When we first moved here, I would always excitedly think, “we live in Korea!” This last month though, I think I have finally adjusted, and my initial shock has worn off. January has been more along the lines of, “we live, and it happens to be in Korea.”

Not that I’m not still excited to be here, but between coldness, sickness, and life, we did not get out much to do our exploring and touristy stuff this month. We just lived. In Korea. Now that we’ve settled into our daily routines, I realize that living in a foreign country is not very different in its day to day experiences from living in the US. I wake up early, commute to work in the dark, teach my Happy Hippos, return home, and do my home things. I cook dinners similar to those I cooked in Texas. I use the same cleaning products. I learned how to use my VPN to stream NPR and HGTV, which were some of the last American favorites I was missing. (Also, I realized I can make my phone a personal hotspot, and thus listen to All Things Considered and TED Talks when I’m driving; this was the highlight of my month, and I am not ashamed to admit it.)

We went skiing a few times. We went on a hike, and I visited a market. Otherwise, my January was not very Korea-ed. No palaces. No bizarre new food. No magical festival. Just January. Living in a foreign country isn’t just about experiencing everything new and different and…foreign. When you live in a foreign country, you still live. I was delighted to spend a Saturday watching Jared install new shelves in our laundry room, trying recipes from my new cookbook, and watching Orange is the New Black. So, my pictures this month are much less about life in Korea, and much more about life.

Bananas 1. Fried banana prep.

Fabric2. Cutest fabric find at the market.

Ski Sign 3. Now that I can read Hangul, I am always amused when I practice sounding out the Hangul only to find I am saying English words. “Suh-Key Ha-oo-suh” (Are you sounding it out?)

Creek4. Winter wonderland.

Weed5. I just love that you can tell it was a beautiful sunny day.

Cooking6. My mom always complained that I was a messy cook. (And yes, that bottle of fish oil is now a staple in my house. How times have changed.)

Brewing7. Jared and his friends have begun home brewing in effort to fight the beer hell that is Korea.

Namhansanseong8. Exploring.

planner9. Despite an iPhone, an iPad, and a Macbook, which I could all use to sync calendars, I still rely on paper planners. I love them. I ordered one in December and waited well into January for it to arrive. I kept saying that I needed to get my life together, and it was impossible to do that without a planner. With some searching, I found out that Amazon had accidentally sent my planner to the USS Nimitz. I was devastated. I hope some sailor is using my planner to get his life together. I settled for a PX special.

Alphabet10. I used to teach Shakespeare. Now I write the alphabet on toilet paper rolls so I can make Chicka Chicka Boom Boom trees, and I love it. Those trees caused way more excitement than Twelfth Night did.

Iphonography11. Check out those photography skills.

Door12. Modern doors just don’t have the same personality.

Daisies13. I always look forward to winter and Christmas, but as soon as Christmas is over, I am ready for spring. So, when it snowed the other week, I bought daisies to help me through.

spices14. Part of getting my life together included organizing my spice drawer. Sometimes, I open it and and just smile at the labels.

Bogi15. We’re puppy-sitting again!

Dress16. My bridesmaid dress for my brother’s wedding arrived! So excited for May!

Wall17. On hikes, I like to pretend I have to stop for photo opportunities. It’s really just an excuse to catch my breath without admitting that I should do more cardio.

Money18. Won.

Carrot19. Carrot fries, I’ll never quit you.

Cookie20. Or you, Tagalongs.

Roof21. In black and white, you can’t tell how gross the sky looked.

Buddha 122. Jared is teaching me how to use a flash and a soft box. Buddha was kind enough to pose while I learned how the flash affects the subject from left to right, high, straight on, and below. Also, a triptych is a piece of art divided into 3 sections. This is nine sections, so it’s a … ninetych? a tri-triptych?

Fry23. I never used a gas range or oven until we moved here. I didn’t like it at first, but now I’m converted.

Ribbon24. Ribbon.

Ice Ice25. Frozen.

Bike26. Mycycle.

Chew27. He thinks he’s a lot tougher than he is.

Bottles28. I didn’t realize home brewing meant beer bottle hoarding.

Ski29. The sun was clearly visible when I went up the lift to ski down this hill. By the time I reached the bottom they were turning on the lights because a snow storm came in. I stopped for hot chocolate.

Oil30. I started experimenting with essential oils this month!

Books31. New year, new travel books!

I have now completed 6 months of my photo challenges! I don’t see them ending any time soon. Check out August, September, October, November, and December to see my photography journey!



  1. Reply
    Anonymous 4 February, 2014

    Hi Bethany, I had several “really likes” in your photography this month. Most favorite is #8, but I also liked #13, #15, #17, and #25. But you must take a picture of “chicka chicka boom boom” to share with us. Love, Joyce Rutherford

    • Reply
      Bethany 4 February, 2014

      Thanks, Joyce! # 8 is special favorite of mine too :)

  2. Reply
    Amber 6 February, 2014

    I just LOVE this project. I think after I finish (oh, must catch up on blogging) this years 365 I’m going to do this instead. We LOVED our chicka chicka tree!

    • Reply
      Bethany 6 February, 2014

      I didn’t know how far I would take the project when I started, but I can’t imagine stopping anytime soon! I think it fits my lifestyle better than a 365 because I know there will be days that I will not pick up a camera, and this allows me the wiggle room to make up for those days later. I’m glad the tree was a hit at your house!

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