Monday, September 28, 2009

Corfu, Greece & The Best Destination Wedding of All Time

Why more people don't do destination weddings I'll never know. They tend to be cheaper, a more manageable number of attendees, and everyone has an amazing time. Whilst being in Korea, I was lucky enough to meet a couple worth flying halfway around the world for to be in their wedding, and they definitely picked one of the best places on Earth to get married: Corfu, Greece.

After 26 hours of travel (Seoul -> Dubai -> Athens -> Corfu) we landed at the tiny airport in Corfu Town on Saturday September 12, and took a 35 Euro cab ride over to the Pink Palace in Adios Gordis on the Western side of the island. Corfu Island is the northern most island in Greece, about 1 km away from Albania, and just utterly beautiful. The Pink Palace is rated as one of the best hostels in Europe for 25 Euro per person, per night, for the top level room with a view. It is also a place full of sin and debauchery, and I am extremely happy that I was not there during peak season. There was a hot tub there that the Australian bartender told me, "Don't go in there unless you want to come out pregnant, fathered by 10 different nationalities." It all turned out really well though - spent a day drinking with the staff, rented ATVs and drove around, and then rented kayaks and found a small private beach on the last day before heading up to the main event.

Going from Adios Gordis up to Paleokastritsa was like night and day. It's the richest part of the island with the most resorts, we settled into a really nice apartment and then went to find the bride and groom. We got there on Tuesday, and ran into people as we went along in this one street town. With only about 4 bars in the area, we frequented all of them for the nights, and then we did beaches and stuff during the day. One of the days we rented scooters to go back around the island and as I'm returning to the apt, I ended up crashing it and had to 100 Euro to fix it. They wanted 200 but 100 is all they got and that was the end of it. Not entirely fun, but a story nonetheless...

The wedding was absolutely gorgeous and just stress free, simple, and fun. The reverend was an old college friend of the groom's who got himself ordained on the ol' internet (much like yours truly did a few years back) who said some really nice things, married the two in a short ceremony overlooking the ocean at La Grotta Bar, and the next 8 hours we spent eating and drinking and swimming. About 45 people made it out both family and friends, and overall, I have never seen a more perfect wedding in a more perfect location. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves:

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Travel Blog Worth Reading

Travel Stories Suck

A couple of weeks ago, my best friend shared two of this guy's posts with me, and while I trust said friend's opinions probably more so than anyone else, they stay tabbed on my browser for weeks - unread. Reading travel stories usually bores me - they're either boring, pretentious, poorly written, or of places and things that I have no interest in and might have no ability to afford doing. However - this guy is different. If you read the link above, he talks about the same thing. His posts are usually interesting and about the nitty gritty of traveling. The quirky anecdote, the tip on a place, things people should do at certain times, etc. etc.

I've traveled a fair amount this year, and have hopes and dreams to keep it up (assuming my bank account continues to approve such expenditures), but would like to give the ol' blog a face lift. So you may notice a new layout, and with only 2.5 months left in Korea - I plan to end this thing with a bang.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Two Years+ in the Making

I don't entirely recommend uprooting your life to come to Korea and do what I'm doing - and while it has its fair share of ups and downs, I've found myself in a pretty sweet deal for the moment (with an expiration date).

When you make the decision to quit everything and travel abroad [to teach English] you have to know that you'll be in for a world of the different and unexpected, and of course it'll be life changing hopefully for the better. I celebrated my two year anniversary August 21, and as of today have been here for 25 months with only a brief 2 week vacation back to the States somewhere in the middle. The plan is to head back to the homelands at the end of December and stay there, but I'm not entirely sure my feet have stopped itching yet.

If you've kept up with my inconsistent blog posts, you'll know that the job situation has been interesting this year and right now I'm currently freelance teaching and living in Seoul. I'm a tourist and have to leave Korea and reset the ol' visa every 90 days - and that has allowed me to see Canada, the U.S., China, Hong Kong, Japan, and Greece all in one year. Right now I determine how many hours I work, where, when, and for who and how much. Generally I teach 1-3 hours a day (yes, even weekends) and make enough to pay rent, pay bills, travel, and save a small amount. I work on referrals, setups from friends, and by researching sites on the interwebs. Will this last forever? No. In fact, the end date is tentatively set for December 20th. This gig is a very inconsistent way to make money, and sometimes a lonely existence without coworkers to spend time with and company politics to talk about. It has to end sometime.

The next few months will be interesting. I'm enjoying this position of technically being a small business, and the ability to come and go as I please - but there's more to life than teaching English and I'm determined to find it. ;)