As we say farewell to another year, it seems an opportune time to reflect upon 2013 and share some of our most memorable stories and pictures. This year has been a terrific adventure that has set high expectations for the year to come.
We ended 2012 with a New Year’s party in Tulsa, OK with our friends, Aimee and Sang. We hung out in Oklahoma for 6 weeks waiting to fly over to Korea, and we had an amazing send-off with the majority of our family. With our cats and our clothes packed, we set off for unknown lands via Korean Air. Once we arrived, our cats had to be sent back home because of a paperwork issue.
We toured Seoul and we almost immediately were sent to Japan on a visa run. Although we didn’t have much time, we explored Fukuoka and really enjoyed the history and culture we were able to find on such a short trip.
Hedgers Abroad: Fukuoka, Japan
Back in Korea, we welcomed the coming spring as the Cherry Blossom trees bloomed in a spectacular display of pink and white. Spring also introduced us to some really great new friends that have enhanced our lives and our experience living abroad.
Hedgers Abroad: Spring in Korea
Ryan’s mom, Kelli, came to visit us for a few weeks before summer ramped up and we had a superb time showing her around her first Asian country. More than just sightseeing, we really loved having her visit and spending quality time with her. During her visit, we were able to attend the Lantern Festival in Seoul that celebrates Buddha’s birthday with a grand parade and millions of paper lanterns.
Hedgers Abroad: Kelli’s Visit
Summer arrived and Seoul got hot. We needed a break from the heat, so we headed down to Busan for our anniversary. Busan is a lovely city with a lot of character and we enjoyed the beaches and the food immensely. A great deal of hiking and sweaty adventure went on during the summer!
Hedgers Abroad: Busan
Hedgers Abroad: Hiking in Korea
Soon we found ourselves wearing jackets voluntarily and we knew that Fall was upon us. During Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving… kind of) we took advantage of a rare break from work and flew to Taiwan for five days of ‘splorin’. Since we had just finished a humid summer in Korea, I still sometimes wonder why we chose such a tropical place for our relaxing getaway. We hiked a bunch, visited night markets,experienced the Moon Festival in the home of complete strangers, saw stunning temples, and got hit by a typhoon that tried to dampen our moods but was unable.
Hedgers Abroad: Taipei, Taiwan
With Winter upon us we were driven indoors by the newly arrived cold air, and we contracted Cabin Fever rather quickly. We took a trip to Andong where we opted for a traditional homestay instead of a hotel. This was another fantastic experience that brought us closer to an understanding of the dynamic country in which we live.
Hedgers Abroad: Andong, South Korea
December flew by and we had the opportunity to go skiing at Yongpyong Resort with some friends. Stephanie learned to ski at a ridiculously fast pace, and we managed to avoid any injuries while having a really great time.
Throughout all of these experiences we have also really enjoyed our students. They provide constant entertainment and we blame them for how quickly this year seems to have passed.
Hedgers Abroad: Teaching ESL
Needless to say, 2013 was a spectacular year that provided us with more memories than we thought possible to pack into three hundred sixty-five days. We hope that you enjoy our selection of photos to wrap up this past year and we look forward to sharing our adventures with you again in 2014. From Ryan and Stephanie at Hedgers Abroad: Happy New Year’s, everyone.