Monday, July 29, 2013

Bye-bye car

I just sold my car.  Crazy me to get a little emotional about selling my car.  Maybe it's because it's really sinking in that I'm moving to a foreign country.  Pinch me.  

I loved my car.  I got my Subaru Outback after my major accident last year when my Mini Cooper was totaled.  I'm sure you remember that story. It's in my first post if you forgot it.   

I purchased my car from Sewell Subaru and crazy enough...sold it back to them. I can't say enough good things about Sewell Subaru.  They have been wonderful.  God definitely showed His favor upon me when selling my car.  Not only did Sewell give me a fabulous price on buying my car, but they also gave me a demo car to use until I leave.  And's a brand new car.  A red Subaru Crosstrek.  Sweet! 

A final good-bye to my car.  I will miss driving you.  Well, I will miss driving.  Period. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Korean Consulate...again

I got a phone call yesterday from the Korean Consulate. That certainly doesn't happen every day. It seems that they put a wrong date on my visa, so I need to take all my documents back to the consulate so they can fix it. With all the things that could go wrong, this one isn't that bad. I think they just wanted to hear my Texan accent again...

I also got to thinking about this year in South Korea and all the changes it will bring. One year from today I will be getting ready to come back home.

What will God have taught me?
What will God have shown me?
What new friendships will I have?
Will I learn how to cook Korean food?
How will God use my year in South Korea to glorify God?

Although I am a tad nervous about this big adventure, I simply cannot wait to actually be living in South Korea.

I did learn this week that the average age for EPIK teachers in South Korea is 22 - 23, which gives me a little concern. Now, I am not 22, 23, or even 24. I don't want them to look at me as the old chick who doesn't know how to have fun. Good thing I'm a kid at heart!

But then I think back to when I was 22 and I know for certain that I was not ready to do this at 22. God knows exactly what He's doing and why He is choosing to send me there now as opposed to back when I was 22. I am trusting Him.

I wanted to share with you the organization that I'm using to go teach in South Korea. There are many to choose from, and I chose Greenheart Travel. I have nothing but good things to say about them. There are different options to choose from, from teaching abroad to volunteering abroad.
Here is their website if you wanted to check them out.

Friday, July 19, 2013

From frustration to praise

I received my contract earlier this week and set out to go to the Korean Consulate today to get my visa.  It was a day of frustrations.

First of all, Google did not understand where this place was and gave me some funky directions.  If you know Dallas, driving around the tollway and Dallas Parkway not knowing where you are going is NOT fun.  I asked construction workers.  They didn't know.  I called the Consulate office, but no one answered.  So, I did several U-turns and drove around and around.  I finally found it.  Yeah!

When I get to the office, no one is there.  Lucky me came right at their lunch hour, so I sat and waited 30 minutes while watching K-POP on the TV without any sound.  Gotta get ready for K-POP!  And I even read a poster there looking for new K-POP wanna-be stars.  They are holding auditions in Dallas. I know this is a dream of a lot of you. have to sing in Korean.

Then, here comes the "fun" part. I had misinterpreted the directions for getting my visa.  Yes, I'm blond.  I thought I was supposed to just get something signed there and send it off to my organization that I'm working with.  Nope.  Wrong!  I was actually supposed to bring my passport photos and the application fee and all the other paperwork for them to give me my visa.  I had left my passport photos at home not thinking that I would need them.

So...I did not want to drive all the way home and all the way back just to get my passport photos.  Have you driven on 635 lately?  That is plain chaotic and messy with all the construction going on.  Yuck.  So, off to find a CVS to get more passport photos done.  Say "Cheese!"

Back to the Consulate office to turn everything in.  The lady there was so sweet and asked me why I was going to Korea.  She was really excited that I will be teaching English there, and she helped me practice my "annyeong", which means hello.  I will practice my "annyeong" again on Monday when I go pick up my visa.  They are quick!  I've had to get several visas for all my traveling, and that's the quickest one I've ever gotten.

Now onto the praise...
After my afternoon of frustration, I took my car in to have my oil changed.  I have a Subaru Outback, and I took it into the dealership, Sewell Subaru.  The guy that I talked to up at Sewell is really nice, and he's an Aggie.  Bonus!  I was talking to him about moving to South Korea and that I would have to sell my car.  He said that he would have the guys appraise it.  They appraised it and came out to talk to me. He told me the number, and I was shocked.  But I thought that is what they would sell it for...that can't possibly be the amount they would give me.  I was wrong.  They would give me that amount AND they would even give me a demo car to use before I leave.  Praise God!  That was a huge, gigantic load off my shoulders.  Because I am leaving on a specific date, it was going to be hard to sell my car.  To sell it on Auto Trader or something like that, I would need at least a couple of weeks and then I would have to rent a car after selling my car.  What a pain.  I was just going to sell it to Car Max but knew I wouldn't get as much selling it that way.  I was OK with that because it would have been easier.  But God showed me that He is bigger than what I had ever imagined.  He totally reminded me that He is in charge of all of this and that I am definitely following His will for my life.  Thank you for that God.

