Our journey started on February 16, 2005, when we met in New York City. We became inseparable from the very first day we met, began dating, fell in love, and moved in together in SoHo, N.Y.C. Our lives, now intertwined, took a very adventurous turn as we moved to Japan. While living in Japan for a year I (Larry) taught English as a second language in Shin Uryasu-shi and Melanie was Ariel in a performance of 'The Little Mermaid' at Disney Sea in Tokyo. After Japan, we realized how much we enjoyed traveling and decided to move to South Korea.
During our first year in South Korea we both taught at an English immersion camp called English Village. I taught a variety of classes, including Robotics, and Melanie originally started by teaching English through dance and performances. She later switched to the same teaching program as me, specializing in Broadcasting classes. Melanie continued with her performances by landing a guest spot on the popular television show "Muhan Dojeon," as well as starring in several children's television shows.
Our second year in Korea we moved to the the center of Seoul, an area called Gangnam, where we continued teaching, but in a very different environment. We worked in a private academy called a "hogwan," where we taught primarily elementary and junior high schools students in a very structured school setting. During our second year, I worked almost every day and Melanie continued with her teaching and Children's TV shows on the popular Korean TV network, EBS. While being in Korea we have had the luxury of being able to travel through much of Southeast Asia, and we continue to travel to new destinations.
After Korea, we decided to work onboard a Holland America Line cruise ship called 'The Amsterdam'. We started in San Diego and sailed along the coast, around Cape Horn and into the Wilhelm Archipelago of Antarctica. From here we sailed north, up the east coast of South America to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. For the next 5 months we sailed through a small part of Antarctica and between Rio de Janeiro-Brazil and Valpairaiso-Chile, while stopping at such ports as Montevideo-Uruguay, Buenos Aires-Argentina, Port Stanley-Falkland Islands, Ushuaia-Argentina, Punta Arenas - Chile, and Puerto Montt - Chile. After our we completed this itinerary we enjoyed a transitional cruise stopping in Ecuador, Peru, Panama, several ports in Mexico, San Diego, Seattle, Vancouver - Canada, and Victoria - Canada.
We returned to the United States of America in May of 2009. After catching up with loved ones we spent the summer working part-time jobs and planning our wonderful wedding. We got married on September 4th, 2009 in Dearborn, Michigan. Our wonderful ceremony was at the Martha Mary Chapel in The Henry Ford Village, a very historical place. After numerous pictures and an enjoyable carriage ride we continued our beautiful day with the reception at the Alexandria Ballroom at The Dearborn Inn - the ballroom was actually where Henry Ford and his wife danced together. After hours of mingling, toasting, dancing and eating, we continued an after-hours event in our suite for a few more hours.
Saying goodbye to friends and family was hard to do, but Melanie and I had to start planning for our 5-week honeymoon. We started our honeymoon in Rome where we boarded a cruise ship, The Prinsendam. Four weeks onboard The Prinsendam allowed us to see such countries as Italy, Greece, Turkey, Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Albania, Croatia, Egypt, and Israel. After cruising around the Mediterranean and Black Seas, we returned to Italy and decided to explore some more of Italy. We rented a car and drove to Pisa, Vincenza, and the very unique city of Venice.
After returning once again to the United States we had friends to see, birthdays to attend, weddings & holidays to celebrate, and had to start looking for a career. A brief search and an ailing global economy led us back to South Korea. We are now back in Seoul, South Korea, teaching English, doing voiceover work, and traveling the world.
There are still places to see, people to meet, and unusual things to eat. I am so lucky to be able to have and share these amazing adventures with my best friend, my wife. We hope you enjoy reading our experiences as much as we like sharing them with you.
