In no particular order:
1. Celebrate New Year’s in Busan – What better way to ring in the new year than the view of Gwangan Bridge backlit by fireworks?
2. Study taekwondo – Nothing like a little kung-fu-fighting to escape the daily teaching grind.
3. Learn how to make Korean food – I anticipate a lot of error-heavy trial-and-error in this pursuit.
4. Take a spur-of-the-moment trip on the KTX – Because bullet train.
5. Ride my bike from Seoul to Busan – Gotta support President Park’s initiative to promote cycling in Korea.
6. Visit Jeju Island – Korea’s #1 vacation getaway destination.
7. Attend the Boryeong Mud Festival – Because getting covered in mud isn’t just encouraged, it’s required.
8. Hike the Seorakson Mountains – One of Korea’s most spectacular mountain ranges.
9. Experience a temple stay – An affordable and eye-opening look into traditional Korean culture.
10. Acquire at least basic conversational Korean skills – Gotta eat to live, gotta steal to eat (00:45), tell you all about it when I speak Korean.
11. Visit the DMZ – Because that’s as close as I’ll ever get to North Korea.
12. Take a K-Pop dance class – So I can pretend I’m a K-Pop star.
13. Lose my voice after a night of noraebang – So I can realize I’m not a K-Pop star.
14. Watch the sunrise off the East coast – Because pretty.
15. Watch the sunset off the West coast – Because pretty.
16. Attend a cherry blossom festival – Because pretty.
17. Visit a Green Tea Field – Because pretTEA…see what I did there?
18. Spend a whole day at Haeundae Beach (Busan) – Arguably Korea’s most popular beach spot.
19. Visit the tombs/mounds at Gobungun, Changnyeong – Korean equivalent of the Egyptian pyramids.
20. Attend the Lotus Lantern Festival – Because Happy Birthday Buddha.
21. Go shopping in Namdaemun Market (Seoul) – One of Korea’s best-known markets.
22. Spend an afternoon in Bukchon Village (Seoul) – A quiet neighborhood comprised of traditional wooden houses, coffee shops and antique stores.
23. Tour Gyeongbok Palace (Seoul) – One of Korea’s grandest palaces.
24. Visit all of the Ulsan 12 – A must-do for anyone living in Ulsan.
25. Go to a cat café – Because lots of cats in a public place.
26. Get lost in Guinsa temple – A winding temple complex that weaves up through the mountains in central Korea.
27. Go island hopping on the West Coast – Let a ferry take me from one remote island to the next all day long? D’OKAY!
28. Stay in the ship hotel in Jeongdongjin – Because it’s a boat…sitting on a cliff.
29. Take in the view from Seoul Tower – An essential part of any first-time visit to Seoul.
30. Visit the phallic land of Haesindang Park, Gangwon-Do – So I can feel like the phallic water tower in the nearby town of Ypsilanti, MI isn’t so weird after all.
31. Visit Homigot (Pohang) – Because giant hand sticking out of the ocean.
32. Bicycle tour around the country as much as possible – Because I’m bringing my new folding bike!
33. Treat my co-teacher(s) to lunch or dinner – Because they deserve a free meal and a lot more.
34. Get elbowed by an ajumma on the bus/subway – No experience on public transportation is complete without getting hip checked by an old lady.
35. Have an interesting conversation about cultural differences with a Korean – Because there are a lot of differences to talk about. Some similarities…but a lot of differences.
36. Make learning English fun for my students – Because they’re in school for 12-16 hours a day and they need all the fun they can get.
37. Embrace the last-minute work culture – Because if I try to fight it, I’ll be miserable.
38. Blow my students’ minds with a story about normal life in the US – Everyone loves a good story.
39. Regularly upload classroom stories and lesson plans – So this blog is useful to others.
40. Teach my students how to play tape ball and the Fruit Game – Two awesome games I learned at my previous job at the Purple Rose Theatre Company. To learn how to play, click HERE.
41. Attend a live theatre performance – To see how much I understand/relate to, despite hardly understanding a word of it.
42. Go to a K-Pop concert – To ride the Korean Wave with everyone else. Kowabunga, dude!
43. Attend a concert of an American artist – So I can say, “Oh yeah, I saw them in Seoul” when someone mentions that artist in the future.
44. Contribute to Eat Your Kimchi in some capacity – Because their blog is a huge inspiration and I’d love to be a part of it.
45. Frequently update this blog – So I can make this unforgettable experience even more unforgettable…cuz it’ll all be written down.
46. Get a vlog going, chronicling my exploits around Korea – To get over my dislike for seeing myself on camera, and provide a more personal, engaging account of my experiences.
47. Float in the ocean in one of those big yellow tubes – Because everyone else in Korea seems to like doing it.
48. Get completely soaked in a torrential typhoon downpour – This isn’t so much a goal, as it is an inevitability.
49. Bike to work as much as possible – Because being eco-friendly while exercising is fun.
50. Make as many Korean friends as possible – So I can immerse as much as possible into all aspects of Korean life, language and culture.