Blogging Abroad’s second prompt is for bloggers to share their home away from home. I actually don’t have a place I consider home, so I’m calling this my home around the world.
Learning about how people live around the world is fascinating and it’s one and reason why I love CouchSurfing.
When I lived in Korea for three years, I inhabited three different apartments. Luckily, I filmed a tour for my family when I moved into my first apartment in August 2012.
As you can see, a typical apartment in Korea is not much different than what you would find in America except for the ondol (floor heating), cheesy colorful wallpaper, and lack of a bathtub.
With the English Program in Korea (EPIK), our housing is covered in our contract, so I paid nothing. This apartment probably goes for around $300-350 USD a month. Utilities were about $20 a month. Internet was free. Read more about making money in South Korea.
I consider home, however, to be much more than the place where I store my things and sleep. Gwangju and the glorious community was my home. So I’m also including a few videos that showcase the beauty and diversity of Gwangju, South Korea, my home for three years.
Beautiful video by Ciaran O’Connell
I rode my bike everyday and everywhere in Gwangju. Yes, even in a dress, even in the snow! Here is a video fellow teacher, Corey, put together.
Here’s a great video put together by my friend and returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Chad LaRoche, about Gwangju International Community Day, an event showcasing the city’s diversity. Yours truly appear at the end! Adam is also featured at the CREATE and GIFT art booth. I miss the Gwangju community!
I’m currently on the road, so we have a new home every few days. We’ve slept in circular bungalows, bamboo huts, a Mongolian ger, tent on the beach, hammock on the riverfront, hard floor of a university student in Vietnam, dirty sandy bungalow on the beach, the roof of a Taiwanese family’s accounting office, a spa floor shared with hundreds of Koreans, a Chinese artist’s studio, a Japanese tatami mat with six other people, and on bumpy overnight buses and trains. These are just a few unique places we’ve called home. Unfortunately, I haven’t documented most of these places, but they all have special memories in my brain.
BUT! I do have a video touring our bungalow in a small village called Tadlow, Laos. I put in my teacher voice and mimicked the video dialogues from English textbooks in Korea, so I don’t normally talk like this. In fact, this bungalow was only 6 USD per night. If you want to learn more about budget accommodation in Asia, I wrote a recent post.
Home is a strange concept for me now. I grew up in East Brunswick, New Jersey, but I haven’t lived there since I was 18. My parents also since moved and currently live in a town where I’ve never been. So, I don’t quite consider that to be home, either. Now, I consider home to be where my backpack is and where Adam and I are sleeping for the night. I like it.