About This Blog

I started this blog in January 2008 to document my move to South Korea to teach English as a Second Language.  I moved to Gwangju, the 6th largest city, which is located in Jeollanamdo Province.  The city is about 3.5 hours from Seoul.

Why South Korea?  Why teaching English?  I've wanted to be an English teacher since the latter part of high school, urged by a few of my most influential teachers and mentors.  Although, my original aim was to teach English literature at the high school level.  At university I majored in English literature and Creative Writing with an emphasis in Education, but the job market at home proved daunting.  Working as a substitute teacher and tutor wasn't providing the challenge I sought, nor the income I needed to pay student loans and other bills.  

One day I received an email from Monster.com:  "Teach English in South Korea!"  Intrigued, I clicked on the link for the company it was promoting and applied.  One interview and rejection later, I was unfazed.  I sought out other recruiting companies that seemed viable and worked towards finding a job that suited me.  At the same time, I had to work on convincing my family and friends that this was a good idea.  (And some of my friends had to convince me to take the final leap, as well!)  

Weeks later, I had a new passport, a job contract signed for a kindergarten/elementary hagwon (a private academy), and an interview scheduled with the Korean Consulate in Atlanta.  Once the visa was affixed in my passport and returned, I was on my way to starting a new chapter in my life.  The journey was about to begin...

Fast-forward in time to the present.  After a few bumps in the road with difficult students and schools, I've found a place where I get to do what I enjoy most--teaching.  The journey has been filled with some long days, cultural misunderstandings, and language issues, but most importantly, it's been filled with friendship, happiness, photos, and lots of memories.  I wouldn't trade my time here for anything.

Maybe you're looking into taking this "leap of faith" for yourself.  Or maybe you're already here, experiencing the same things I am.  Or perhaps you just want to learn a little more about life in Korea.  Whatever the case may be, I hope you enjoy reading my blog.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them on the blog or you can email me privately:  hmb@alumni.unc.edu.  

Thanks for stopping by!



"The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page." - St. Augustine

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

"We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm, and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open." - Jawaharial Nehru

"Not all who wander are lost." - J. R. R. Tolkien

"When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable." - Clifton Fadiman

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