Laurence & Melanie Buckley
May 1st 2012
Hello Everyone, It's Larry and Melanie again. This blog is actually an update of our 2010 Malaysian Travel Blog. We've been nominated for a Tourism Travel Blog by the innaugural Malaysia International Tourism Bloggers Conference & Awards 2012 (MITBCA 2012). WE ARE SO EXCITED OUR BLOG WAS NOMINATED. The awards are hosted by the Malaysian Ministry of Tourism and they are trying to encourage bloggers from around the world. Currently we are in the top three of our category and truly hope to be selected as the winner of the Tourism Travel Blogs. Malaysia was, with out a doubt, one of our favorite and memorable trips. My wife and I had such an amazing experience and loved the diversity we experienced while in Malaysia, from the jungles of Taman Negara to the secluded Perhentian Islands to ... read more
November 9th 2010
Hello! This blog is from our latest trip abroad ~ a visa run we did back in November so that Melanie could get her new E-6 work visa! We only needed two working days to accomplish this task, so of course we added that onto a weekend so we could have a few extra days in one of our favorite cities ~ Hong Kong! On this trip, we did the usual things people do in Hong Kong ~ shopped at the wonderful (and at times, completely overwhelming) street markets, ate some fabulous cuisine, and took in the Laser & Light Show that takes place every night at 8pm! But, we also did some new things, too, which included going to see the Giant Buddha on Lantau Island, and spending a day in Macau! (Hey, it was ... read more
October 9th 2010
Hello everyone! This blog is to share with you some of what we've been up this past month. The first weekend of May we went about 3 hours south of Seoul to a city called Andong, where the 14th Annual International Mask Dance Festival was held. We went with a tour group through the Royal Asiatic Society - Korean Branch (RAS). There were only about 10 of us total on the tour, so it was always very nice and personalized. Also, our tour guide Jennifer used to live in Andong with a Korean family - so she had a lot of great information for us! As you can see from the pictures, the weekend was a nice combination of history (For example, we saw the oldest and biggest brick pagoda in Korea...) and festival (One of ... read more
September 7th 2010
Hi all, And now, to follow up the visit of my brother...the visit of my sister Lisa, and her friend Zoe! They arrived here in Seoul at the end of August and stayed for almost 2 whole weeks (right up until they had to start school!) Unfortunately, the weather was pretty nasty (take 3 showers a day kind of humid-nasty) and very rainy, but as you can see by the photos, we made the most of the weather situation and had a great time together! Some of the fun things we did were: Took a cooking class, went shopping, gambled at a casino (and Lisa won / stole about $230!), went to an amusement park - Lotte World, went shopping, went to a water park - Caribbean Bay, visited a Korean palace, saw a comedy show ... read more
August 31st 2010
Hello everyone! This is our summer 2010 blog and it highlights some of the most memorable parts of our summer in Seoul... (minus, of course, our wonderful visits from Danny & Jessica, and Lisa & her friend Zoe)! Anywho, let's get cracking... Korean Red Devils play in the World Cup: This was an exciting time in Seoul, since almost ALL Koreans are BIG soccer fans (They'll tell you it's "football," but we know the real name of game...) Anyway, Korea didn't make it too far into the tournament, but it was fun while it lasted. For all of the games there were numerous gathering places where huge numbers of fans could watch the game publicly - sometimes literally in the middle of the streets! In these pictures, we met up with our good friend Jeff along ... read more
July 15th 2010
Hi everyone~ This blog is from when my wonderful brother Danny came to visit Larry and I in South Korea with his girlfriend Jessica. The four of us had a great time, as I'm sure you can see by the photos! Now, this wasn't Danny's first time in Korea. He actually came to visit us a few years back, right after he graduated college, when we lived in Paju and worked at English Village. He had more time for vacation back then as he hadn't yet started his job, and so after he spent a couple weeks in Korea with us, the three of us also went to 4 cities in China! But this time was special nonetheless because, even though we didn't even have a full week together, we all fit in as much sightseeing ... read more
April 20th 2010
Hi all, So this blog begins with the portion of our trip that began in Taman Negara - the beautiful, and quite old, rainforest located in Central Malaysia. Here we did most of our trekking with a guide named Asli - a local tour guide, and only 21 years old. He was quite good though...his father's also in the tour guide business and so he told us that he learned everything he knew from his father! He also mentioned to us that if he's away from the rainforest for more than a few days (like in a city, for example) that he can't stand it and needs to come back to the nature. I told him that I totally know how he feels...except I'm the opposite! Haha! On our first night in Taman Negara, we first ... read more
April 16th 2010
Hi everyone, Larry and I here...we wanted to share our latest travels with you...our trip to Malaysia! We left on April 15th and were gone for 2 weeks! During this time, we had the opportunity to see a lot of different parts of the beautiful country - including Penang, Perhentian Kecil Island, Taman Negara (central rain forest), and of course, Kuala Lumpur! Here are some pictures and stories from our trip... When we first arrived in Kuala Lumpur, we took another flight up to Penang, where we spent about 4 days and 4 nights. Penang was a nice place - a rather large island off the northwestern coast of Malaysia - known for its variety of cultures and diverse food! Needless to say, we enjoyed it! My favorite? The roti canai that was available EVERYWHERE and ... read more
February 5th 2010
Hello, So this blog is about our trip to Thailand, which was intended for a visa run, but didn't quite end up working that way. That's OK though, because then we had more time to spend in the lovely Koh Samui (If we were to get our visas, we needed to spend more time in Bangkok where the embassy was!) So, we changed our flights and enjoyed the Thai island life! For our first few nights we splurged and stayed in the lovely Villa Nalinnadda. As you can see by the pictures, it was modeled to look very Mediterranean, and all of the rooms (there were only 8 in total) were very private and luxurious. I think our favorite part of staying here was the breakfast we received every morning on our little beachside terrace...lovely! Hopping ... read more
January 31st 2010
Well...we're back! Some of you said "They won't be back!" While some of you quietly shook your heads and said "Leave your bank accounts open...just in case!" Well, we have to admit that those who predicted we'd be back were correct...as only those foreigners who've ever lived in this land of Kimchi could ever predict! Here's looking forward to some more great times in Seoul... Love, Larry & Melanie... read more