A day at the Beach in Korea


Beaches here in South Korea just cannot be compared to the beaches back home in South Africa, or to the incredible tropical paradises in the rest of South East Asia. But when temperatures are reaching 35C and the humidity is at 100%, the only thing you want to do is immerse yourself in cold water that isn't your shower or in the bath tub. 

A short 30 minute bus ride from our sleepy little town of Buan lies the town of Gyeokpo. Is is in the south-west corner of South Korea (click here for a map) and despite the stares from the Koreans for all the bare skin we were showing, the beach was semi-private and we had a little stretch of wet sand to ourselves.

There is a small convenience store at the bus stop in Gyeokpo where you can load up on supplies (drinks/beers and other treats) and then it's a 5 minute walk to the sandy shores. There aren't many places in Korea where you can actually swim, and we all really enjoyed the mini waves and refreshing salt water on our skin. Definitely worth a trip if you are in the area.


45 Life Lessons from someone very wise...

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We have been in Korea for a little over 2 weeks now. If any of you have been following me on Instagram, you probably think that I have landed in an incredible world full of gorgeous stationery, makeup for miles, and pretty things everywhere I look. The truth is that there are a lot of things that go on in a day that are far from wonderful here. Arriving in Korea, and living here, you are emerging yourself in a culture so far removed from anything you will have experienced before. There are days when I question our lives here, there are days when I want to strangle some of my students and kick them out of class, days when I want to shake my co-teacher and shout at her to stop smiling at me when she doesn't understand a word I've said. 

What starts to matter is the small things in life. The little old lady I meet on my walk to school. The small piece of shade I walk under for the last 10 minutes of my walk. The fan above me the staff room, and all the things my hubby does for me in the morning when we get ready for work. Our lives here, at least while we await our first paycheck, are very different from back home, not only do you start to appreciate things back home, but I've also grown to appreciate other South Africans so much more. Even though things can be pretty tough here (the language barrier has a lot to do with it, and the levels of respect in society - being able to give your opinion has become a luxury here) we have found every other South African we know to be very positive about life. Very rarely have we come across another South African who moans and complains about Korea. South Korea is our home, we are treated very well here, and in return they expect us to give our best in everything. It's a give and take situation, where a lot of other foreigners do a lot more taking than giving. I came across these 45 life lessons on Facebook today, they have reminded me of how we should try and live our lives, wherever we are in the world, and I wanted to share them with you...

Written by Regina Brett

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I've ever written.

My odometer rolled over to 50 this year, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short – enjoy it.

4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye, but don't worry, God never blinks.

16.. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.

18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

19.. It's never too late to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative of dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have, not what you need

42. The best is yet to come...

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."

Lovely, don't you think?

Korean coffee shops...

This weekend hubby and I went off exploring one of the big cities surrounding our rice paddy town. Bright lights and glitzy stores, we felt like we were in the middle of New york (or at least somewhere very exciting) as everyday life in Buan (our town) is far from glitzy. We stumbled across this incredibly cute little cafe, while taking cover from the rain. Why aren't there more of these sorts of places back home in South Africa? Maybe thats what Farmboy and I will do when we get back, open up some Korean Cafe's...hmmm.


Don't you just love the name...'No Riter'? Koreans, as most Asians, struggle with their 'r' and 'l's and so what I'm sure is supposed to say "No Litter" becomes, well 'No Riter'...cute man.

Instagram from Korea...

