Saturday, October 25, 2008

Random Travel Update 31

Last Location: DC metro area & Coopers Rock, West Virginia
Arrival Date: October 3, 2008
Departure Date: October 13, 2008

Current location: Tucson, AZ
Arrival Date: October 13, 2008
Departure Date: October 27, 2008

Next location: Los Angeles, California

So this was going to be my "Why I love America" update, but there were too many reasons and too much pressure to phrase them eloquently so you will just have to trust that I love America and I will cover the subject again in more depth at a later time.

My visit to the DC-metro-area was refreshing. The leaves were displaying gorgeous color and the temperature was just perfect; still summery with the occasional breeze. I was able to see several good friends, visit my favorite places for good vegan cuisine, run a few long-over-due errands, attend the annual Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary Fundraiser, listen to a live Jazz concert on the mall, finally go to the top of the Washington Monument, pick apples at an Orchard and try my hand at bouldering in West Virginia with Jon and his rock climbing posse.

Being home in Arizona has also been nice. I have been keeping myself busy organizing the house, spending time with the parents and preparing for my next adventures. On Monday, I will head to Los Angeles for ten days to help out with the Proposition 2 California ballot initiative campaign to end the practice of cramming farm animals into cages so small the animals can't even turn around, lie down or extend their limbs. For those of you in California, and/or who believe that animals should be treated with compassion and dignity, make sure to visit: for info on how you can contribute to this historic cause. I shouldn't have to remind any of you to VOTE ON NOVEMBER 4th, but if you are still having trouble deciding, feel free to contact me and I will tell you why I am voting yes for Barack Obama and no for Prop 105 (Arizona only). For more easy-to-read endorsements for those residing in Arizona, visit:

From LA I will head straight to Costa Rica where I will study Spanish for a month. If you have ever been to Costa Rica, now would be a good time to write me ;)



Thursday, October 2, 2008

Random Travel Update 30

Last Location: Seoul, ROK
Arrival Date: July 16, 2008
Departure Date: September 28, 2008

Last location: San Francisco, CA
Arrival Date: September 28, 2008
Departure Date: September 28, 2008

Current location: Tucson, AZ
Arrival Date: September 28, 2008
Departure Date: October 3, 2008

Next location: Washington, DC

New photos:
Jon's Blog:

So this is my story of the last few weeks. It is a sad story and also a happy story.

Jon and I did glorious things while he was in Seoul. After returning from our tranquil temple stay, we watched two movies at the DVD bang (room). Thelma and Louise and The King and I. Both were perfect for the mood I was in. I had forgotten that The King and I is about an English teacher! Really, it was perfect. DVD bangs are fabulous inventions. They consist of a small room with a big comfy couch and a big screen TV. You can watch any released movie you like there, with or without subtitles. Also, you can bring in whatever snacks you like and go wild. It is really a lot of fun.

One day, I made Jon walk along the Han River with me from my apartment in Chungdamdong, past the Olympic Stadium, through Hangang Park, across the Jamsil Bridge, through Riverside Park where we discovered an outdoor free rock climbing wall, then past another park, across the Yongbigyo Bridge at which point the sun set and the bugs started eating us so we jogged another 2 km before grabbing a cab near Oksu Station. Along the way, we stopped to take pictures of flowers, butterflies and kites, drink 1000W ($1) iced coffees with 900W ($0.90) soymilk, and paddle along in a paddleboat shaped like a swan. I think we totaled about 15 km. My goal was 20 if it hadn't been for the bugs.

After Jon left, things outside of work were really good. I made more time to see my friends, went out with my co-workers and found a gym five minutes away that let me try for a week free. I took a pilates class and a body sculpt class in Korean! It was so cute how the Koreans in the class would help me along the way to make sure I was doing the moves correctly. They were so sweet.

At work, however, things got complicated. Early Saturday morning I made one of the saddest decisions of my life, to leave Korea after my school failed to pay me for a month of work. I can't fully detail how sad it was. The weather had just gotten really good, I had just found my gym and also just found Cheewoo, a friend from Java Green in DC who recently returned to Korea and turns out to be one of the most wonderful people I know. I had plans to go bungee jumping in Bundang, to a film festival in Busan and was hoping to start hiking regularly in the Fall weather.

If you were one of the people who was there to see me off Saturday night (Cheewoo, Tre), to help me pack all night (Jordy) or to see me off that morning (Meghan) then you know the story. If not, I can explain the comedy of errors later. I don't feel like focusing on it now, but I am sure the whole episode will seem funny later.

I have returned safely to my hometown of Tucson, Arizona and I can't help but wonder whether, as much as I miss my friends in Seoul, maybe I was meant to return here all along. I have barely been here four days and I already have so many important things to do, like learn Spanish and help my parents lay wood flooring upstairs. Also, I will be coming to DC next week. So watch out for me. Maybe send a message if you want to meet up at Asylum, Java Green, Sticky Fingers or somewhere else awesome. I'll be living it up after ten and a half weeks in the vegan train wreck that is Korea.

In the meantime, check out new pictures and the last additions to my Korean Food Scrapbook at: Also, check out Jon's new blog for his take on things:

I look forward to seeing many of you American types soon!