The last month has been a little bit hectic. February has always passed in a bit of an accelerated blur over the years, and 2018’s felt like it barely even started for me. But here we are, in March, and I have trips to immigration and Seoul Fashion Week to look forwards to (seriously, how is that this week already), and a whole load of (mildly stressful) good things to look back on.
February was my last month at CDI – the school I was working at – and my last month in a city I just couldn’t grow to love. For any expat, ‘last’ is pretty much synonymous with ‘packing’ or ‘boxes’ or ‘a lot of stress’, and I spent almost all of the month working out how to move most effectively, and packing away my things. I love the idea of new starts (new projects, new ideas), which took the sting out of losing my lovely big officetel I’ve been calling home for the past year – the excitement of moving to Seoul has also helped massively – but ultimately I know that losing the space I’ve had will be a bit hard to begin with. I didn’t have chance to do the massive cleanout I was wanting to do, so that will be my first task when I’m unpacking. I might have to resurrect my depop account…
Thankfully, the move into Seoul was made a hell of a lot easier by getting a car to rent. There are a number of ways to move in South Korea, the most popular being moving services, but considering I was moving from pretty much the last subway stop before you hit islands to the opposite side of Seoul, any of the moving services I messaged were quoting massive fees at me because of the distance. I lucked out that a friend had a spare room going that I could use as an intermediary storage place, but getting it there was proving to be an issue. I can’t drive in Korea (not that I’d really want to anyway…), so doing it myself was out of the question, and none of my friendship circle drives either, really. Apart from one. Who I am very very thankful put up with me. BUT WE MANAGED. And it worked out to be way less expensive than a moving service, and I only had to do a tiny bit by public transport (I thoroughly do not recommend that, a lot of the subway stations don’t have step free access yet).
Purikura is great I want to do more. ALL THE STICKER PHOTOS
Aside from moving, I visited Japan for the first time (properly). I went to spend 4 days with Izzy, and it was one of those perfect ‘I don’t have to think about anything, brain status: off’ types of holiday. I went to Disneyland for the first time ever, and I will be doing a blog post and videos of my trip, although a lot of it was really just dicking around in 7-11s because I could. It was a short trip, but I really needed it, and I can’t wait to visit again this year.
At the start of February, my friends and I started posting on our group youtube channel ‘Today뭐해?‘ It’s a project that we’ve been working on since November, and we felt that it was a pretty good time to start posting. It’s been so much fun so far to film things for, and one of our videos (a reaction/talk to the PyeongChang Opening Ceremony) surpassed 200,000 views. Which is slightly mind-boggling.
I’ve also been making new content for my own youtube channel, but haven’t found the time to edit anything. It’s frustrating, but it’s there, and as much as I’m hating myself for slacking on the things I wanted to do this year, it’s been unavoidable. I’m trying not to let it get to me too much. Likewise, I have a tonne of draft posts sitting waiting for images to be edited for the blog. I just haven’t been fab with my time allocation.
But taking time off from writing posts has also made me realise that doing this is something that I actually really love, and while it’s not physically possible for me to pack in the day job and really work on making things – visas, bills, practicalities – it is something that I want to pursue. Even though it feels like I’m shouting into the void sometimes.
The other big, new thing this month was that I started at my new school. Technically, my official ‘start date’ was March 2nd, but my very first day meeting everyone – colleagues and kids – was in the last few days of February, so I’m counting it here. Meeting the kids before teaching them definitely helped to ease my nerves of teaching Kindergarten, it also meant that they knew me before I became their teacher, making that transition a little bit easier. The first day has only really just passed, but already I’m feeling a lot less tense and a lot more energetic. Bye bye antisocial teaching hours and a 2 hour trip to see my friends.
This is The Airy Henri. My first (incredibly low maintenance) air plant.
I’m looking forwards to actually moving in and sorting everything out. I spent far too long camped out on Hannah’s floor (bless her), since my new place was actually uninhabitable when I got it. The way that a lot of native-language teaching contracts work in South Korea is with an incredibly fast turnover. One teacher leaves and the new employee moves in a day later, if not the same day. I was shocked that on my last day teaching in CDI – which was the day I had to move out – the new teacher had arrived barely 10 minutes after my apartment had been checked that I’d left it the way I got it: empty, with a bed/microwave/kettle/things included in the contract. Usually it takes a little longer, but nope. My new place was left A State, to put it politely. Thankfully, my new school were ace about getting it cleaned that weekend, and the last thing I need before I can move in ~officially~ is a new mattress. I’ve got most of everything else put away, with coupang rocket delivery saving me on wardrobe storage, and only a few more trips to daiso for under-bed storage. My new place is a shoebox compared to my last one, but I wasn’t expecting anything extravagant because Seoul, and in capital cities square metres are precious.
I’m also getting back into the swing of things with blogging. Now that I don’t have to commute 2 hours to possibly get photos when I’m hanging out with my friends, I’ll be able to show my outfits more frequently again. (Yay!) And, considering my stuff is now out of boxes, I can take product photos and actually nurture the ideas that I’ve been putting on hold.
ALSO – the final also, I swear – SEOUL FASHION WEEK IS THIS WEEK. I AM VERY HYPED.
That’s been it, really. Other than saying goodbye to good friends who have left (it’s painful), and meeting new friends, it’s been a lot of mundane settling in and stress cry’s. Though I’m glad things are finally coming together both in my living situation and here. It’s nice to feel more inspired again. It’s also been good for me to take a break for a bit. A break wasn’t in my plan for this year, but it’s helped me reconnect a little bit.
Let me know if there’s anything you want to see! I’m thinking of doing some cafe roundups of my favourite spots and novelty places, as well as the usual beauty and style posts. But if you have any suggestions then please let me know too ~