Introducing the Kakao Friends Emojis

Kakao Friends Angry Tube in Pop Store

I did a post on my main blog talking about the backstories of the Kakao Friends characters. For current Fulbright Korea ETA and alum, this is old news, and for incoming ETA this might an orientation spoiler…but having all the Kakao Friends bios in one place is obviously an important resource. I couldn’t just keep it to myself.

Check it out for the official Kakao Friends biographies and my commentary on each one.

Kakao Friends Tube Bio New

In other news, I have a few posts lined up for this blog, one on a book and one on my one-year anniversary of leaving Korea. So you can expect some new content soon.

Travel Thoughts: Being My ETA Self Again

I’ll let you in on a secret.

I’m actually a homebody.

Yes, I taught in Korea for two years and frequently traveled around the country. I visited Japan. Being in Korea made me realize how little of the US I’ve actually seen. Traveling to all 50 states is on my bucket list. So is traveling around the world.

#Wanderlust and all that.

But by nature, I’m a homebody.

Flying to Korea was my first time on a plane. What a first flight.

travel thoughts seasoned plane rider

Actually, it was a set of three transferring flights, starting with a 15-minute primer from Colorado Springs to Denver, 2 hours from Denver to LA, and then the 13-hour whopper from LA to Seoul, South Korea.

With all the international flying I’ve done since then, I’m a seasoned plane rider.

In a few days, I’ll be going to Seattle for my friend and fellow ETA alum Mimi’s wedding. I think of this as a testament to the strength of the relationships you develop in Fulbright Korea, something deep and unique that spans space and time (zones).

But when I accepted the RSVP to her wedding, I realized I’ve still never flown anywhere in the US, other than to transfer flights. (I don’t have to carry my passport? Whaa?) To everyone else, this probably sounds like a moot point, but I’m acutely aware of it.  I’ve never gone to a new city in my home country, completely on my own. I’ve never just struck out to go exploring.

It made me nervous.

But I’d done those things in Korea several times over. As the date draws nearer I can feel my travel muscles flexing and straining to go.

I’ve been at home too long for even a homebody. I’m itching for that same excitement I got in Korea.


When I told Mimi I’d be at her wedding, she mentioned being happy that someone from the ETA stage of her life was going to be at her wedding. Explaining that it could feel like she was a different person in different periods of her life, I could relate.

The me who was in Korea might have a difficult time recognizing the me today.

But I’m ready to revive traveler-Monica again.

travel thoughts winter path