Our relationship has changed

Since my last post I’ve been too focused on my new jobs and trying to get my TEFL certificate to post anything on here. 

The one thing I want to share with you the most is that I got engaged last month ๐Ÿ™‚ Seunghwan proposed to me on our 5th anniversary which was romantic and sweet! We’ve been in talks with his parents and my parents about where to have the first wedding – it was obvious that we would had to have 2 weddings as it would be extremely difficult to get all our family members in the same room. We’ve decided on getting married in Korea first because next year Seunghwan graduates university and then he needs to return to do his national service. Which has made planning a wedding 10x more stressful because we need to work around it. I wanted to wait longer so we could save more money but things aren’t looking like it’ll turn out that way. We’re going to have a family discussion at Christmas with my parents to start making plans and to finalise details.

I just can’t believe we’ve been together 5 years already. How time flies! I celebrated my 22nd birthday last week and it hasn’t sunk in that I’m getting married… I’m still so young but when Seunghwan finishes his service I’ll be about 25 which is crazy to think about! It’s going to be difficult spending 2 years without him as I’ve become so accustomed to having him with me for the last 3 years. Also, I need to decide if I want continue to work in the UK or move to Korea while he’s in the army. There’s so many things I need to decide in only 1 year – it’s stressful just thinking about it!

Anyways, I hope everyone is well and hopefully you’ll see a post from me soon ๐Ÿ™‚

Back on track

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After 2 months of being stressed, poor and unhappy, I’ve recently started a new job! When I wrote my last post I didn’t have a job as I’d left it to travel around Korea for 6 weeks, so I was desperately looking for either a full time or part time job. I applied for a few different jobs per day and was invited to an interview for Pandora – I didn’t hear back from them so continued my job search. Unexpectedly, I received an e-mail from an agency stating they had found my CV on one of the job websites and asked me if I was interested in a role at a big financial company. So, I got a telephone interview with the financial company and the next day I was told I got the job! I was excited but nervous because this would be my first ‘proper’ job after graduation and I was worried I wouldn’t be any good.

I’m a week into the training and have another week of training before I start my normal routine which will be night shift. It’ll be my first night shift job but I’m more of a night person anyway so I’m looking forward to it. I like to be organised and to follow a set of rules which this job requires employees to do so I think I will greatly enjoy this job. I feel like it came at the right time – I was and still am struggling financially because I have only had 1 month’s wage to live on for the last 3 months but the pay at this job is weekly so I can finally get myself back on track.

2 months ago I received an unconditional offer to study a Masters degree in International Marketing but due to not being able to get any funds to cover the cost of tuition I had to decline the offer which really upset me. I like studying and I like learning about marketing so it would have been a really good chance for me to increase my knowledge on the subject. However, it’s not a requirement for most graduate jobs therefore it really isn’t necessary for me to study further. I do plan to keep some of my wage and save some money so if ย I want to study next year or a few years later I have the funds to do so. Although, I was sad for not being able to do the degree, I do now have a full time job so things are looking up!

In addition to getting a new job, I will also have a side job as a private English teacher. My boyfriend met a Korean couple through the sports club he plays with and the wife was looking for an English teacher to help her improve her English whilst she is living in Scotland. My boyfriend introduced me to them and I agreed I would teach her English 3 times a week before work. I’m still in the process of doing my TEFL course and plan to finish it this month so I’ll be fully qualified to teach. I’m nervous about teaching because I don’t have any experience but this opportunity will help me later if I do want to go to Korea to teach. It’ll be a learning curve for both of us ๐Ÿ™‚

If you guys have any tips on teaching English for the first time, I’d really appreciate it!

 

 

 

I need a little pick-me-up

I’ve just been feeling down lately, with trying to find a job and find funding for my post graduate degree. I’ve been really unproductive playing old Pokรฉmon games and watching anime. When I feel like this I tend to stray towards music to help me with my feelings.

