Teaching English in South Korea and exploring as much as possible.

"For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move." -Robert Louis Stevenson

Asia » Philippines » Cebu » Moalboal January 2nd 2011

We arrived in Korea fresh and eager to begin work, only to find out that our school would be closing in a week for winter vacation. Of course, this was less than ideal since we had just been uprooted right before Christmas; a time when most people are winding down for the year, sitting by the fire with family and drinking eggnog, not moving to a new country. Regardless, we decided to seize the opportunity leave the freezing cold of Korea behind (reportedly, this is the coldest winter in 30 years, and last night the temperature plummeted to a dismal -17 C). The Philippines has been on my list for a long time, not only because of its stunning natural beauty, but also due to its rich culture. Our flight over didn’t leave until Christmas evening, ... read more
Local kids
Kawasan Falls
Sad Monkey

North America » United States » Hawaii » Oahu » Honolulu December 1st 2010

"Tourists always labor under a time constraint and are the unwitting vistims of cost efficiency; so they stay together, travel with a narrow compass, and tend to stay put once they have arrived. This is the result of both accident and design, it is a favor and it is also a conspiracy. Tourists are contained, partly for their own benefit, partly for the benefit of locals. By being kept in one place, there is no risk of their interrupting the flow of local life." - Paul Theroux on Waikiki As always when one prepares to leave, a wave of fond nostalgia appears to sweep away the negative aspects of the experience; leaving behind mostly warm, rose-colored memories. Such is the case as I plan my last weeks in Hawaii. I find myself caught up in ... read more
Diamond Head at dusk

North America » United States » Hawaii » Oahu July 15th 2010

"In many respects, the best way to visit Honolulu is to leave it - not simply to understand it from this new vantage point, but to enjoy the sort of life that up to now has mainly been a local secret." - Paul Theroux It’s been over seven months since Craig and I moved to Hawaii. Pictures and stories have piled up while we were busy with work and classes, so I have decided to divide our Oahu blogs, with the first (this one) dedicated to the beautiful island of O'ahu, and the second to the city of Honolulu itself. One of many advantages to living on a small Pacific island is that it doesn’t take very long to get places, even on the bus which bumbles along Oahu’s highways at a very leisurely pace. ... read more
Hungry, Colorful Koi
Kahana Valley

North America » United States » Hawaii » Oahu January 20th 2010

Strong winds and choppy water had turned our snorkeling spot in Waikiki into a mire of murky water. The visibility was so terrible I could barely see Craig drifting just a few feet in front of me, let alone much in the way of marine life. After a couple of days of these less than ideal conditions, we decided to take advantage of the weather and head to the North Shore to watch some big waves. The surfing websites listed the conditions as “good to epic”, with swells predicted up to twenty feet expected in some areas. We took the bus to Haleiwa, home of the “triple crown” of surfing (hosted in November). Honolulu’s public transit system, TheBus!, runs all over Oahu. It is rated as one of the best bus systems in the nation for ... read more
Fishing at Dusk
Downtown Haleiwa
Big Waves

North America » United States » Oregon December 28th 2009

The car slowly trundled along the bumpy dirt road, and I tightened my grip on the steering wheel and gazed at the mountains spreading out in every direction. We’d been driving for well over an hour, following the windy, unpaved service road as it wound slowly through the remote Southern Oregon wilderness. As we climbed, the trees became sparser and dustier, and any trace of civilization was lost in the endless landscape. We’d begun our adventure the day before, eagerly packing the car and heading for Bandon on the Oregon coast. However, my dreams of a tranquil, idyllic weekend communing with nature ended as soon as we pulled into the state park campground. Apparently, I’d forgotten how popular the coastal beaches can be in the summer, and instead of a quiet campsite we found a bustling ... read more
Birds in Flight
Lower North Falls

North America » United States » Oregon August 15th 2009

Craig and I began our long, dusty drive east. Our final destination was to be the Steens Mountain Wilderness in Harney County, where we hoped to camp for several days. We drove through Bend and entered into the flat brown landscape stretching towards Burns, a far cry from the lush Willamette Valley. There wasn’t much around besides sage brush, and the “towns” marked on the map were only comprised of tiny gas stations/convenience stores. In total, the drive took us nearly seven hours, culminating in a 17 mile gravel stretch to reach our campsite at Fish Lake. Along the way the countryside had changed drastically, the flat, sage-brush spotted landscape giving way to lush pockets of green grass, naturally irrigated by shallow streams. These small oases were punctuated by impressive flat-topped buttes that formed vast ... read more
Alvord Desert
Steens Mountain Wilderness
the Long Way Down

North America » United States » Oregon » Prineville August 5th 2009

We stood on a ridge watching the thick storm clouds roll in around us. I was back in my old hometown of Prineville, OR, after nearly five years away. During high school, the town (which has now ballooned to a population of nearly 10,000) seemed completely isolated from the rest of the world. Returning as a vehicle-wielding adult I am surprised to find that the brisk 3.5 hour drive from Eugene is astonishingly easy. The city of Bend, only thirty miles southwest of Prineville, is booming thanks to its dry climate and wealth of outdoor recreation opportunities. At one point it was one of the fastest growing areas of Oregon, especially popular with Californians seeking alpine slopes. However, the rapid growth also meant unpleasant traffic snarls and metropolitan sprawl, and I was happy to see Prineville ... read more
Misery Ridge Vista
Monkey Face
Heron + Tree

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London May 1st 2009

“By seeing London, I have seen as much of life as the world can show” -Samuel Johnson London is such an epic city that it provides an entirely different experience for each visitor. I suppose this can be said for many places, but it especially seems to hold true in the English capital. Our experience was a pleasant one from the moment we arrived in the Luton airport. Generally, passing through customs is an incredibly uncomfortable experience: large men in uniforms glowering at you over their high tech scanners. But the English politeness seems to extend to the most tedious civil tasks, as the soft-spoken woman inspecting our passports held up the entire line chatting congenially about Dorset (which we had hoped to visit), then wished us a pleasant stay. We were traveling on a budget, ... read more
Couldn't Resist...
Nice Catch!
Park on the Thames

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul March 5th 2009

We arrived in Istanbul on a cold morning in late February, watching the city’s suburbs roll past to the rocking rhythm of the train. We were running a bit late, and the blocks of gray apartment buildings seemed to have no end in sight. With a population over 12 million, Istanbul is a large city…seemingly even more exaggerated by its unique geography, sprawled across the Bosporus. Our first sight was the inside of the art deco train station, which inevitably conjured up images of the famous Orient Express and Agatha Christie’s most beloved murder mystery. We hadn’t planned ahead, and while the other passengers poured confidently out of the station we stood watching the endless stream of traffic and trying to decide which direction might lead us to a good budget hotel. After a long and ... read more
Hagia Sofia
Simit Vendor

Europe » Austria » Vienna » Vienna February 23rd 2009

“When first one catches sight of the sea, crosses the ocean and experiences cities and lands which for so long had been distant, unattainable things of desire-one feels oneself as a hero who has performed deeds of improbable greatness.” -Sigmund Freud The Hungarian man sitting across from me glances up from his crumbling loaf of bread and gives me a sympathetic look as I try in vain to disappear into my coat. I’m already bundled in practically every layer I brought, and it isn’t doing any good inside the frigid train car. We are roughly twenty hours into our trip, tired, jetlagged and numb with cold. Our flight from Seattle to Frankfurt was brisk but bumpy; as if you were thrown into a tin can and shaken…for ten hours. Thankfully, the alcohol was complimentary, and though ... read more
Budapest Keleti Train Station
St. Elisabeth Cathedral
Main Street

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