We have been in South Korea for a week now, and are s-l-o-w-l-y starting to settle into our little town. We have met a great bunch of foreigners (thats what we tend to call ourselves here) and they have shown us just how many treasures are to be found here. It has been a bit of an adjustment, life in South Africa was cushy to say the least, especially after being newly weds and all the wonderful wedding prezzies we were still enjoying. 
But life is good here too in many other ways, and we are really settling into small town life (the 100% humidity does get to one though!). 
Here are a few Instagram snaps of pretty things and places. 
You can follow along if you'd like @roxypearce and Farmboy can be found here @tincabin.
xxx

 

{Huttons in HongKong}

On route to South Korea, Farmboy and I had a two night stop over in Hong Kong. We were super excited to see this city as we plan on teaching there in a few years time. 
To be honest, we felt quite disappointed by the end of our stay. We're not sure if it was the jet lag, the intense humidity, the impending excitement of finally reaching South Korean soil or the insanely huge number of people, everywhere ALL THE TIME. 
Even with the above grumbling, we had a great time. In between long midday and afternoon snoozes, we explored a lot of this incredibly overwhelming city, and still feel that there was a lot we didn't see. 

We stayed at a wonderful hostel called Homy Inn in Tsim Sha Tsui (or TST as its fondly referred to). Surrounded by boutique stores, markets, restaurants and bars there is something happening all day every day. Homy Inn was clean and easy to find, and the staff there were so friendly! The rooms are small, but with a little strategic packing there is more than enough room to be comfy. For both of us it cost us a total of HK$1320, which worked out to about R300 per person per night (free wifi was such a bonus!), very reasonable. In total we spent about HK$4000 for our 2 night stay, which included all food, bus and train tickets to and from the airport, sightseeing and one or two little souvenirs and accomodation. It was well worth it.

We are very sad to have missed the Light Show that happens at the harbor every evening at 8pm, but we did arrive in the middle of a monsoon/tsunami (it sounds way more hardcore than it actually was) but it did mean heavy rains and thick grey clouds. But the light show is apparently a must see.
We did book tickets on the Big Bus Tour which was super cool! A great way to learn more about the history of the city, while getting around everywhere quickly and with great views from high above on the top of the bus. Included in the Big Bus Tour are tickets to Victoria Peak, which has incredible views of the famous skyscrapers and the surrounding lush green vegetation, it was breathtaking! What was also breathtaking was the 45 minute queue for the tram that takes you to the top, so go early in the morning to avoid the crowds! 
Here are a few 'proper' photographs (I find that now that I have an iPhone, my poor camera stays hidden in its bag...must fix that!). So here are those photographs taken with my Nikon...

Have you been to Hong Kong before? What did you think of the place? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
x

Happy Birthday to my Farmboy!

The day after we landed in Korea, my handsome hubby turned 27. In all the hustle and bustle of our move, I wasn't able to plan anything special for him (what a bad wife I am! I promise to make it up to you soon love!). We spent our first 2 days in Korea with our lovely fiends Claire and Andrew in Dajeon. Here are a few snaps before we bussed out to the province of Jeonbuk to meet our new schools and apartment.




The birthday girl and boy (who knew we would meet someone with the same birthday as Farmboy. Happy Birthday to you too Siobhan!
I love you dearly my Farmboy, this HUGE move across the oceans to Asian land would not have been possible without you. Thank you for inspiring me everyday, for challenging me, for saying no (even though it makes me mad!) for being the incredibly loving and encouraging man that you are. I love you infinity xxx

Tomorrow I'm going to do a post on our first day in our new home! Pop by again for that.
Have a lovely day readers!

xxx

Getting {Korea} ready...

In one week, Farmboy and I will be heading off on a 3 year adventure, starting with a year or two in South Korea. As our departure date draws nearer, we are both filled with more excitment and butterflies  at the new life that lies before us. We have been to Korea before (we taught in the city of Daejeon back in 2010) and are now heading back there as a married couple.
We don't know which town we are going to (we will only find out when we land and meet our Provincial Office of Education) but we do know that we are going rural. Rice paddy rural. And to the province of Jenbuk. Here's a little map to put South Korea into perspective for you:
We are in the midst of heavy packing, and trying to decide what exactly the word 'essentials' means to both of us. Here is a little idea of what we have stocked up and has to fit into our two suitcases (along with clothes, toiletries, makeup, shoes, scarves, jackets, ski goggles, travel pillows, cameras, laptops and the list goes on) to last us for three years:
Anything else you think we should include?
If you would like to follow our adventures in Korea pop on over to our blog FarmboyandCityGirl
This blog will most definitely continue even though I'll be half way across the globe, so expect lots of interesting posts on life in Asia, the incredible fashion and style over there, and most importantly; the makeup and stationery! 

