Oh hai! This update is comin’ at you right away because I have a bit of downtime getting ready for my flight back home to the US. I don’t think this comes off as a surprise? I’m almost certain I mentioned many times that I’m only here for a year, but if you missed it then… surprise! I’m leaving Korea today.
When I left Namwon 2 years ago, I was very overwhelmed with the freelance life, and I think I was just trying to do ten different things very poorly. I managed to make my credit card debt double (okay, probably more like triple), spent way too much money at Panera, and was generally not in the best physical or mental health. I started thinking about coming back to Korea while I was in South Africa, and about March I knew for sure I was going to try and come back at some point in the summer.
My plan was for a year, and there were about two reasons why I’d stay longer than that:
- I loved my position and job so, so much that I wanted to stay longer
- I met someone (*cough* Kyuhyun *cough*) and fell in love
I like my job, but I don’t love it. I’m really lucky with my schedule this year because not only are my students really lovely and sweet (I genuinely will miss most of them!), I had a whole center closed down for months, leaving me with a ton of free time on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It’s a sweet set-up that I know won’t translate when I have to change centers at the end of this year.
And, of course, I never met Kyuhyun or fell in love, so, ya know ;)
Anyhow, I knew pretty early on that I’d only be here for a year, and that year is up! I’m not really sad about it, though, because I know I’m coming back to visit next April!
This site has really been growing in terms of my content on Korea, and I know I have even more to share, so I want to make sure I come back every year or two years to update everything and see even more places I’ve had on my bucket list.
I’ll be back in April for the cherry blossom season. Right now my tentative plans are to come back for a month, doing some hiking, visiting friends, and taking a million and ten photos.
So, what exactly am I doing now? – Work Edition
The bigggg question, right? Well, a lot of things actually. I’m a big fan of diversifying income streams, and that’s pretty much what I’m doing! I’m always doing something, but I truly enjoy it and the freedom it gives me.
I’m going to keep blogging, of course!
I didn’t come all this way to throw in the towel! I’m still learning a lot, and I have so much content to publish and update, it’ll be nice to have the free time to do so. I have so many ideas to expand the business in the next few years! I put them all on a virtual shelf because I need to focus on now, but they’re definitely goals not just dreams or ideas.
I’m also still a contributor over at Department of Wandering! Rachel has been so lovely to write for and learn from, and I enjoy writing posts that I don’t necessarily put up here.
I’ve been working behind the scenes with the lovely Rachel from Hippie in Heels for quite a while now, and she emailed me one day with this idea of a boho lifestyle website back in late spring. You guys know I first got into the blogosphere from fashion and lifestyle, so I thought this would be SUCH a fun project. We’ve been working steadily with content, and I’ve been managing some awesome interns! Check it out and see what you think :) It’s quite a different style than TSGA or even HIH, but I’m proud of how it’s coming along!
My little niche specialty has actually become Pinterest! I know it doesn’t quite look like it because I’ve neglected my own account in the balancing act, but I’ve actually become pretty good at reading trends, analyzing sites, designing pins, and growing accounts. I think I may offer Pinterest consulting down the line, but I just haven’t had time. Right now I manage four accounts who are lovely to work with. I don’t think I’d take on more than four because to manage them properly, that’s my personal max.
I know this is kind of vague, but I don’t really know how to explain a lot of it. Most of my general freelancing falls under writing — SEO, opinion pieces, or personal essays — and random VA work. I also have some photography and editorial freelance work coming up, so it’ll be fun to see how that expands and/or grows.
Basically, I have two goals for the end of the year:
- Make a certain amount monthly.
- Pay off my Sallie Mae student loans ($6k left!)
What am I Doing? – Travel Edition
Of course, I’m going to travel! Who do you think I am?
- TBEX Finger Lakes
- Providence to see Corinne and Segun (and queen of my life, Kittan)
- Vancouver to visit friends
- NOLA for a press trip (my first! Rachel asked me along to be her photographer)
- Oregon to live the #vanlife with the Hedgers
- Orlando/Disney World for my friend’s wedding and some travel with Kissimmee!
I’ll then return to Philly for the rest of the year. I’m definitely going to be in DC to see Elissa at one point, and we’re going to visit NYC one weekend, but neither of those plans is set in stone. I’m excited to be home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and I’m 100% the aunt/second cousin who’s giving the little kids all sorts of cool books!
I also really want to return to North Carolina to visit my friend, Fran, but we’ll have to see since she’ll be shipped abroad!
As for 2019, I have a rough idea of where I’ll be, but nothing is set in stone!
What I’ve Been Up to in August
And that’s about it for my future plans! August has been relaxing but fun, and I feel like 2016 Sam would be shocked at how active 2018 Sam is in this weather. Autumn came to visit for a few days, and we went hiking behind my house one morning and out to Suncheon Bay another day. Who AM I?
Honestly, August feels like such a blur with activity, packing, and getting ready to go. I know at one point I went with Stacey to a beach in Yeosu, and I tried eating McDonald’s on my birthday, but most days blended into each other.
This last week has been a bit of a goodbye week, starting with a little get together with some friends in Suncheon, and ending with one last visit out to the mudflats and Hwapo Beach in the rain on Friday! This really has been a great city to live in over the last year, and I’m already working on a local-ish guide to share all my favorite places!
What I’ve Been Reading
Guys, you’d be so proud of me, I’m reading like crazy this month! And not just Audible but actual reading on my Kindle App. (Affiliate links below)
- To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
- [amazon_textlink asin=’0316399620′ text=’The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thereshegoesa-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ef3ccf72-ad32-11e8-84d6-adf29d208fa6′] by Clare North
- [amazon_textlink asin=’1442426748′ text=’PS I Still Love You’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thereshegoesa-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’12e588ce-ad33-11e8-9eeb-75dea081dfab’] by Jenny Han
- [amazon_textlink asin=’1481430491′ text=’Forever and Always Lara Jean’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thereshegoesa-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’220e9bad-ad33-11e8-a224-7ffcf0d7b41f’] by Jenny Han
- The Diplomat’s Daughter by Karin Tanabe
- [amazon_textlink asin=’125013160X’ text=’Jane Austen at Home: A Biography ‘ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thereshegoesa-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’52aeba66-ad33-11e8-a864-fdc262c2b0ab’] by Lucy Worsley
- The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty
- [amazon_textlink asin=’1250028663′ text=’Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thereshegoesa-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’8ab3178e-ad33-11e8-b848-4d01770cddad’] by Therese Anne Fowler
- I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
- [amazon_textlink asin=’1416550534′ text=’The House at Riverton’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thereshegoesa-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’affcd5ad-ad33-11e8-aa06-ede45a284f1b’] by Kate Morton
- [amazon_textlink asin=’1477849459′ text=’Ten Women’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thereshegoesa-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ed153f65-ad33-11e8-bbc4-2d426e918df9′] by Marcela Serrano
What I’ve Been Watching
Ugh, I need to stop watching things with romance because it’s making me feel way too single.
- Shane Dawson’s Jeffree Star Docuseries
- To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society
- Like Father
What I’ve Been Listening to
- Somebody to You by the Vamps
- Whiskey and Morphine by Alexander Jean
- Don’t Leave Me Alone by David Guetta + Anne-Marie
- Dura by Daddy Yankee
- To All the Boys I’ve Loved Soundtrack — it’s legitimately a good soundtrack!