stay a third year in the Koko. That pretty much involved a 2 hour phone conversation with Papa Schaeff til about 3am the night before my decision was due, and a not-so-hefty Pros/Cons list for me to finally make up my mind. One of my conditions was that it was a million percent vital to move from my isolated studio apartment in Danggogae, to something amidst civilization. So, I traded in my huge studio for a quaint little 1 bedroom plus entryway that Jeewon helped me find. And let me tell ya, it’s made a world of difference living amongst YOUNG HIP PEOPLE and bright lights!

Oh yea! Here’s a tour of my new abode. Sit tight, it’s a long one!

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Ta da!

8. My Clothes Fit More To My Liking

So I lost 15 lbs this year. I did more yoga, jumped a lot of rope in my apartment, wandered around exploring a lot more than I used to, and quit eating that rice that Koreans seem to absorb into who the hell knows where.  I tried on a dress that I hadn’t worn in a little over a year just the other day, and what used to hug my tuchous quite snugly, now just slinks perfectly right on over it. Virtual pat on the hiney to moi!

9. Makin’ Moves

I finally got serious in thinking about and figuring out my next move come fall when my third and FINAL contract in Korea is up. Europe has always been the highest of the highest on my Must Live There list, so to Europe, most likely Spain, I shall go. I found a couple teaching programs, I’ve downloaded some Rosetta Stone, and will begin the application process this month. Definitely looking to make Paella a staple cuisine in my near future.

10. Gave A Little, To Feel A Lot

2013 ended with a group of some of my nearest and dearest cooking heaping batches of seaweed soup in Jeewon’s kitchen, to distribute to the homeless. We made about 80 bowls of soup, all of which were gone from our cooler within 15 minutes of our arrival at Seoul Station. This was definitely one of the most special things I’ve done, and it felt awesome to ring in 2014 with a huge swelling heart.

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Now in 16 days, 2014 will mark my 30 year anniversary on the planet, and I am seriously so excited to turn the BIG 3-0! I finally feel so ready to leave the glory of my 20s behind and get into all that the next check box has to offer. I really felt like 2013 was a huge year for me, and come to think of it, I didn’t even really try to make it that way. I didn’t make any major resolutions, and the year actually shittily started in tears, so I am quite pleasantly surprised! Cheers to a bomb diggity year ahead!