If you would like some background on Gouqi island and the village itself, please enjoy this video.  A girl I met on the ferry ride back to Shanghai was kind enough to let me ask her questions about the island.  Information was quite scarce on the internet, and since she had the chance to talk we a few locals I was excited to hear some first-hand experience about what is going on, on Gouqi island.  Enjoy.

Village:  Houtou Wan Village (胡头湾村)

Island: Gouqi Island, a part of the Shengshan Islands


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The moment when you see a beautiful on Pinterest (in total basic-bitch fashion) and find yourself venturing through those very vines almost two years later…                   

Yeah, I was there.

Screw the story-  How do I get there? 

Video Tour

Before I moved to China I made myself a rather aggressive bucket list (there is too much to see), and as luck would have it, in my second week of teaching in China, it was China’s National Holiday…  国庆节 (Guóqìng)

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For most of us, our first few days in our new schools were the most memorable.  From principles making you take shots, to awkward bowing ceremonies, to scaring the living daylights out of students in the halls… the first few weeks is why hand motions like ‘awkward turtle’ exist.

In a society where your appearance says a lot about who you are and being attractive can either make or break you in a job interview…I was a little nervous about the first impression I left my new school.  As I had mentioned in An EPIK Orientation, I was picked up at the DMOE office like a newly purchased, prized pig and delivered straight to my school.  That wouldn’t be a problem if it wasn’t 95 degrees plus humidity for the whole 4-hour bus ride down to Deagu.  I was dripping sweat, my hair was nearing an afro state and my makeup started to bleed. Apparently, I looked so bad that after months of working at my school my head teacher finally admitted to me that she thought Mr. Sam pick up the wrong teacher, cause I was not up to par with my photos on Facebook.  She followed that comment by congratulating me on looking better now…thanks?

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Growing up all over the midwest in the USA I loved winter and outdoor winter activities.  I love skating, skiing, sledding and a playful snowball fight or two.  Whether or not I am skilled at either of these is debatable, but nonetheless I do enjoy some winter fun.  So  I was quite pleased that Koreans also enjoy the fun of a winter wonderland as well.

Once snow started to fall in our cozy, valley city of Deagu we were dying to find the closest slopes for another weekend getaway.  Given that Korea is practically 80% mountains, we knew our search wouldn’t take long.

As you will notice most resorts in Korea are in the Pyeongchang region. This is because of its location to Seoul, weather conditions for snow fall, and the surrounding Taebaek Mountain range.  Pyeongchang is actually the host city of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Read More

This past weekend had me running around both metaphorically and literally. Weekend Itinerary: Jazz Club, Jinhea Cherry Blossom Festival, Sonny’s Birthday and the Daegu Marathon (10k), all in just two days.

Friday night our good friends Jade and Oliver stayed with us.  One great thing about having Kevin’s apartment 10 seconds away from mine?  Guests get a whole (tiny) apartment to themselves when they visit.

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With the warmer weather creepin at our doors and March being my month of reinventing myself.  (see Feeling Balanced) Kevin and I look forward to a summer full of nothing but spontaneous escapades and senseless shenanigans.  But not the senseless shenanigans you might think a 24yr old would jump into. Nope. Think more Peter Pan and less Girls Gone Wild.

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Feeling Balanced.


Since late February I have made some major life changes. From my diet to my mind set I can say I feel like I have turned a complete 180 from where I was last March! This time last year you would have found me curled up in a ball having panic attacks every other day (almost).  I had gained 18lbs since college ended, had no dreams and was lost in a career path that was never meant for me.

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Splash some color in your life!


It is well known by many Expats that the celebration of Holi Hai in Busan is one not to be missed.  For a small 10,000won fee you receive an Indian paper hat, and a sack of powder color. For those of you that have no idea what Holi Hai is, like I did… here’s an explanation.

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Enjoy some of my favorites from the trip!


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Planning a trip is exciting but can be stressful.  Personally, before a trip I put in a lot of research about the country, culture and tourists must-knows.  This is typical stuff that I look into before take off.  Let me know if any of this is helpful or if you would like me to add more.

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Courtney French's Clinical Experience

Education does not change the world. Education changes people. People change the world. -Paulo Freire

Lily Ellyn

Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.