Category Archives: Moving Files


It’s been a while since I posted on here. Since I last wrote, I moved out of my apartment in Korea, mailed 9 boxes to the states by boat, moved back to America, and then moved across the country to start grad school.  Now, I’m already 5 weeks into my first semester!

Grad school is exciting. I’m meeting awesome people, I have classes with awesome faculty, and I’m being challenged regularly.

But I still don’t feel settled. I keep having to remind myself that I didn’t just move states, I moved countries. On top of that, I’ve implemented several life style changes recently.

I’m still getting used to everything and it’s simply going to take me awhile until I feel like I’ve fully transitioned my life to being here.

I’m still in the process of purchasing possessions like a car, auto insurance, new camera equipment, furniture, bedding, and SPICES. I don’t think I’ll feel fully at home until my pantry is complete. Looking forward to that day. One bottle of tumeric at a time. #intransition


The Countdown Begins

Ack! I’m leaving Korea this month.

It’s officially July, and I feel like there’s so many things to do before I leave. Sell stuff, give away stuff, pack, mail stuff to Ohio, meet up with friends to say goodbye.

I had a serious flu for most of June, so that and my depression kinda set me back on leaving prep. But now my flu is mostly gone and I’m ready to start the packing frenzy.

I bought my first box from the post office last week, and went back the next day to buy two more. And I posted a couple things on craigslist to sell. Baby steps.

Selling stuff is always the most annoying thing, because people always want free or cheap things, so I never get to sell things for as high as I’d like. But hopefully I’ll be able to pawn off most of the big items for a decent price.

Excited to be leaving Korea and returning to the states. It’s been a long 4 years, and I’m ready to move on.

Move In Day- Take 5

DSC_0465_w8 days, 7 nights, and 300 kilometers later- I’m finally back in Seoul and officially moved out of Jochiwon.

The last step of the move was getting my bike and riding it to Seoul. It took a few days longer than I expected, but I expected it to. Not knowing how long it would take was all in the #unplanning.

I may have forgotten to mention that I expected it to take longer than I planned to my aunts, because they were all worrying when I came back 3 days later than I originally told them. In retrospect, I should have mentioned that important detail before I went, or called to tell them I wouldn’t be back on Saturday as planned. But I’m fine, so it all worked out.


It was a good pilgrimage and I have plenty of back dated updates, photos,  and half thoughts to post over the next few weeks.

It’s nice to be home.

The pilgrim is different.

The pilgrim resolves that the one who returns will not be the same person as the one who set out.

-Andrew Schelling

Jumping In Blind

I’m finally starting the bike pilgrimage tomorrow! And I’m jumping in blind.

I won’t have data/wireless this month, so I won’t be able to check my location on naver maps or look up places to stay in the towns I come along. But I’m ok with that.

I’ve got a map of the bike trail and the trail is really well marked, so as long as I follow the signs and take things slow I’ll be fine. Plus this fits into the #Unplanning Project even better. I think pilgrimages are meant to be unplanned journeys anyway.

Since I won’t have wi-fi, I won’t be posting this week, but I’ll be sure to document my half thoughts along the way and share them when I get back.

When I realized this trip was happening, I remembered the song I wrote about a year ago now. I wrote it just before the first bike trip, because I remember singing it out loud along the way. It’ll be the soundtrack for this trip, too. It’s called Blind.

When we’re traveling down this lonely road
it can seem that we are blind
The road before us twists and turns
we’ve got to trust our feet to find-

Find our way
Down the right road
Find our way
Find our way down the right road

I’m trusting my feet to find my way
to my new home~
to my soul.
Because that’s my destination~ Seoul.
My soul.

But it’s not really about the destination.
It’s about the journey to get there.

Here’s to the journey!
Let’s 가자!

Budget Phone Plan

Today I cancelled my phone plan and transferred over to a pay as you go plan. I won’t be using the data or wireless on my phone during No Nonsense November and I haven’t been using much data lately anyway, so this was the perfect time to switch over to the new data-less plan.

Yesterday I was walking to the subway with a girl from my yoga class, and telling her how I just moved in mentally to Seoul. She said this is the perfect time to do a jump off the cliff year. Since I have no one to depend on me, I can live a slightly more austere life without inconveniencing anyone but myself (i.e. budget meals, budget phone plans, etc.)

She also said, “You’ll find a job when you run out of money.” Reassuring me that everything will work out. And there’s no need to worry until then.

There’s a quote on a sticky note up on my wall that says:

“I’m not intended to have tomorrow’s supplies today. For the burden would be too heavy and the way was meant to be light.”

Half way through October I realized I’m not meant to have the whole year’s rent today. That would just weigh me down. When I come to that point where I run out of money, the supplies for tomorrow will present themselves. I’ll work when I run out of supplies. Until then I don’t have to worry about where those supplies are going to come from.

In the meantime, I can continue learning how to live with less. Starting with less time on my phone.

Move In Day- Take 4

It’s official. Today I moved in, mentally.

I’m finally in Seoul and I’m here to stay.

