From Seoul To Bogotá – What Are The Common Points?

Two completely different countries or cities may have a lot more in common than you may anticipate.  All you need to do is look closely enough. When people travel between countries, they mostly expect to experience culture shock. Coming across similarities maybe even more shocking.

This is what you are likely to experience when you travel from Seoul to Bogotá. Two different cities in two very diverse countries – continents even, yet with similarities in character as well as history.

The likeness is not only in the color of hair or some of the architecture. Human beings are known to exhibit some qualities that are similar even when their cultures are different. You will also notice common points in the following:


LilHumpers - MILF Share Knowledge

LilHumpers – MILF Share Knowledge

The approach to age difference in sexual relationships between these two is huge one. Based on LilHumpers project it’s more common in Bogota. Why? Well, you could see a few episodes of the Reality Kings series and see why young guys are having so much lucky seducing (or being seduced!) older women. These so-called MILFs are very experienced and they are ready to share their knowledge with these newbie rascals.


The expression is said happily and with much pleasure.

Residents of both cities are exceedingly polite. In Bogotá, you are likely to hear a lot of “con mucho gusto” which translates to “With pleasure”.

The expression is said happily and with much pleasure.

Similarly, the expression bahn – gap – seup – ni – da” which means “nice to meet you” is uttered quite often in Seoul.

Another similarity which has to do with speech is the absence of cadence when speaking. Also, the tone in both cities is neutral.

A Past Steeped In Violence

Both cities have had a taste of violence as the respective cosmopolitans have experienced internal conflict.

Residents of both cities know all too well the kind of havoc that violence can wreak. They have also experienced ostracization from the rest of the world as a result.

In addition, the residents in both cities find it difficult to discuss that difficult past. In Korea, they even have an expression for the pain they feel. They call it ‘han’. Both cities prefer to move on from their painful past and will not be caught rehashing it.

Life After Conflict

They prefer to look to the future and celebrate their successes.

Both cities have learned hard lessons but they have learned to move on from the agony of a war-filled past.

Having undergone so much heartache and loss, the two cities have found a way to quit reliving the agony. They prefer to look to the future and celebrate their successes.

Both cities are thriving cosmopolitans that take pride in their lives and progress. They have even been able to open up their lives and cultures to the international community.

Colombian Coffee

It is favorite the world over but the people of Bogotá and Seoul have a special liking for it.

A good mug of Colombian java is great for breakfast or the coffee break at work. It is also a favorite beverage for serving anyone who visits your house.

Expression Of Love

Public displays of affection are frowned upon in Korea. A couple making out in public could face major backlash.

Colombians may not have the same inhibitions. A canoodling couple may actually elicit smiles or even an occasional thumbs – up.

However, there are similarities when it comes to the expression of love within the family.

In both cities, familial ties are quite strong. Children in both Seoul and Bogotá are allowed to live at home until they get married. In many countries, especially in the west, this is not always possible.

However, if they are to date, they may have to sneak around to spend time with their partners. Culture in both cities can be quite strict where romance and marriage are concerned.


It is entirely possible for two completely different cultures to have quite a lot in common. Human beings whatever their geographical locations often exhibit some characteristics that are similar in nature. It could be in their character, their food or even belief system.

Whatever it is, it’s possible to fly across the ocean and find a culture with something in common with yours.

The Subtle Difference Between Colombia And South Korean Foods

Whether you decide to visit Colombia or South Korea, one of the things that have to be on top of your priority is whether you will like the food or not.

I am very picky when it comes to food. While many people eat to be fill whenever I eat, I notice the most flimsy things like the quantity of cheese or oil, spice, salt, and so on.

Armed with this uncanny sense for food, I would like to tell you the difference between Colombia and South Korean foods which others might likely miss.


South Korean foods are highly spiced with red pepper.

South Korean foods are highly spiced with red pepper. However, I learned that this practice started not more than half a century ago.

One of the reasons why South Korean foods are now looking all red is because the restaurants are competing to produce stimulating dishes that will pacify the growing American and European tourists.

