Sayonara, Japan! Osaka + Kyoto 2016, Vegan Eats & Beautiful Blossoms

I will no longer be posting on, since I can’t really continue to write about and photograph things in Korea without actually being there!  However, I hope that people will still be able to use my site as a helpful resource.  Thank you guys for your kind comments and for following my blog over the past few years, it means a lot! ^^

I feel very grateful to have had the chance to work as an ESL teacher in Korea, especially since I got my first job just before the hagwon bosses decided to stop offering free round-trip flights to and from Korea!  I had the opportunity to work in three very different hagwons, and can safely say that no two ‘English schools’ are alike, even if they are owned and operated by the same company.  If you are considering working in a hagwon, I highly advise getting in touch with the other foreign teachers prior to making your decision.  Be specific with your questions, particularly about being paid regularly and on time, tax deductions, working hours and overtime, accommodation, and expectations and responsibilities.  Also, ask how long the other teachers have been working there for.  Unfortunately, many hagwon managers, directors, and owners can be manipulative and deceptive.  It’s an incredibly competitive industry in which only the ruthless survive.  For example, every employee is given ‘severance pay’ upon the completion of their contract; however, some hagwon owners terminate teachers’ contracts just before the end in order to avoid handing over the severance pay, consequently saving themselves a significant sum of money.  Trust me, I’ve been there, and it is absolutely unfair and infuriating.  But it’s not all bad!  Feel free to leave me a comment if you want to know anything more about working or living in Korea.

When we decided that we wouldn’t be renewing our ESL teacher contracts in Korea, and made the subsequent decision that we wouldn’t be staying in Asia as ESL teachers at all, we knew that we just had to make a ‘farewell’ trip to Japan.  I’m sure that we will return to Japan again someday, but we certainly won’t be visiting it as frequently as we have been over the past three years.  I feel so incredibly lucky that we were able to visit Japan 8 times (consequently, 8 is a lucky number in Japanese culture!)  You can check out a recap of our adventure here.

Thanks again for reading!

Amanda // SoKoreazy