Share Your World 2014-Week 38

It’s been a while since I’ve had time to check out Cee’s awesome challenges. I came across this one today and loved the questions, and since I’m trying to distract myself from freaking out about cleaning/packing/leaving, it seemed like to perfect time to do it.

If you could be a tree or plant, what would you be?

I would plant a birch tree. In the front yard of the house where I grew up we had a beautiful birch that my younger brother and I played under for hours and hours every summer. It seemed like a magical place under the tree. I loved the way the branches hung off it in small, flexible arches. I loved the shape of the jagged-edged leaves, the puffy seed pods and the color of the bark.

If you could have a servant come to your house every day for one hour, what would you have them do?

I think I would ask them to help me vacuum because it is my least favorite chore and then when we were done tidying up I would make some coffee and chat with them. I’m sure that someone who gets to go into other people’s houses (even if it is for yucky cleaning) has some interesting stories to tell. Plus, I would feel bad for asking them to vacuum as it is really no fun.

If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would you get?

If I could have an endless supply of food I would get fresh fruit. Fruit in Korea is really on the expensive side of things and so we haven’t been able to buy as much of it this summer as I usually do in the States. I miss fruit so much and crave it, but with autumn on the way, there is little to be found at the moment. Fruit, yummy, juicy fruit.

What was one of your first moneymaking jobs (other than babysitting or newspaper delivery)?

My first job was working as an office assistant in an engineering accounting office at the university. I worked there for seven years and learned an incredible amount about accounting, including that it is not the job for me. It is so stressful and the work just keeps coming, especially at the end of the fiscal year. However, the people I worked with were fabulous. They were such a nice group and were flexible with my hours. It was a fantastic job.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

This week I am grateful I got to Skype with my best friend from home. She has been on a whirlwind graduate studies program all over the world and with the time differences and varying schedule, we haven’t had time to talk since last fall. Catching up was super fun and I can’t wait to meet up with her for coffee in real time!

Right now I am looking forward to meeting the new teachers for our school and for the start of my next adventure with A as we travel all over Asia. So much change is coming and I’m starting to get excited for it!


Seasonal Trails

Taking pictures is something I absolutely adore, especially when I am out on the trails escaping civilization for a while. Flowers, little creatures, big scenery shots are all popular foci for my photos, but since I moved to Korea, taking pictures of the trails has become almost an obsession. I love them not only because they provide a simply wonderful outlet for wandering, but because they create great visuals. The trails wander up the mountainside, cutting gently through the forest and past jumbles of rock, offering views of the harbor and a panoramic shots of the city from the peak. Most of the trails have some sort of steps built into part of them, as the mountains are rather steep. For me, it is a rare day if I do not take a picture of the stairs while on the mountain. I hope you enjoy the climb as much as I do!

As always, thank you to Cee for another wonderful photo challenge and topic.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Leaves and Trees

Spring in Korea is one of the most beautiful things I have ever had the opportunity to experience. The mountains overlooking our neighborhood have erupted into a thousand shades of green. Flowers send their sweet breath into the warm air and giants bees hum busily. Sunshine burns through lingering clouds and the thin veil of smog to kiss our pale winter faces. On the nearby hillsides gardens are beginning to push through the soil and soak up the rejuvenating rays of golden light. Life is blooming from the southern coast all the way to the bustling chaos of Seoul.

Not far from our town lay Korea’s biggest green tea fields. With the arrival of spring the tea fields have turned from rows of thin grey twigs to a flourishing leafy paradise. Two weekends ago A and I spend the day wandering around the fields, breathing in that deep, quiet earthy smell of tea and painting green into our memories. For Cee’s photo challenge this week I wanted to share a few of the pictures from our trip. After several long months of lead skies and naked trees, the fields were a dream, undoubtedly the most gorgeous place we have visited in Korea.


Share Your World-Week 15

Cee has some of the greatest challenges on her blog. I have loved doing them. This is my post for her Share Your World- Week 15.

coffeejarFor your blog do you basically use Windows or Mac, laptop, desktop, pad, or phone?

For me, blogging happens in three places: my notebook, my laptop and my ipad. Often, if I am working on writing pieces, I will start out with a pen and paper, playing with the words and ideas before solidifying and focusing them on the computer, either in Word or a post. If I am working with photos, I will sometimes edit them briefly on my computer before sending them to my ipad to play with them a bit more, then send them back to my computer for posting. I love these processes and how each medium channels a different vein of thought and offers me different avenues for creating.

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

As a kid I was dead set on being a teacher. I thought that spending all day with kids, teaching them to read, write and be creative would be the most amazing job on the planet. But, as time passed my interests shifted and I fell in love with writing. By the time I graduated from high school the teacher dream had changed and at university I studied journalism and international studies. My path, however, has led me to teaching, at least for the time being. I do love working with kids and I adore their energy. I do have to say though that as much as I love my students, I am glad that in the future my career will lead me away from school systems. The expectations from parents are impossible sometimes and the students can be…challenging.

Did you grow up in a small or big town? Did you like it?

I grew up in a small town of 30,000, including the 12,000 university students living there nine months of the year. While most of my age-mates hated living in such a small town with no mall, no giant movie theaters and limited indoor activities that didn’t involve drinking, I loved it. There is comfort in knowing exactly where everything is located, in being recognized by the grocery store clerks and called by first name, in running into a familiar face in any public place. I loved the sense of community among the long-term inhabitant and the web of connections between people.

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? 

Hmmm…this is a hard question. I think I’d either be 17 or late 20s. Age 17 is when I first felt confident in myself and rejoiced in the freedom and comfort that brought me. I have that same feeling now, as I enter my first years of full-blown (aka non-student) adulthood. I say late 20s because I’ve outgrown my (short-lived) love of partying like many of my age-mates and I no longer have to live on a shoe-string. In many respects I am fairly settled and looking forward at next steps: a career, marriage, a family.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Last week I was grateful for a rough, tense day. Such days are rarely fun and really not all the enjoyable, but they allow me to truly appreciate the fantastic days and moments of pure joy. Following that grey, blah day was one of perfection, which I enjoyed all the more.

This coming week I am looking forward to a great weekend with my significant other. We are hoping to visit a nearby temple, provided we survive the vomit-inducing bus ride.