Colombian foods, on the other hands, do not contain the same level of spice like their South Korean counterparts.

Colombian dishes tend to have lower spice and not all cuisines are heavy on meat. However, this does not reduce their level of flavor because Colombians have found another way to spice up their foods.


One of the most consumed beverages in the world is coffee.

One of the most consumed beverages in the world is coffee. Across Asia, Colombian coffee is the most accepted because of its high quality.

I have had a taste of South Korean and Colombian coffee and the latter is obviously creamier. Obviously, I am not the only one with this view.

During the 2012 Seoul Food & Hotel, a lot of people from across different Asian countries had the opportunity to taste Colombian coffee. Kim from Hanwha Trade had this to say,

“Coffee from Colombia is known in Korea for having the highest quality that is why I want to incorporate it in my product portfolio.”

Source: Pro Colombia

The Most Popular Foods

South Korea calls theirs Samgyeopsal while Colombia calls theirs Lechona.

South Korea and Colombia share something in common when it comes to their most popular foods; they all have pork as a component.

South Korea calls theirs Samgyeopsal while Colombia calls theirs Lechona. In any major gathering one of these countries, there is a huge probability that you will find these foods there.

In Samgyeopsal, the pork is cut into sizeable chunks and grilled. It is served with sauces and other side dishes and rice liquor, Soju. Lechona, on the other hand, is a suckling pig that is stuffed with onions, rice, space, peas, and herbs and roasted.

It is then cooked in a large oven for a few hours. Lechona is served with potatoes or arepas. Lechonas come in different sizes for serving twenty or more people. Both dishes are great, but I love the Lechonas because the pork has a deep taste and characteristic flavor owing to the stuffing. Samgyeopsal, on the other hand, have a taste that is dependent on the amount of spice on the surface.

My taste will likely differ from yours. However, there is something special about the Korean dish and that of the Colombians that accommodates a large variety of people irrespective of their taste preference.

The Most Striking Differences Between Colombia And South Korea That No One Ever Knew About

Colombia and South Korea have had wonderful and strong ties for many years. These include trading in various aspects and fields, diplomatic relations, sporting activities and military services. In 1951, Colombia deployed troops to the Korean country as part of a UN peacekeeping force. There were however no direct relations especially in diplomatic matters between the two countries until march 1962.

Hot, Crazy Mess

HotCrazyMess Series - POV Daddy Issue Girls

HotCrazyMess Series – POV Daddy Issue Girls

To get the idea about making a hot crazy mess you need to understand the basics of step daughters with daddy issues. These girls are kind of different than your usual next-door neighbor. Why? Because their area of interest is kind of limited… to older men. They are not having any interest in folks of their age – they need experience and who know what else. All we know is that they will do everything to convince certain men into certain activities.

In June 2012, the two countries further went ahead and signed a free trade agreement, which would see the two countries trading freely without any sanctions. The political relations between the two countries also strengthened and Colombia was one of the countries that strongly condemned the attack on South Korea by the North Korean republic.

With all the things that both countries have in common, there are however differences between them both that most people do not know about. Some of these are:


Colombia is the fourth largest Spanish speaking country in the world and has a population of over 40 million people. The Spanish colonized the South American country when they first set foot in the country in 1499. The Japanese on the other hand colonized South Korea in the early 20th century. It however had to go through a trough Korean War that saw the split of the whole of Korea into South and North Korea.

In the political scene, the Colombian government elects their president democratically and has no limit to how many terms the president can serve. The current president has been in power since 2010. In South Korea on the other hand, the president elect can only serve one 5-year term without any possibilities of re-election after the end of his or her tenure.

Industrialization And Natural Resources

South Korea is one of the most industrialized countries in the world today. It can easily compete with other larger industrialized countries in terms of technology and the service market. It has a wonderful and active workforce making it also one of the richest countries in Asia. Colombia on the hand is very rich in natural resources and agriculture produce but not as industrialized as South Korea. Though the Colombian state is growing economically now, the rate of unemployment is stull high as compared to the South Korean state.