Greek doors...

A selection of photographs of the doors we walked past and through while on our honeymoon in Greece last year...each and every one had a story to tell, be it through colour, texture, position or age. Each day we stumbled across more and more closed doors, holding secrets we would never know.



Farm Snaps...

A few snaps from our lovely relaxing weekend on Farmboy's family dairy farm!

{I hope you like my new branding & watermark! I have gone from CityGirlSearching Photography to RoxyPictures! You can see more of my work on my Facebook page here}


Our Wedding {flowers}

Here are the flowers that I/we chose for our wedding in September last year. I didn't want anything over the top, but opted for simple and pretty, with a little bit of a farm feel thrown in.
I had two wonderful local Creighton ladies help me with the flowers (as well as all the 
 and arranging), Gail & Rene, you ladies are just the bees knees!

The flowers all came from Midlands Flower Hub (at Southgate Mall in Pietermaritzburg). Cathy was wonderful to work with and really helped make the rose choices easy peasy!

I had begged, borrowed and scavenged loads and loads of glass bottles for the flowers (anything and everything from All gold bottles, to salt and pepper grinders, to vases and wine bottles!) and I was so very happy with how it all worked out.

{photographer: Jacki Bruniquel}

{Roadtrip} to Zimbabwe

Early January, Farmboy & I headed off on a road trip to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe for two very special friends wedding. Farmboy had very limited leave, so it was a very quick trip (well as fast as 1200 k's there and another 1200 k's back can be).

After getting all our documents sorted (gosh there are so many details to have sorted when crossing the Zim border!) we were on our way! 
After hearing horrific things about the Beit Bridge border post, we went through Botswana, and into Zim through Plumtree. We had no issues at either of the borders, and apart from my car battery dying on the way back and having to push start every time we stopped, the trip went off without a hitch. 

Nothing like exploring a bit of Africa...

{Wonderlust}


For the past few months, Farmboy and I have been thinking about traveling for the next couple of years, something which has been in my heart for a very long time. 

Friends and family have left us pretty much divided in their opinions {Farmboy does indeed have a really great job, hence his apprehension, and I am currently unemployed...hence my enthusiasm}.

This has left us pondering. Do we stay here in South Africa because the fear of finding jobs when we return is too great? Are we being silly and actually need to face the music and grow up?  While we are young, with no bonds or kids, should we just make the most of our youth and just go?

Next week I will be going back on the hunt, CV in hand to see if God's plan for our lives is indeed to be here in SA for the next while, or whether He intends for us to spread our wings and fly. 
What we can say for certain, is that what He has instore for us, will be a million times better than anything we could have planned.

So here is to the next few weeks of uncertainty. Each no I have received, I know deep down, means an even greater YES is just around the corner!
  

Our Wedding (bouquets)

For my wedding bouquets I spent hours on sites like Pinterest, 100 Layer Cake & The Pretty Blog trying to find the perfect photograph that contained all my idea's. But as so often happens when you have too many idea's, I was left overwhelmed and no closer to finding the perfect combination of flowers. Eventually Gail (half of my wonderful flower team) suggested meeting at the florist and playing around with different flower combinations and seeing what made my heart flutter...what a fantastic idea that was!

However, 2 weeks before our wedding (click here for more of our wedding photo's!), the flowers I had ordered weren't available and, to cut a long story short, I just told Gail to do her best with what we had.

And...I couldn't have been more delighted with what I ended up with.

It was pretty, soft, elegant and pastel!

I had always wanted my bridesmaids to have paper flowers, and had planned to make them myself. That was until I saw Denise's paper roses at the I Heart Market in Durban 2 months before the wedding. Denise, owner of Freshly Found in Durban was so wonderful and I ended up ordering 20 of her finest roses! And I was thrilled at how they came out...thank you Denise, they were everything I had hoped for and more!