In this apartment. 

I said I would give myself until the end of October, and if no one claimed my apartment I would stay. I left it up to the universe and the universe decided this is the place for me.

My friend K sent me a quote this week that sums up how I feel about the move:

“My heart is at ease knowing that what is meant for me will never pass me by, and what passes me by was never meant for me.”

I feel consolation in my decision to stay knowing that apparently moving wasn’t in my cards, since it passed me by.

I now have a new analysis of the situation.

  1. I was afraid. I freaked out when I moved in, afraid of how I was going to pay for the second half of my year. I got scared that I couldn’t learn to fly. So I immediately tried to take control of the situation and give myself a safety blanket, i.e. a cheaper apartment.
  2. There’s a part of me that really likes to be secure. There’s this voice in my head that always is trying to make sure I’m better safe than sorry. That’s the part that always takes an extra sweater with me so I won’t get cold, or buys extra bottles of soap so I won’t run out. That’s the part of me that was really thrilled when I secured a storage unit in anticipation of my move. The storage unit was my insurance. I like to have insurance.
  3. I really needed to be in limbo for a while. I needed those 2 months where I was unsettled and couldn’t go anywhere, in order to process. I needed the time and space to just sit and breath and grieve all the transitions happening in my life.
  4. I needed time to adjust. Just like a frog sitting in a pot of water slowly warming up. I needed time to warm up to my apartment before I could appreciate it. Now that I’m used to the temperature, I’m not gonna try to jump out again.

I’m finally fully here, in mind, body, and spirit, and I’m excited to start settling in.  I’m still off work for the rest of this month, but that doesn’t mean I’m not workingNo Nonsense November starts today, as I crack down on some preparation for grad school and job applications.

Here’s to jumping off the cliff and learning to fly!

Unwanted Trash

What do you do when your trash comes back?

In Korea there are very strict trash, recycling, and food waste regulations. You have to make sure to buy the right bags for your neighborhood to throw away your trash and food waste.

There are white bags for trash and colored bags for food waste. Then you need to sort your recycling in another see through bag. If you don’t sort your trash correctly or use the wrong bags they will fine you.

I just moved to the city, so there are stricter regulations than out in the country. I knew most of the rules and thought I had been following them correctly.

But then one day I threw out my trash and it came back to me.
With a note in Korean.
In red.

“Wrong trash bags,” it said. “If you keep doing this we will report you.”

Oh no, I can’t even throw out my trash right. I thought as I took the bag inside and resorted it.

I had thrown away some plastic bags, so I thought maybe I was supposed to recycle them. I took them all out and rinsed them so I could put them in the recycle instead. I had thrown away some egg shells and chicken bones, which you aren’t supposed to put in your food waste, so I thought maybe the rules were different in Seoul.

Before rethrowing out my trash, I decided I should call the trash people and clarify what all the rules were so I could make sure I was following them right. I certainly didn’t want to get fined! I tied up the bag and resolved to call later in the week, during business hours.

After a few days, when the fruit flies started emerging from the mistake trash bag, I knew I had to act fast.

First, I called my landlord. I asked him the rules. But he told me information that was clearly wrong. He said it was perfectly fine to throw chicken bones and egg shells away in the food waste. I’m pretty sure this was not ok. I realized my landlord doesn’t live in Seoul, so maybe the rules are different out where he is.

Then I called the number on the trash bags. Except first I got the wrong number. Usually in Korea local numbers are listed without the area code, so if you try to call it you’ll end up calling a private number. I realized I’d forgotten to stick 02 in front of the number and tried again.

The man at the other end was super nice and helpful. I told him I was a foreigner and I’d made a mistake about my trash. So he helped me figure out all the rules:

  • No chicken bones, seeds, or nut or egg shells in the food waste.
  • Dirty plastic bags go in the trash, clean ones in the recycling.
  • Throw out the recycling in a clear plastic bag, but it doesn’t have to be sorted from each other.  It just has to be sorted from the trash. Paper, bottles, and plastic can all go in one bag.

It turns out I’d been following the rules correctly. I still couldn’t figure out why my trash had been returned. Finally I dug up the note in red from the recycle and read it to him.

“Oh….” he said. “You used the wrong trash bags for your area.”

I had bought them from a store down the street, but apparently they were for the other side of the street, not my side. I had to find a more “local” store and get the bags for my area. He promised to pick up the bag of trash that was in the wrong one in the meantime.

Also he told me I spoke Korean very well. I always appreciate when people compliment my Korean, especially when I’m struggling to communicate something important.

What I’ve learned is I don’t really produce all that much trash- most of my trash is actually food waste and recycling. This is good to know because it means I can start buying smaller trash bags. This is great for me because it will save me money. You pay for your “trash service” based on the size of the bags. Smaller bags, means less trash, means a lower fee.

Also it’s not enough to just throw out your trash. It’s important to throw it out in the right container.

And most importantly, even though someone hands you back your trash, it’s still trash. You didn’t make a mistake in throwing it out. Trust your instincts. You know what can be reused, and what can’t.