Mylf - Mature Women Rule

Mylf – Mature Women Rule

Talking about current trends in entertainment we can say that introduction of MYLF series is going to stir some fire up for both of countries. Given that mature women are very popular in both, we think that this new website with its acronym standing for moms you would like to friend is going to bring some serious joy. Of course we need to be aware it’s adults only and it will feature these mature women in explicit actions 🙂

Show business in Colombia is growing at a tremendous rate with Hollywood choosing many beautiful places in the country to shoot their movies and TV scenes. Besides Hollywood, many more producers from all over the world are cashing in on the beauty of Colombia to make block buster movies. Colombia has not been in the map for international entertainment moguls in the past. South Korea on the other hand is rich in drama, movies and music. The entertainment industry in this country is very vibrant making it a favorite stop for many producers especially in the Asian community.


South Korea exports products like textiles, automobiles, steel and plastics to the Colombian state while Colombia in return exports agricultural products like coffee, bananas and natural resources like crude oil.


Asian countries in general are more vibrant when it comes to sports as compared to South American countries. While the Colombian soccer team is a force to reckon with, South Korea on the other hand has a variety of sporting activities that put them on the world map as one of the strongest sporting countries. This saw South Korea as one of the host countries during the 1988 Seoul Olympics. The South Korean football team is strong with excellent stars that play in international clubs. Football is the most watched game in Colombia but other sporting activities like gymnastics are not as popular.

There was an uproar recently when a match between South Korea and Colombia got out of hand due to a racist gesture from a Colombian player to his South Korean counterpart. The eye gesture from Cardona to Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung-Min caused outrage from all corners of the world.

Wrapping It Up

Despite the cultural, economic, social and political differences between the two countries they continue to work together to grow in developing their trading, education, diplomatic relations and social links. The connection between them both runs deep and continues to grow.

Travel Sketching Can Change Your Holiday Experience

When you are planning for a holiday, there are many things to take into consideration to make it memorable and for it to go well without any hitches. Making a travel sketching can change your holiday experience to make it worthwhile and to go at it fully prepared. Below are tips on the best travel sketches or travel plans for your next holiday experience.


Anything can happen while you are on holiday and you may need that urgent medical help. Do not let any illness or injury spoil your holiday. Check to see if your medical insurance is in order and if your medical policy applies away from home and in the place where you are taking the holiday. If your policy does not cover you, arrange with your travel agent on how you can acquire vacation insurance.

Plane Seat Selection

While this may not seem as a very important issue, it is best to select a good seat position when traveling. Choose a window seat that provides you with a better view of the surrounding areas outside of the plane or an aisle seat that gives you unrestricted access to the bathroom and your overhead baggage.

Language and Culture

While taking a holiday to any foreign country may be fun, it would be more fun if you learnt a few words of the native language and their culture. You will meet many people like tour guides, hotel staff and other residents and learning simple words like “thank you”, “good morning”, “I’m lost”, “where is the embassy?” and so on will prove important in case you need to use them.


Many people do not know what to pack when going away for holiday. Pack only the essentials and if possible pack light. You do not need more than one suitcase, but then again all this will depend on how long your holiday will take. Airports are busy places and security is tight. Packing light ensures you do not take too long going through the checks and it means less baggage fees. Packing less also means you are most likely to lose fewer items or lose nothing at all. Bulky items like shoes should not hold too much of your packing space and carry as few pairs as you can.

Seasonal Time To Take The Holiday

When drawing your travel sketch for the holiday, be very sure on the seasons. If you are a summer person, then choose a summer holiday time to take your holiday. If you are a winter person and probably love to watch and participate in winter games, then a winter holiday will suit you better. If you love a certain activity and your holiday destination offers that particular activity, choose a time that coincides with your activity.

Read Reviews

Do not take a holiday blindly without reading as much as you can about reviews of your holiday destination. Do not only rely on the positive reviews, which are mostly what you get to see online. Read deeper and get all the facts about the people, the hotels, the food, the perception of outsiders and everything else that would interest you. This will give you an idea on whether to proceed with your holiday or look for a place with better reviews.

