Korea

Tangerine Picking

You can’t drive more than 10 second in any direction on this island without seeing a plot of land with trees tucked close together bursting with tangerines.  Last weekend we took our little family of three and headed off to a farm that we get our vegetable coop box from and picked tangerines.

img_0221img_0264img_0265It was a beautiful fall afternoon, that felt so much like a fall afternoon in Minnesota at the apple orchards.  I felt pretty lucky to have these two guys as my dates…img_0233img_0298

Hayden ate his weight in tangerines and we did our best to stop him from eating the unpeeled fruit, unfortunately we failed.

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Where in the world….

We’ve played this game once before on the blog, and today we are going to play it again . . . our very own Might as Wellers’ version of Where in the World is Carmen San Diego!  In our version though, we are going to find out where in the world are Mitch and Rachel moving to next.  As we have mentioned here earlier this week, we are moving to Jeju Island, South Korea this fall, so I thought this would be a good time to take you on a little tour of Jeju compliments of Google Maps.

Let’s star with a wide angle shot of the world prior to zooming in to see where exactly Jeju is located.

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Now lets focus in on Asia . . .

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A bit closer into Asia . . .

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Now we are zoomed in on Far East Asia . . .

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Narrowed down to Korea, Japan, and just a sliver of China . . .

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Jeju Island is only about 100 km (60 miles) south of the mainland of South Korea.

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Starting to get a decent view of Jeju, Korea’s largest island at 45 miles east to west and 25 miles north to south.

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Jeju houses South Korea’s highest point: Hallasan, a volcano that reaches 6,400 feet high.

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The entire island of Jeju was created by volcanic eruptions about 2 million years ago, and currently has a population of over 600,000 people.

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We are pretty excited to “zoom in” closer and explore all that our little island home has to offer!

Now back to exploring our current Middle Eastern life for the next 4 months . . . .

We’re Moving to Korea!

As hard as it was for us to make the decision on what we should be doing in the next stage of our life, we made the decision that we are moving to Jeju Island, South Korea in the fall of 2016!

To be honest, prior to last year we didn’t even know Jeju existed.  We had a friend who left Kuwait last year and moved to Jeju, which opened our eyes to this awesome little island off the coast of South Korea.  In case you, like us, are just learning about Jeju, we are excited to teach you a few things about the island as we continue to learn and start exploring this fall.

Mitch and I were both offered positions at an excellent school on the island, and we just couldn’t turn down the opportunity to continue an international lifestyle and have a new corner of the world to travel around.  Like most international teaching positions, a two year contract is required, so we’ll be there at least until June of 2018.  We hope to explore far east Asia as much as possible, and can’t wait to watch Hayden grow up in this international life, where he’s able to learn new cultures and see parts of the world that most people in the United States never will.  We are already imagining his little toddler legs walking across the Great Wall of China, building sand castles on the beaches of the Philippine Islands, and riding the high speed trains across Japan.

The world is a big and wonderful place, we Might as Well explore it.

 

Decisions are Hard

Making decisions is hard.  Sometimes deciding what to make for dinner can be hard. On at least a weekly basis this conversation can be overheard in our home:

R: “What do you want for dinner?”

M: “I don’t care. What do you want for dinner?”

R: “I don’t know. Anything sound good to you?”

M: “Not really, just something quick and easy.”

R: “Ok, like what?”

M: “I don’t know”

This can potentially continue on for a ridiculous amount of time.  If it is that hard for us to decide what to eat, imagine us making a decision as big as what country should we live in next year.

Being a part of the international community means that every year a huge portion of our friends, and ourselves, are making the decision: stay for another year, move to another country, or go back home.  We signed a two year contract when we came to Kuwait, so we knew that this was the year of the big decision for us, and we struggled with that decision….for months!

We ended up discussing the pros and cons of each scenario, at extreme length, and what it boiled down to was each option was wonderful and terrible all at the same time.  Hear me out:

Staying in Kuwait: 

Pro: We have awesome friends here, and we know a bunch of wonderful nannies that we feel comfortable with that we could easily leave Hayden with next year.  Staying here would also be super easy (moving is a crap ton of work!) and travel options from the Middle East are wonderful!  You can take a quick trip and be in Europe, Africa, or Southeast Asia very easily.

Con: Our family doesn’t live here, it is brown…very brown, and we miss grass.  The driving is crazy (seriously, every time I put Hayden in the car I say a quick little prayer before we take off) and we spend far too much time commuting back-and-forth to work every day.  I would like that hour (minimum) of my life back each day.

Moving to a new Country:

Pro: New places to explore, great professional opportunities to grow our careers, better pay, and keep are awesome teacher schedule = more family time (summers off, three weeks off at Christmas, fall break, spring break, etc.)

Con: Our family doesn’t live there, fear of the unknown, and finding Hayden a nanny will be a bigger challenge

Going Home:

Pro: Our family lives there!

Con: Less pay, no more adventure for us, and Mitch would probably go back to his old career, which means working a lot more hours and cutting into our family time.  Life back home is also a lot busier (we like the slow pace of life that we have as expats).  Also, traveling abroad would go back to one trip a year.

Each option that we had would lead to so much happiness and yet, so much sadness all at the same time.  I love living overseas and I love the lifestyle my little family has.  We work, travel, and have fantastic time off to spend together, but all of that comes at a cost; unfortunately each decision does have a cost.  We stewed about our decision from the day we got back to Kuwait last August until the day we had to inform the school of our decision in December.

As hard as it was, we made a decision, one we are both happy with and extremely sad because of.

More info on what our next life plan is coming soon.