I love it when God continues to remind that He does know what He's doing.  I don't know about you, but I sometimes question Him and ask Him if He has forgotten about me or if He needs my help.  I'm sure He gets a big kick out of that.  I'm grateful that He loves me so much and wants the absolute best for me.  I'm grateful for all those God moments, all those moments that other people call coincidences.  I call it divine intervention.

I would love to hear about your God moments!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

32 days

Just booked my flight! It's a non-stop flight from Dallas to Seoul, and it's 14 hours and 20 minutes long.  It will be THE longest flight I've ever taken...but not by much.  It was 14 hours to Sydney, Australia, and I remember that being one...long...flight. Oh, and did I mention that it's a ONE WAY flight?

But I'm excited because it's with Korean Air, which is by far the best airline I have ever flown with.  The flight attendants are wonderful, they provide goodies for the long flight, the food is yummy, and there is plenty of movie entertainment to choose from.  The plane is gigantic with more seats than you've ever seen in your life.

Sadly I will be flying coach on not on one of these lovely seats.  Bummer. 

I will be leaving America on August 18th. Countdown....32 days.


Monday, July 15, 2013

Am I crazy?

As I prepare to move to South Korea, questions and thoughts keep popping up in my head.

Am I crazy?
What am I doing?
I'm going to miss my dogs like crazy.
Do I have everything written down on my To Do List?
Did I miss something?
What if something happens to Meme while I'm gone?
What if something happens to one of my dogs?
I'm going to miss volunteering at the shelter.
Just how different will teaching be over there?
I will NOT miss the STAAR test.
Will I like the food?
I'm going to miss my friends and family.
What if I don't make good friends?
What if I don't want to come back?
Yes, I think I'm crazy.
But I can't wait.

Here are some pictures to show you what I'm thinking. I think they are pretty self-explanatory.

However, then I think this...
I am in the palm of God's hand. He has planned this for me and has gone before me and worked out all the details.
Everything is my life has lead up to this moment, and this is all part of God's plan. He has THE absolute best plan for my life, and it is beyond my wildest dreams and imagination.
This is an adventure of a lifetime, and I am going to Carpe Diem and seize the day, living in every moment.
I will not ever regret doing this...I would only regret if I did not do it.
I am one of those people that makes friends wherever I go. And I can't wait to meet people who are as adventurous as I am.
I love change. I love new experiences.
Bring it on.

A lot of these thoughts stemmed from something that happened yesterday.

At church yesterday, I met someone from South Korea. When he found out that I was moving to South Korea to teaching English, he laughed and said, "It's not going to be easy." Really? Did you really just say that?

Um, yeah, I know it won't be easy. If I wanted easy, I would have stayed teaching 5th grade in Irving, Texas because that is what I know. I've been there, done that, got the T-shirt. However, I am choosing to move halfway across the world to experience something I've always dreamed about. I know it won't be easy. I'm not an "easy" kind of girl (no, that's not what I meant). I love to challenge myself to experience new things and go beyond what I would normally do. I love to go outside my comfort zone.

I don't want easy. But it would have been nice for him to tell me that what I'm choosing to do is really cool, and that I will love it. But I will just tell myself that because I really do believe it. I think that what I'm doing is really cool and awesome and amazing. I would want to be like "that girl who moved halfway across the world to live in another country." And I will also tell myself that I truly do think that I will love it. I foresee looking back on this year as life-changing, a year where I truly experienced living in the moment, a year that I will never forget. Now why would I choose easy over that?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

I finally got my placement!

Yesterday morning, I got the LONG awaited email telling me my placement in South Korea. I finally learned where I will be living for one year. I will be moving to Daejeon, which is the 5th largest city in South Korea. It's a big city but is supposed to be less chaotic than Seoul. That suits me just fine! Its sister city in the United States is Seattle, which tells you that there is a lot to do outdoors there. There are mountains right next to the city which are famous for hiking. I really enjoyed hiking when I was in Montana and am super excited to do it again. There aren't many places to go hiking in Dallas...

Here is a map of South Korea. Daejon is right in the middle, only an hour train ride from Seoul.

I'm sure y'all have questions. I know I would if someone told me they were moving halfway across the world. What would you like to know? You can comment here or email me at - I look forward to your questions! I will put all the questions together and do a Q & A in an upcoming blog post.

najung-e boja which means "see you later"