Your Favorite Video Content

Yeah you need it as well! A lot of countries in the world still have poor Internet access and speeds are totally horrific. The best way to enjoy things you like to watch is to bring them on your laptop or tablet. I personally recommend taking a look at the newest production of Nubiles called Daddy’s Lil Angel (where step-daughters are having backdoor love with their step-dads!).

Wrapping It Up

The tips above are some of the many tips that would help you make the perfect travel sketch before your next holiday. Make it memorable by planning to save on disappointments and costs.

Attractions Especially For Females in Colombia and South Korea

When it comes to moving to a foreign country like Colombia or South Korea, many expats will experience mixed emotions. Ladies who move solo will probably want to know well in advance, where to find essentials, companionship and the other necessities of life. I’ve put together this list of attractions that will especially please women expats in Colombia and South Korea.

Attractions for females in Colombia

As a single woman in Colombia, there were certain “attractions” that I was really grateful for.

Cali for Salsa

If you love to dance, and you love to dance the salsa in particular, go to Cali. This is the salsa capital of the world. In Cali, go to Juanchito, which is a little out of town and the hub of salsa. Here you’ll find the club Chango, where dancers are seriously skilled and take their acts late into the night. Salsa is great if you have a partner. Even if you don’t, you can go as a tourist and watch at a club like Siboney.

Colombian beauty shops


Manicures and pedicures are really cheap, as are haircuts if you don’t have hair that is too different from the Colombian type.



Puerta Falsa Onces

A meal where it’s the custom to eat bread, cheese and hot chocolate? Yes please! For those of us who love cheese…it comes in everything – in your fruit salad and your hot chocolate. I couldn’t get enough of cinnamon-flavored Colombian hot chocolate with cheese, so now I make my own.
Supermarkets: There is such a variety of exotic fruits and vegetables here, that I’m always eating something new and exotic without spending a bomb. Paloquemao Market is an excellent market for foodies.

Medellin’s digital nomads

There is a big community of digital nomads in Medellin. If you’re not traveling as a teacher, you could live out your dream of writing while you travel with others like you. Stays in Medellin are affordable if you try AirBnb.

Crepes & Waffles

They offer some of the best crepes and waffles for the sweet tooth, ladies. You’ll find them everywhere in the country. They used to have upper class prices once. Not anymore!

Shopping in Bogota

Pasaje Rivas Market

Bogota is where you can buy coffee products, leather bags, inexpensive jewelry and handicrafts, uncut and cut emeralds. Pasaje Rivas Craft Market in Cundinamarca is a great traditional market for clothing, souvenirs etc. away from crowded tourist areas. Buy souvenirs as well as certified emeralds at Hacienda Santa Barbara.

Attractions for females in South Korea:

I found it easier making local friends in Colombia than in Seoul. The people of Seoul are friendly, but shy. Then there’s a language problem. Some days, you’ll find yourself feeling lonely or in need of something but you don’t know who to ask. Those are the days you’ll want to dip into this list for female concerns.

Korean Makeup Shops

etude house

Best Korean Etude House Cosmetic Products

Let’s face it. With beauty standards in Korea being something of a mania and cosmetic surgery being as accessible and easy as a visit to the dentist, it’s hard not to get drawn in. Especially when there are so many delicious smelling, beautifully packaged cosmetics and makeup available in various budget ranges. And Korean makeup is probably something of an art-form that you or I have yet to master.

I suggest you visit The Face Shop or Aritaum, which you’ll find at almost every street corner, for good quality and reasonably priced makeup. You can pick up lip tints, nail polishes, liners, eye shadows, famous Korean BB and CC creams from these shops.

If you can’t find a suitable foundation, and the porcelain doll look doesn’t suit you, you should probably look for good foundations at high end stores like Lotte Department Store or Shinseage. If you’re trying to save money, like I was, you should look for cheaper foundations at Watsons or Olive Young.


If you want to get rid of your skin problems, Korea is the place to do it.