This music video was actually introduced to me by my father when I was in Korea. He told me the video had Korean in it so I had to check it out for myself. I really like the song and the music video is okay although it gives off a Japanese feel even though the writing is in Korean and the woman speaks Korean at the end. The way everyone is wearing the same work clothes (grey) and even the train at the beginning of the video reminds me of Japan for some reason. Nonetheless, I am constantly listening to this song on Spotify to get me through the day.

Another song by the same group, One Republic, that makes me emotional but really motivates me to do some good in the world is their song ‘I Lived’. It just makes me think about my life and how there are other people in the world who have it worse than me so I really shouldn’t be feeling the way I am. Instead, I should think positively about life and how I can improve it, even if it’s by something as simple as donating money to charity.

 

 

 

Travelling around Seoul in Hanbok

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While in Korea I had the opportunity to rent a Hanbok (Korean traditional dress) for the day and travel around Seoul in it. Baring in mind it was around 30 degrees and I wore the dress for 10 hours, I was so tired after it but it was one of the most memorable experiences I had in Korea.

In the morning my boyfriend and I travelled to Insadong where we rented the hanboks. The store is called ์˜ค๋Š˜ ํ•˜๋ฃจ and is really easily accessible from several stations (see map below). Check out their Facebook page!

์˜ค๋Š˜ ํ•˜๋ฃจ

It was really cheap to rent the hanbok for the day. To rent the hanbok for 4 hours it costs 14,000 won and for 24 hours it’s 28,000 won. A really good deal if you ask me! Since we weren’t staying in Seoul we couldn’t keep the hanbok for 24 hours so we returned them when the shop closed at 8pm but if you can wear them for 24 hours, I would recommend that you do because it’s a nice experience wearing Korean traditional dress.

You get to choose the type of hanbok that you want to wear and the colours which is really nice. The staff members do help with choosing matching colours so if you don’t have any idea what colour you want to wear they are happy to help. I was undecided between a pastel style hanbok and a vibrant style but in the end with the staff’s recommendation I chose the pastel style.

 

My boyfriend also wanted to wear hanbok so the staff recommended he wore similar colours to mine so we’d match. Some of the older people who stopped to speak to us asked if ย we had just got married as we were wearing matching hanboks! We did get a lot of stares, especially from older people but all of the comments were kind and positive. Many people said we were pretty when we walked passed which was nice to hear. The benefit of wearing a hanbok in Seoul is that you can visit some of the traditional palaces for free! We took advantage of that and went to Gyeongbokgung Palace which is where you can see many people wearing the Korean traditional dress.

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When we were in the Palace we were stopped by a reporter who wanted to interview us. It was a surreal experience being interviewed, especially in Korean. The interview was for a Chinese broadcasting network in New York but the reporter was Korean (strange, I know). He wanted to do an article on why wearing hanbok is so popular these days, especially amongst foreigners. It was really fun and the cameraman took shots of us taking photos of ourselves which was awkward but funny. In the end we only appeared for 3 seconds and I don’t speak but it was an experience that I probably wouldn’t have had if I never wore the hanbok that day so I’m grateful for it. If you can understand Chinese then here’s the link to the article:ย http://www.ntdtv.com/xtr/gb/2016/06/11/a1270713.html

Before arriving at the Palace we were stopped by a Korean guy who wanted to take a picture of us for his Instagram account. At the same time we were asked by a Chinese mother and daughter where we rented our hanboks so we were slightly confused what to do. We got asked a lot where we got our hanboks by tourists throughout the day so we always just showed them the nearest subway station and explained where to go as neither of us had mobile data to use.

At night we decided to visit Namsan Tower before handing back our hanboks. We wanted to take the cable car but couldn’t find the way from the subway exit. Coincidentally, a couple asked us how to get to the cable car at the subway exit so we decided to walk there together. The woman was a Korean woman who had studied in the UK for her masters a few years ago and the man was Chinese who was visiting Korea for a few days. He had also studied in the UK for his masters which was a surprising coincidence. They had both also been to Scotland! So it was nice talking to them and asking them where they had visited in the UK. Actually, they weren’t a couple at all. They had met through a language exchange type app and the Korean woman was showing the guy around Seoul for the day. We spent a few hours together taking photos and chatting which was a nice way to end the day.