{Photographer: Jacki Bruniquel}
{Flowers: Midlands Flower Hub Pietermaritzburg}
{Paper Roses: Freshly Found}

Our Wedding {The Ceremony}

{photo's by Jacki Bruniquel}

{Candles in the Barn rented all the way from Joburg from Rent a Candle}

{Confetti was dried Erika (lovely purple flower that looks a little like Lavender) very environmentally friendly!}

{Chandelier hand made by my Step Dad}

{Our Wedding} Official Photographs

Finally, I am able to pop these photo's up! All of these incredible photo's were taken by the talented Jacki Bruniquel, thanks so much Jax, Farmboy and I are so glad that we picked you to capture our special day.

 Here are a few highlights...

{I will be posting lots more in time and under particular headings with lots of tips for other bides-to-be!}

A little context for new readers...Farmboy and I chose to get married on his family dairy farm in the small town of Creighton, just outside Ixopo, KZN. He proposed in March this year and so began 6 months of prepping and planning and convincing my Dad that yes, I really did want to get married amoungst the cows! 

Words can't even begin to explain the hard work that was done by family and friends to get the barn and the shed ready for our big day. You see, the farm is a real life working farm. The Shed (where we had our reception) is the home to the calves after they have been removed from their mums. The Barn (where our ceremony took place) was used for storage and the shearing of sheep, as well as the home to a very special little owl.

So, with that in mind, Farmboy and his Dad set about hand crafting all 18 tables, I set about sourcing vintage plates, knives and forks, champagne glasses and mahogany tiffany chairs (who would have ever thought this things would be so hard to get hold of!) and so began the wedding prep!

To everyone that lent a hand, an afternoon or even an entire month to help make our dreams come true, we love you all so much, and it would never have been possible without you!

Greece {Athens}

After a very short glimpse of Turkey {we had a 6 hour layover in which time we got a free tourist visa, managed to negotiate the mind boggling Turkish Metro, and make our way down to the Bosporus for breakfast and coffee *click here*) we landed in Athens for the next leg of Honeymoon. We only had one night in Athens, and made the most of it exploring the streets below the famous Parthenon {which just so happened to be closed for a strike, can you believe it!} But we still managed to get a few piccies around the base...
Here are some shots of part 2 of our honeymoon {the best is still to come though!}, enjoy!
xxx



Our first ride on the Metro rail in Athens...why doesn't Durban have such a cool underground transport system?!

The Parthenon!

We were hoping to catch a sneak peek of Zeus peering round the corner...

The old and the new...

Loved the look of these shutters


Our first truly greek meal...yum!

Very cool antique shop we found at the end of a side street...pity we didn't have 300 euro's lying around to make a purchase ;)

{Before} The Shed & The Barn

Here are some photo's of the shed (which was to become our reception venue) and barn (our chapel/ceremony venue) before all the wedding prep began. The shed was where the calves were kept after being seperated from their mommy's (Farmboy's parents own a dairy farm, hence the cows) and the barn was being used as a place to shear the sheep and keep bits of junk. Still, even with all that 'natural' stuff (ahem cow & owl droppings) going on, the true beauty of the place is undeniable :)

The Shed...













The Barn...












Honeymoon Highlights {Joburg > Istanbul}

And we are back to reality! Back to a very rainy and wet Pietermaritzburg, after 2 blissful weeks of sun, sea and sand in the Mediterannean. Here are a few highlights of part 1 of our honeymoon.

Enjoy xxx





Waiting for our plane to take off...next step is for me to get my ID & Passport doc's changed!

Breakfast on the Bosphorus

Sunrise...



The most delicious street saamie!
We only had a 6 hour layover in Istanbul, but managed to at least make our way down to the harbor to see a few of the lovely old buildings

Local brew


Magnets anyone??

Every building had one of these, ornate and golden
Turkish coffee...no one ever warned us it would be so strong!

A trip to Turkey just ain't complete without a little delight...