Dermatology is quite cheap here, much cheaper than the US.



Doctors have a lot of experience. You can consult a dermatologist for about 10,000 KRW or about $10.


Finding clothes that fit you won’t be as difficult here as it may be in Japan, though I still have more hips than the average Korean girl. You’ll find many underground shopping malls where things are “free-size”and can’t be tried, which is often only suitable for petite Koreans.

You can shop instead at Western stores like Forever 21, Uniqlo, H&M, Zara, 8 Seconds and Top Ten. Of course be prepared to shell out more for Zara and H&M than you would at home.Don’t hesitate to shop online. Locals do it a lot.

Language Exchange Groups

A classroom may not sound like your idea of fun. But language exchange groups are actually great places to not only pick up Korean language skills and make friends, they’re a great place to meet Korean men. If you’re single, adventurous and looking for a date, that is. It’s definitely a better option (at least, for me) than hookups through Tinder, OkCupid, Hello Talk, Interpals and similar.

Female Hash Group


Get together with other expat ladies for running, walking, drinking and hanging out one Saturday a month. Check out their Facebook page.


The Seoul International Women’s Association: This group is larger and more mixed, with members from all over the world. You’ll also find some Korean women are part of the group. Membership is not free, but it’s a cheap 60,000 KRW or about $53. This group is more formally organized; there are tours, food tours, charity galas, events and regular meet-ups.

A Female Expat’s Life in Colombia and South Korea

I found some similarities and some differences in the life I led as a female expat in Colombia and in South Korea. I want to share them with you here. I hope they can help you prepare for your own stay.

An Expat in Colombia

Bogota Market

Here’s what the general experience of women expats in Colombia is:

  • Queuing is common and long. Be prepared to have locals jump lines to get ahead of you. Also be prepared to have a smaller personal space than you’re used to, in public areas.
  • Expect Colombian men to pay for everything on a date, even if it hurts your pride to do so.
  • Colombia is noisy. People are loud, vehicles are loud, fireworks are loud. Take some noise-cancelling headphones with you.
    Be prepared for invasive questions, though they may be well-meaning.
  •  Men can seem entitled. Be prepared for stares, cat-calls. Gender roles are clearly defined in the country, and I hear of rampant misogyny and violence.
  • You have to learn Spanish. Locals speak very little English.
  • Appearance is important. Thankfully, hairdressing, manicures, pedicures, plastic surgery and teeth whitening are cheaper than in the west.
  • Expect people to be very hospitable, friendly and welcoming, and invite you to their family gatherings.
  • Colombians love to dance, whether at home or at the nightclub. Be prepared to dance too!

I had been warned against going solo in Colombia. But I don’t regret it, even after some hearing some horror stories that, I’m ashamed to rejoice, didn’t happen to me. Somehow I escaped the worst of misogyny and violence that some other women I met told me they experienced.


I saw some of the apathy of the more peace-loving locals, having suffered through years of drug-trafficking and related violence.


But I also saw the friendliness of Colombian locals. And I learned and was forced to speak Spanish, a language that I didn’t know before I went, would become such a big part of my life. I was finally able to read Paco Roca’s Arrugas and Gabriel Garcia Marquez in the original!

In the one year I spent in the cities of Bogota and Medellin, with a short trip to Cali, I grew to love my life in Colombia. I didn’t want to leave. It helped that I had found fantastic neighbors during my stay, who helped me quickly slip into the rhythm of the chaotic and frenzied city of Bogota. And I couldn’t get enough of Medellin’s year-round spring weather. Simply writing about it is bringing back the memories and given a chance, I’d go back to Medellin. Retirement plan? If I don’t find another favorite.

And later in South Korea

My friends sent me off to Korea with long lists of cosmetic product requests and said, “you’ll probably be the largest in the staff room”. And at 5 feet 7 weighing 160 lbs, I was fully expecting to be. And also the least knowledgeable about makeup in a country (largely) full of beautifully made-up fairies, but then I found the picture I had in my mind was full of stereotypes.

