I’m here to take you on my diet journey. So technically, I wouldn’t say I’m a vegan, but for about five years I’ve cut out red meat and prefer to choose dishes without animal products. This decision was made to improve my overall health, specifically my heart. I began making my own meals and developed a preference for the different replacements. It goes back to one Lenten season, a Christian tradition, taking place six weeks before Easter. My sister and I went vegan. After Lent was over, I didn’t realize I had developed a preference for vegan replacements and meat wasn’t as delicious as it was before. Until I came to Korea, I hadn’t realized how easy it was to be vegan in America; and even easier in my hometown in Southern California. Spending summer in California didn’t necessarily prepare me for the diet change I would have to make in Korea. Continue reading
I was sitting with my friend Keli at one of our favorite campus restaurants, when we stopped talking and started people-watching. I would like to say I’ve creeped out many people by staring at them, but most of them are just on their phones distracted. That is my point of this blog: human interaction. Continue reading
Having been interested in Korean culture way before I decided to study here, I had noticed how much Koreans love going and staying out late with their peers. What I now have been trying to comprehend is just how much they do go out. For anyone who doesn’t have any knowledge of Korea at all, let me inform you that Koreans go out no matter the day, or the hour. Continue reading
As I sit on Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia, writing my last blog for Marymount, it is so hard to believe that my abroad experience is over. I have traveled a lot in my life but I have never been so fully immersed in a culture in the way that I was in New Zealand. I have met people from all over the world, tried new foods, made a few close friends and yes- even though New Zealand is an English speaking country- I have indeed learned heaps of new words. Continue reading
For me, classes started on September 3rd so I was able to have a long summer, but the semester finally arrived and I was ready for classes! My Monday class was cancelled till the 10th of September so my first class was my African American Literature class on Tuesday. I know it seems kind of random to be taking this class abroad and to be honest it wasn’t my first choice to take a class in Korea that has to do with America. I was very interested in how my professor would approach the subject. I always wonder, while trying not to care, how and what other countries learn and know about Americas history & present. I was also curious on what my classmates would get from our readings including what they had to say about them.
After being here for about three weeks, for most of the time, I was pretty much just an average “tourist”. My main purpose in the country was to experience the culture, visit museums, and eat their delicious food. Whenever I was roaming different areas of Seoul and saw another foreigner (non-Korean), I wouldn’t think much of it and just assumed they were here doing the same things I’m doing. It wasn’t until I went to Sunday mass that it started to get me to question why foreigners are here in South Korea, the same, this very moment too. Continue reading
Kia ora! That’s hello in Maori, New Zealand’s indigenous language (it would be like us speaking an American Indian language except like 50 years after the colonist settled in America). The Maori language is very much present in culture and students take Maori classes. Many people here are half or full Maori.
I have only been in New Zealand about a week and still very much jet-lagged. Continue reading
So for most people maybe Myeongdong isn’t the best place to tackle on your first day in a new country where you barely know the language, but for some it may; for me it was. As someone who absolutely loves shopping and has almost made a sport of it had figured that I could do it successfully anywhere. If anyone knows, Myeongdong is a a huge area (maze) filled with everything imaginable. They have clothing, makeup, skincare, health, food, shoe stores etc. Continue reading
The funny thing about traveling is that no matter how long you are gone, once it is over it feels like it all happened in a blink of an eye. My Fall 2017 semester abroad gave me a very different perspective than traveling to Iceland for a 3-week program. I was confident in my capability to deal with culture shock and adjust to the new area, as well as creating new friendships with people from different cultures. But what I’ve learned is that no matter how much you think you know, the world always has more to teach you. Continue reading
And so, we come to my final blog post, and the realization that it was time to go home and finish things up. Towards the end of the semester, I must admit that I didn’t have too much time to write- if I wasn’t focusing on final exams or assignments, I was hanging out with friends before my trip back and getting as much out of my stay as I could. I ended up spending my final day with two of my close friends, visiting a shrine and getting Thai food before wishing each other luck and going our separate ways. Continue reading
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” This is a quote I recently learned, from St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta. It’s now one of my all-time favorite quotes because from a Christian perspective or otherwise, it really describes the peace that we can find by living in the present and not worrying about things we can’t control. I hope you also can appreciate its simple motivation to make the most of each day. This is especially important during any time we spend visiting other countries, but I don’t know why we rarely apply it to our “normal” lives. Continue reading
The drought is over. The real Irish summer has arrived. It’s unlike any season I’ve ever experienced. The skies have a habit of going from blue to gray just to dump buckets of rain and freezing winds on you during the walk from your bus-stop to office, and then becoming clear and sunny again right as you step in the door. True story. But it only took me a few days to get used to being cold and appreciating any time that I wasn’t, and I’ve even started appreciating the grand unpredictability of it all. I am no longer a person who lets a little downpour stop her from going out and living life, because the odds are that the rain won’t last long anyways. Continue reading
I’ve been feeling really homesick the past few weeks. Sometimes this happens while you’re abroad, people will tell you, but I never thought it would happen to me…I love traveling! However, I found myself getting more and more tired of things and people here, and more and more impatient for things and people that I’m looking forward to when I return home. This past weekend, however, totally lifted my spirits with a trip up to Northern Ireland along with the fifty other interns in my program. We climbed across a rope bridge, took in some beautiful views at Giant’s Causeway, pretended to be in the world of Game of Thrones, and explored a whole new city! Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, is nothing at all like Dublin. Continue reading
I never really agreed with that classic idiom “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Words can convey ideas and experiences in a way a photo never could, because a photo only shows a single moment and only a specific view of that moment. However, sometimes you’re just at a loss for words, in which case a photo is a great substitute. This week, that’s where I find myself. Continue reading
Days are passing by as if in a blur now, and at the end is that inevitability: the departure. It is perhaps somewhat telling that I think about the end of my program not as my “return” as many of my fellows have spoken of it, but that “departure.” I think very little of what I’m coming back too, and constantly of what I’m leaving behind. Continue reading