Dec 30

2013 In Review: One Wild Year

It’s incredible how quickly a year can pass. And the older I get the faster it seems to go. What’s up with that?! Yesterday I told of my “most ridiculous moments in 2013” because, let’s be honest, my life can be a bit strange at times. But I also wanted to do a more typical review of the year mostly just to put in perspective all the ground I’ve covered. The year 2013 has been intensely challenging at times, but also blissfully rewarding at others. It’s a year that, truthfully, I wouldn’t ever want to repeat but it’s all been a part of the process of pursuing a greater goal and growing as a person.

So here it is… 2013 in Review!


A month of packing; last-ditch efforts to consume a year’s worth of Mexican food; lots of cupcakes; and attending the Santa Barbara International Film Festival after party. Then an amazing but tearful going away party and saying goodbye to my kitties, my friends, and my beloved Santa Barbara.Saying goodbye to Santa Barbara



I stayed with my parents for two weeks; while I originally had envisioned a restful vacation of being spoiled by family, an emergency that left my stepbrother in a coma led to a stressful period of time instead. Luckily he was released from the hospital the day before I left and then it was off to Korea!  I met up with some people in Seoul for a few days and then we headed to orientation for 10 days.Welcome to Korea



After orientation we teachers were shipped off to our cities and I arrived in Daegu. I started teaching at at middle school for the first time and realized what a challenge I was in for this year. One weekend I went to Busan for a Holy Hai festival on the beach, and spent the rest of the weekend partying, shopping, and relaxing at the spa.

IMG_2572 Holy Hai in Busan, South Korea


This was a month of settling in. I hiked Apsan, attended a Korean wedding, went to a Samsung Lions baseball game, bought a blender and a couch, joined a gym until the guy scared me away, and then started a kickboxing class.

April in Daegu


May was jam-packed! I went to Seoul for the Lantern Festival and while at an expat brewpub was photographed for the KTX magazine (check out my full page spread!). The gaelic football team I joined had our first tournament in Busan. For a three day weekend a group of us went to Namhae Island for a festival and kayaked, sailed, and checked out the German Village.  On a mid-week holiday a lot of us teachers went to Eworld and braved the sketchy roller coaster.

May in Korea

Picture in the KTX magazine

This was my less than flattering photo in the KTX magazine. I don’t even know those dudes.


Checked out Suseong Lake in Daegu, had another GAA tournament, and according to my photo album did a lot of cooking.

IMG_0883 Suseong Lake, Daegu


To escape the sweltering heat we went to Goeje Island and took a boat out to the scenic botanic island of Oedo. The month also included Mudfest in Boryang, the Love 146 Scavenger Hunt, the Cirque du Soleil Michael Jackson show, and my birthday.

Goeje Island, South KoreaBoryang Mud Fest, Korea


Two weeks in Bali for the most incredible vacation ever! I Lounged on the beach, hiked a volcano for sunrise, made several trips to the spa, took a cooking class at a traditional Balinese compound, toured the island and saw temples and waterfalls, took a yoga class and was sore for a week, ate tons of delicious food, and regained some of my sanity. Back in Daegu I also attended the International Body Painting Festival which was actually pretty cool!

Bali Vacation

International Body Painting Festival Daegu Korea


My sister visited me for 10 days and we toured all around Seoul, Daegu, and Busan.

IMG_6960 1185467_10151893731571323_1621916869_n Sister visits Korea


My good friend Rhonna visited me for a week and we, again, toured Seoul, Daegu, and Busan. We got dressed up and went out partying for Halloween. On a mid-week holiday a few friends and I went to Herb Hillz, a strange little theme park with an awesome ropes course.

Busan for Halloween


This month I checked something off my bucket list and did the Spartan Race, a muddy obstacle course, in Seoul. I also visited Haeinsa Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site because it holds the Tripitaka Koreana (the Buddhist scriptures engraved on thousands of wooden blocks), and had an interesting photo session at the end of the day. My old coworker invited me to her son’s 100 day birthday party, and important milestone in Koreans’ lives. And of course, we celebrated Thanksgiving!

Strange photos at Haeinsa Temple


Spartan Race Seoul


In December it started getting a little too cold to want to do much. I took a ski trip with a few disasters and discovered I don’t really like skiing at all. Then, before we knew it, Christmas was here!

Skiing in Korea

Expat Christmas in Korea



Thanks for reading and best wishes for a happy and healthy new year! 

  • What a year! What did you do when you had visitors with work? Did you send them on little day trips while you worked? We are having visitors come and thinking we have to work (can’t take vacation unless kiddos are on vacation) so hoping to send them on adventures while we work and join after!

    • KaleenasKaleidoscope

      Well I actually brought my visitors to school for part of the day and incorporated them into my lessons. The kids got a kick out of meeting my friends and family and I had them ask some questions. And other than that I just gave them info on stuff to do in my city and they entertained themselves during the day, it was no big deal.