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I had such a great day and would definitely do it again! If you have the time you should definitely rent some hanboks and travel around the city for the day with friends. It’ll be an experience you won’t forget!

I graduated!

Yesterday, I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Marketing! I’m so proud of myself and I know my parents were proud of me too. I finally got to see inside the Thomas Coats Memorial Church which is used for graduations and it was so lovely inside. 

I was near the front so couldn’t capture how big and beautiful the church really is.


After 4 years of hard work I graduated with a 2:1 degree which I am so happy with! I’ve applied to do a postgraduate in International Marketing to begin this September so I am looking forward to the next step in my education! 

I only managed to get 3 guest tickets so my little brother decided to stay at home while my boyfriend came to the ceremony. After the graduation ceremony we all travelled back to my hometown to have a family dinner with my brother. It was really good to be back home and just spend time with my family! 

With my parents

This blog has been with me from Day 1 and I plan to continue it for another 4 years! Here’s to the future ๐ŸŽ‰

Where has the time gone?

It’s been over 5 weeks since I came to Korea and the time has passed so quickly. I head back to the UK on Tuesday night so I’m trying to cherish every moment I have left since I don’t know when I’ll be able to come back to Korea.

I planned to blog my travels in Korea and maybe make a few Youtube videos but to be honest I haven’t been able to get Internet when I’m not staying at my boyfriend’s parents house. There’s ‘free’ WiFi in areas, especially in Seoul with OllehWifi but you have to have a Korean phone/contract in order to use it for free. Otherwise you need to pay. When I stayed in my boyfriend’s grandparents home there was no WiFi at all – his grandparents live in ์˜์ •๋ถ€ (Euijungbu) so we travelled to Seoul from there = barely any internet access for about 2 weeks!

Today is actually an important day for British people as today is the day we decide whether to stay in the EU or not. Since I’m in Korea I can’t vote and I didn’t realise the vote would be when I was on holiday so I didn’t apply to vote through the post. I am really nervous about the result to be honest. This event has been in the Korean news frequently so I’ve been keeping an eye on the news lately.

My future posts will be about my travels in Korea, see you all soon!

Things never go to plan

So much time has passed since my last proper post on my blog. I was busy with my dissertation and balancing work at the same time. As expected, things never to plan…

I’m not taking the TOPIK exam in April as planned. Why? Because I didn’t have any holidays to take at work due to my 4 week holiday in Korea. So, because of that I didn’t apply for the TOPIK exam in April because I just wouldn’t get the time off to do it as it is on a Saturday and I always work weekends. The deadline to apply was in February so once I found out I didn’t have any holidays left I just decided to postpone it until later in the year.

I’m leaving my job before I go to Korea so my boyfriend and I decided to extend our holiday by an extra 2 weeks. It was a tough decision as the money is good and my co-workers are lovely but I felt that if I didn’t leave at that time I just wouldn’t leave at all. I’ll miss my graduation ball because of this extension but I am not disappointed because I can spend my extra time in Korea. I’ll make it back in time for graduation though, which is more important!

I said to Simon that I’d apply for jobs in a PC room just before we’re about to go back to the UK and he laughed because no-one goes to PC rooms to actually ‘do stuff’ except play video games! He said he wasn’t even sure the computers had word documents, since he’s never used them for that purpose.

I’ve had to become an online student at my Korean classes due to work and university. I was always given a closing shift on Fridays and although I was supposed to finish at 5:45 on the rota I didn’t actually get out the building until after 6pm which was when the classes would begin. So I told the teacher I would prefer to be an online student rather than miss the classes altogether.

Things really don’t go the way you expect them to :/