Korea temple

Korea temple

South Korea was very different from Colombia, and in thinking about it, I realized that I had gone there with some preconceived notions about the country. In my year at Seoul (with some trips to the countryside) I went on to revise most of my ideas about South Korea.

South Koreans are not all obsessed with appearance, test scores (over experience), work, alcohol, buying things and other stereotypes. At least, not any more than the average person in a modern, capitalist country. And they are not all small. There were some women in my school about my size.

But like in Catholic and conservative Colombia where gender roles are clearly defined and must be followed, there is deep-seated misogyny in South Korea. It’s evident in the lower participation of women in the workforce, and in the rising cases of violence against women (though not in the scale of chauvinist violence in Colombia).


In most of Korea you’ll hear women shouldn’t smoke, or that women are not going to be included in some after-school activity for teachers.


But there’s more to life in Korea than gender inequality. Here are some of my observations on what a female expat can expect in South Korea:


Delicious Kimchi

  • Most locals you’ll meet will be very friendly and helpful, after you get to know them. In most other places, you will stand out and be stared at. Foreigners are not too common in places outside some Seoul neighborhoods.
  • Some clothing stores may not let you try on clothes for fear your big foreigner body may stretch them.
  • If you’re not in Seoul, you may not find other varieties of food. Rice, soup, kimchi is the staple. Be prepared to do your own cooking.
  • Wearing clothes that show your cleavage, shoulders or back are not okay in small towns or at school, though micro-shorts and skirts are.
  • Life in Korea can get very comfortable for a teacher. Food and transport are cheap, alcohol is plentiful and it’s easy to live without responsibilities outside work.

Have you lived in Colombia or South Korea? Do you have more advice to share on expat living as a woman? Let me know in the comments!

Travelogue Created Through Comics, Sketches, Illustrations and Collages

How do you keep record of the places you’ve traveled to or lived in? Do you store photos on your hard drive or the cloud and pull them out to look at them from time to time? Joe Secco turned his experiences in Palestine into a non-fiction graphic novel. Others like artists Maria Rivans and Andrei Autumn turn them into art.


After years of traveling and experimenting with different ways of documenting my travels, I’ve found that a combination of many media works best for me.


I use a combination of travel sketches, comics, illustrations and collages to keep my memories of a place safe.


Comics travel Korea

I enjoy using comics and caricatures to save funny conversations, funny observations, striking faces etc. on paper. I think comics work really well in capturing simple, hilarious exchanges between two people next to me on the bus, for example. I remember Adrian Tomine’s New York Sketches 2004 as a wonderful example of what I want to do with my portraits of people I see on the streets and the streetscape in a new place.

Comics are also great to quickly save dialogue. When the couple at the table next door are having the most delicious conversation you can overhear, a quick comic is great to capture that. I always carry a small palm-sized sketchpad with me for such emergencies.

Travel Sketches & Illustrations

Journal blog sketh

Journal blog sketh

I feel travel sketches of places, landscapes, buildings, interesting things are more in-the-moment than photographs are. You’ll probably think me weird if I say that I actually prefer sketching a scene to taking photos of it. In the act of sketching, I’m using all my powers of observation. I’m noticing details that I may not notice when I use my camera.

For ladies who enjoy sketching, I highly recommend carrying a sketchbook in your suitcase. You could fill in the sketches with watercolors, color pencils or markers, as this blogger does. Sometimes I like to leave my sketches black and white and simply ink them, when I don’t want the color to interfere with the scene. Here are some beautiful examples of travel sketchbooks and illustrations.


I also really like this idea of a collage of sketches and penciled illustrations with notes. Of course, it is also possible to create collages with photos and memorabilia.

How to Pack for Travel Sketching

All you really need for travel sketching is interest, a love of travel, a love of sketching and some simple gear. Since you want to travel light, look for sketchbooks that are not too big. Look for strong binding and quality sketch paper like the Moleskine pocket notebooks. This one has pockets in the flap where you can save scraps of notes.


A sketchbook with a sturdy cover can also double as support if you’re drawing with the sketchbook on your lap.


