I’m Back Home…

It was pretty silly to think I would continue blogging while I was in Korea…pretty silly. I’ll post stories and photos as I continue going through all my stuff trying to remember things…

For now, here’s a picture of Cheonggyecheon stream in Seoul, during the lantern festival.

The Flaming Lips - Karen O - I Can Be A Frog

I love this song and video.

Travel Playlists!

A few weeks ago I realized I need to make a playlist for my trip! Playlists are great because they set a mood, and years down the road when you hear those same songs, you remember where you were when you were listening to them way back when.

I remember when I went to the Philippines I spent the night before my flight working on a playlist which included songs by Adele, Kanye West, The Pixies, and Lightspeed Champion. So now when I hear “Heartless” for example, I’m reminded of the five weeks I spent in the Philippines :)

Now because I’ve had more time to work on the playlist, I’m over-thinking it. Should I add mostly upbeat songs and scrap the slow/sentimental tunes? Well below are some songs/artists I’m thinking of including. (And as you can see I tried to fit in more Canadians at the end!) I’ll post the final playlist when I actually make it…we’ll see which ones make the cut.

-Psy-Gangnam style (obvs)
-2ne1-I am the best + I love you
-Hyuna-Bubble pop
-The Clash-Bankrobber
-Of montreal-Suffer for fashion
-Qtip + Rafael Saadiq-We fight/we love
-Childish Gambino-You see me + heartbeat
-Frank Ocean-Thinking bout you
-Kimbra-Settle down
-Sylvie Vartan – La plus belle pour aller danser + Comme un garçon
-Scissor Sisters
-Azure Ray-Across the Ocean
-Fucked up + Wavves-Destroy
-Kid sister-Big n bad + Right hand hi
-Theophilus London
-Lauryn Hill-Superstar
-Feist-Bad in each other/Let it die
-Twin shadow-At my heels + When were dancing
-Dum dum girls-Bedroom eyes
-Vivian girls-No + Take it as it comes
-Hunx and his punx-You don’t like rock n roll + Lover’s lane
-Lightspeed Champion-Madame van damme
-Penny & the quarters-You & me
-Wendy Rene-After laughter (Comes tears)
-Buraka som sistema
-Carla Bruni
-Rich Aucoin-It
-The diskettes-12345
-Hilotrons-Science fiction music
-Samantha Savage Smith-The score
-Think about life-Sweet sixteen + Havin’ my baby (Watch these videos and check out this band if you haven’t heard of them!)

I’ll also be uploading every single Bruce Springsteen song I have and of course my favourite album, Little Joy’s “Little Joy,” which has been on my iPod since the day I bought it.

Do you like making travel playlists? Tell me! =)

Adventure is Nigh

As the day of my departure fast approaches, I’m realizing I’ve got a lot of stuff to do.

Many of my tasks have one thing in common though—if I put my mind and energy to it, I could probably do most of them in one day. However, something high on my to do list is not that “easy.” I’m still learning how to speak Korean! I’m now up to approximately ten hours of study time using Mango Languages, the program I talked about in an earlier post. I’ve learned a lot of very helpful phrases, vocabulary, and grammar rules—and I have yet to hit “the wall”—but I’m at the point where I really need to practice speaking with a human being instead of simply talking at my laptop.

Thusly (is there a situation in which I can use this fun word and not sound douchey?), I’ve been looking into language exchange websites. I actually joined a website which turned out to be pretty useless unless you pay a fee. I’m NOT into that. I mean, it’s affordable, but come on. Come onnnnnn. It’s basically a glorified social-networking site, so why you make me pay?!

Though I will be taking language classes when I get to Korea, I’d like to practice with a native speaker before I leave. So if anyone has had any good experiences with free, easy to use language exchange websites, I would absolutely love to hear about them!

Also, I finally got around to contacting people in Seoul through Triptrotting. I probably sent out a total of five e-mails and only received one response. And it was from a dude who left Seoul…he actually turned out to be really helpful though. He told me about Groove Magazine and Three Wise Monkeys—both are expat websites with listings and typical news/culture stuff. Though I’m pretty disappointed I only got one response so far, I would still recommend using the site.

Oh and I’ve watched quite a few movies lately. I’ve specifically avoided any and all media not in English or Korean. I feel like I’m back at school carefully avoiding watching American blockbusters “based on” historical events while studying for exams. Those movies can really muck up your perception of things. Anyways, here are links to the trailers of some movies I watched…

The Bat
Murder on the Orient Express
An Education
The People Under the Stairs

Ready to Fly!

I bought my tickets and the reality of my trip is really setting in. I find myself getting more and more nervous at the thought of traveling on my own, but at the same time I’m so incredibly excited that I can’t contain my happiness hahaha. My texts and e-mails seem to have more smiley faces and exclamation points lately too!!! :D :D :D

So on top of my tickets I also bought some other basic things I’ll need for my trip:

-mini packets of detergent to handwash clothes
-mini alarm clock
-cable lock to securely lock my backpack to stuff ($12.99—I’ve been looking for one of these for a while. The gun cable lock I bought seems like it’ll do the job best because it’s very strong and flexible—I can wrap it around a bunk bed post for example.)
-and finally my brand spankin’ new backpack! (on sale for $48.99 from $69.99)

Here it is, my Roots Presto Back Country Pack (35 Litres)

So far it seems to be large enough and to be of pretty good quality. (I don’t think I would’ve bought it at full price though.) I can attest to the make of Roots packs (proudly Canadian!) because I had another one that lasted for many years and many trips. I haven’t practiced packing it yet, but I’m sure it’ll fit everything I need.

In other news…I’m going through my collection of books, DVDs, and CDs to see which ones I’m willing to sell for a little extra pocket money. So far I’m up to approximately 40 items. I’m going to give craigslist and kijiji a try and if they don’t work I’m heading to my local book/music shop!

Hi there!

I’m J. I graduated from university in June and I went to South Korea on my first ever solo trip! I started this blog to write and share things about art, travel, life…

Ask me anything