• Culture

    Health-Conscious Tips for Living in Korea

    I’ve been living in Korea for almost a year now, and while that in no way means that I am an expert of any kind (far from it in fact, like, far far from it), I wanted to share a list of some important tips to remember if you are planning on moving or studying abroad in Korea. Some of these things can apply to other Asian countries, but of course, I’ve only ever lived in South Korea, so this is specific to my own experience. Most of these are things that I have yet to see any other article or blog mention, and I tried to highlight at least a few…

  • Food

    The Beginners Guide to Korean Street Food

    This is by no means a complete list, but just some of the foods I’ve seen the most often when I’m out (and busy stuffing my face with everything I can get my hands on)…   호떡 Hotteok Sweet Korean Pancake Late evening: Me – wandering through rows of stalls, stomach growling (or not really growling because the truth is I ate maybe one hour ago, but growling because I have yet to eat anything sweet, and the smell of food is both overwhelming and calling to me), sliding past people talking amongst themselves in crowds of lines, shouting “hotteok ju-SAY-YOOO,” in an attempt to both annoy one of my friends, but also…

  • Culture

    Things I Miss and Don’t Miss About America

    It’s Wednesday morning; pouring outside – currently, has been, and will be the rest of the day. Despite this, I’m feeling oddly refreshed, a telling sign that spring is just around the corner, bringing with it more bearable temperatures and longer days. Now that the sun has decided to become a more frequent visitor in my life here on this little island, I’m beginning to remember what I love about living here. I started running outside and exploring this little area I call my home by running through trails and down windy roads riddled with too many construction workers who always look at me as if I’ve stumbled down the…

  • Culture

    Let’s Talk Kpop

    Since the mid-1990’s, shifting economic values in South Korea has contributed to the evolution of a broader cultural movement known as Hallyu. Referring to the global popularity of South Korea’s cultural economy, including television, music, fashion, film, beauty, and cuisine, Hallyu, or the “Korean wave” is a phenomenon attributed to massive changes made by the Korean government over the last few decades. With an increasing interest in branding major companies, a new focus on infrastructure, the restructuring of Korean chaebols, and lifts in censorship laws, Korea’s transnational flow of popular culture as a means of promoting soft-power by shaping preference through attraction has boosted Korea’s economy exponentially, marking it the…

  • Blog

    Trials in Adulting

    A couple of weeks ago, I decided that I was going to be an adult. A real adult this time, like the kinds you see in crappy romantic comedies and those dramas on AMC like Mad Men or Suits. I was going to start writing in my planner, scheduling things, talking in a deep voice about really serious issues but then also talking really fast and using big words as if my life was suddenly scripted by Aaron Sorkin. I begin by making all these promises to myself, even writing them down in a notebook as if I’ve suddenly drawn up some sort of contract with some outside party. I tell myself that I…

  • Creative Writing

    Little Birds

    “Something’s wrong,” he whispered, laying the bird down on the table. It slid out of his palms, its head bending backwards so the nape of its neck nearly touched the mantle beneath. The wings were fashioned like a cocoon, tucking the body away, the white feathers neither ruffled nor out of place as Wynn let it roll onto the counter. Audrey leaned forward over her homework and touched the bird anxiously, her index finger just barely pressing against its mangled right leg.  “Where did you find him?” Audrey asked, looking up at Wynn. He rubbed his nose with his sleeve and shrugged. “I think Kaiser killed him.” Audrey nodded, turning…

  • Blog

    Seeking Passion

    I’ve been struggling with something lately, and while this may come as no real surprise because A) it’s the end of January 2018, and B) it has been snowing on and off for the last few weeks, I’ve still managed  to transition to a lesser version of myself: someone who sleeps half the day, then spends her nights lying awake staring at the ceiling. While the winter blues narrative has become moot at this point, and frankly a bit overdone, still the days pass with slow succession, my mood reflective of the now greying skies. A patterned case of seasonal depression attributed to the lack of sunlight and the it’s too cold…

  • Video

    The Lost Summer

    Okay, I think I have about five more days left on my Final Cut Pro Trial…and last but not least, here’s the rest of the (useable) footage I have from this past summer when I was volunteering in Busan. It was actually really fun editing this one. I had forgotten about some of the things I had done with and time spent with the friends I made while in PNU, as well as a not so happy reminder that I miss my best friend back home a lot more than I thought. Anyway, I hope you guys enjoy. But, I think it’s time to let editing/filming Monica retire for a…

  • Blog

    物の哀れ (Mono no Aware)

    Looking back, I would have to say that I’m incredibly lucky. Lucky in a lot of instances, which considering my pessimistic personality, is something that I’m not quite used to. I don’t know why, but there’s still this part of me that likes to chip away at any smile I may have and repeat the phrase over and over: You don’t deserve this. My initial near-breakdown and nervousness surrounding my winter holiday in Japan was, like most things with me, something that I built up too much in my head until it warped into a feeling that hinted towards regret more than anything else. This is nothing new for me,…

  • Video

    Weekend in Seoul, Summer 2017

    Can you tell that my Final Cut Pro trial is coming to an end? Maybe? But, moving on… remember when I first got to Korea back at the end of June and was in Seoul for a little while, doing everything touristy and walking over twenty thousand steps a day? Yes, I said back in June. Basically, that first week was so hectic that I took all the footage, moved the files to my backup drive and never looked back. Yesterday I finally went through that footage, and let me tell you, it was pretty brutal. I don’t want to make too many excuses for myself, but those first few…