Sketching Kit

Travel Sketching Kit

I personally carry two sketchbooks. One is around 5.5 inches on its longest side. Another is large, around 9 by 12 inches, which I always keep in my suitcase for larger illustrations or drawings that I want to enlarge.

I also carry a mixed grade graphite pencil set, eraser and sharpener. A set of 2B, 4B and 6B is enough to sketch on most mediums. Color pencils also make a good addition for quick coloring of scenes. I also carry a thin liner pen (sketch pen and fountain pen) for filling in details and drawing outlines.

When buying watercolors, look for compact sets that also have compact mixing palettes. You might want to carry a set of oil pastels or charcoal sticks depending on your choice of medium.

You can also find a nice sketch kit bag or these lovely little journal bandoliers to carry your art supplies with you without misplacing anything.

Travel Sketching

Travel Sketching

Once you’ve got into the habit of sketching your travels, you’ll find you never want to take another photo again. You’ll get closer to your subject, spend more time in a location letting the atmosphere soak in while you sketch, and maybe strike up a friendship with people who look over your shoulder to see what you’re doing.

When your travels are over, you can bind all the various mediums into a single scrapbook or collect them all in a single folder. Now that’s a better travelogue than a photo album, isn’t it?


Do you have stories of drawn and illustrated travelogues that you care to share below?

Memories Come Alive – Preserve The Golden Moments In The Form Of Collages

Preserving memories of golden moments from holidays exactly as you experienced them is not easy. Photographs carry some of the essence of a moment. But not all. Videos can capture a moment visually, but they don’t have the same kind of immediacy as old-fashioned scrapbooks.

I like something tangible, something that I can feel and pick up and see whenever I want to refresh my memory. Something with a narrative, and many links to the past that I can pore over for hours and recall warm memories.

Memories and Objects


Bukhansan National Park

And often my memories are attached with some object I picked up when traveling -for example, a sketch gifted by a South Korean acquaintance of a beautiful 600 year old temple in the Mt. Bukhansan National Park near Seoul. Whenever I look at the sketch, it immediately brings back the scent of the incense, the sounds of the forests during the 2-hour meditation sitting on the porch of the temple. This sketch was far more intimate and evocative than a photograph, I think, and I immediately added it to my scrapbook collage, with some notes and photos taken at the temple.



I think a collage is a fantastic way of preserving the golden moments of your holiday. If you haven’t made one before, I strongly encourage you to do so.


When done well, collages can even become works of art that are not just jumbles of photos. I want to share with you some ideas on how you can make a travel collage.

Travel Collage Ideas

Scrapbook collage

Scrapbook Travel

Browse Pinterest for ideas and you’ll be amazed at what some creative people have done with their travel scraps and bits. You could make it as spare or as full of items as possible. I really like this lovely way of saving the route of your journey on a map, embellished with objects that possibly make sense to no one else but you. But the whole has a pleasing effect that even strangers will pause and wonder at.

I personally like to save as much of my trip as I can. I save receipts, tickets, underground railway passes, maps, flight tickets, baggage tags, bookmarks, pamphlets along with photos and anything else that reminds me of the place I visited. This could get crowded. Here you can see one way of scrapbooking. It may or may not work for you.

You may prefer something prettier like this.

Enlarged, framed memorabilia

Martha Stewart offers an idea to turn your travel memorabilia into framed pop art. You could scan a ticket, maybe a currency note, a flight ticket, the scan of your visa or passport etc. Martha Stewart suggests candy wrappers, food labels, menus etc.

Digital collages

Collage Monuments

I personally prefer old-fashioned collages for their character. But many people prefer digital collages. They’re great because you don’t have to worry about your scrapbook getting wet in a flood, burned in a fire, lost when you move home. If you have thousands of photos you want to preserve, you won’t have to rent storage to keep them. You can make digital collages with many free and premium tools online.

I hope this post will inspire some readers to create collages. If you do make something you’re proud of, feel free to share below!

A Beginner’s Manual of What to Do In Colombia and South Korea

If you want to know the first steps in making life easier during your move to Colombia and South Korea, I’m here to help. Let’s cut to the chase.

After Moving to Colombia or South Korea

First Steps

After you’ve entered the country, reached your accommodation, done all the paperwork, etc. you’ll be hit by the jet lag, the confusion of a new country and disorientation. Possibly anxiety. Don’t be alarmed, it’s common for many people to take a few days to adjust.


Some employers may help by setting up the apartment, taking you out for a meal and orientating you. Not all. That’s why you need this list of first steps:


Pick up a copy of the local On Arrival magazine. It will contain info and ideas that you’ll be grateful for.


You may not have internet access as soon as you move in. You may be able to catch a wireless connection from an office nearby to Skype friends and let them know you’re safe. Or you could visit an inexpensive “PC Bang” in Korea (they’re everywhere) or Internet Cafe In Colombia. Coffee shops are also an option.

Beat jet lag

Try not to sleep through the day. It will keep your jet lag as low as possible.

Your apartment

Apartment at downtown Bogota

You may find yourself spending the first few days in a hotel, while the teacher before you vacate the apartment you’ll be living in or you hunt for an apartment. In Korea, you’ll find tenants who leave can leave behind a mess. Those who come in place of them will be expected to clean. If your employers aren’t kind enough to get the apartment cleaned before you get there, you may have to scrub it down yourself. Keep your chin up. Try to explore the neighborhood for a few days.


Getting a cell phone in Korea for foreigners is a pain. It can take months to get through the process. Skype is a more convenient option. Plus it’s free if you don’t buy credit to call landlines and cellphones back home. Even then it’s cheap. I recommend Skype for Colombia as well, though getting a cell phone here is easier than in Korea. Avoid buying from street sellers or unauthorized sellers, as they could be selling you a stolen phone. Expats can get pay-as-you-go plans easily from stores. But for monthly contracts, you’ll need a Colombian ID.

Groceries & necessities

7 Eleven Store

7 Eleven Store in Bogota Columbia

There are convenience stores like 7-Eleven, Buy the Way, Family Mart etc. everywhere in Korea. You can get water, snacks, beer, ramen (which you can make and eat at the store), electronics, household goods, medicines etc. Larger grocery stores though will have lower prices. Colombia has local open-air markets that are incredibly cheap and fresh. Find a market near you.

Bank accounts

Most employers will set up an account for you with the same bank they use, and automatically deposit your wages into it. Your passport may be enough to do this, or you may need an Alien Registration Card (ARC). You’ll get an ATM card and a Passbook as well, which can be updated by the bank with your transactions. Carry some cash with you when you move in, you may get paid only after a month.

Make friends

You could invite your neighbors in Colombia for drinks or a meal. You’ll find they are very friendly, hospitable and more than eager to help. In Korea, things are more formal and restrained. You could start by bringing some gifts (a fruit basket is nice) to your neighbors and introducing yourself.

Find healthcare

After moving, scope out the area and make sure to find a doctor or dentist you could go to for emergencies. Register for health insurance if you haven’t already. Healthcare can be free under the NHI program, if you meet certain criteria in South Korea. In Colombia, healthcare is widely available with public and private systems, though the quality between the two is very different.


I hope this checklist will make your first few days and weeks easier after the move. Good luck!

Martial Arts

Taekwando School

Taekwando School

A Hobby to pursue in South Korea to learn about the formalized styles

When it comes to martial arts, there is a stereotype about Korean that we westerners have. We seem to think that every Korean has grown up on Taekwondo, and can split tables with their palms without a hair out of place.

After living in South Korea for a while, I realized that Taekwondo and other martial arts in the country are like baseball. Lots of people are interested in it. Many kids train in it in school clubs. But not everyone is super dedicated.

I have always been fascinated by the martial arts. So I thought it would be foolish to give up an opportunity to learn about the formalized styles of Taekwondo, Taekkyeon, in the land of their birth. I highly recommend a martial arts program for expats to get a deeper perspective on Korean tradition and culture.