Since I have gotten a lot of positive feedback from my last blog 10 things to buy when living in Korea, I have decided to stick with the lists!
When I first thought about moving to Korea, I knew that I wanted to move to Seoul. I am pretty sure that most foreigners want to live in Seoul, if they are going to make the move here. However, after spending my first 6 months in Korea, I moved to Bucheon (Which is still one of my favourite places to live in Korea). A year after living in Bucheon, I found an amazing job in Seoul so I decided to move back. I knew then, that I was over with living in Seoul.
I am now living in Gimpo and I am loving it! So I will try to convince you to explore Gyeonggi-do with, 5 reasons to move to Gimpo.
- New city.
Gimpo is very big. But the part of Gimpo that I am in is brand new. This area has only been open since 2015 and I moved here in 2016. A brand new city is great because there are constantly new things being made because the city is still developing. When I first moved here, there was not that much to eat or do here. However, now there are new things popping up all the time and it is great! It keeps things interesting! Whenever a new building is made, I am so excited to see what will be opening. (I am praying for a dog café now)
- Apartment.Guys, my apartment is…AMAZING! I can not tell you how much I like it. When people ask me about my living situation, I am so excited to tell them. I also love having people round so I can show off!
If you are new to my blog, you might not have seen my Seoul apartment tour… my tiny apartment tour… my shoe-box tour.
If you haven’t got the hint yet. my apartment in Seoul was extremely small. If you don’t believe me, please go and check it out here.
However, my apartment now is big, spacious, new, pretty and perfect! I will just leave this picture here as evidence. (Can you see Aurora lurking?!)
I am such a light sleeper. I wake up when I hear Aurora drinking water in the other room. So leaving in a 24 hour city was really hard for me. Even though I was not living on a main street, I would wake up in the middle of the night to the sounds of passing cars, people walking by and phlegm spitting ajusshis .
I love that Korea never sleeps, but when I am sleeping I want the world to tiptoe. Here in Gimpo, if I close my windows, I the sound of a few passing cars won’t wake me up. Even though I live on the busiest street in my area.
I know that this might change as the underground opens and more people move here, but I am more than happy now!
- No foreigners.Now, this is a hit or miss. For me it is a hit. However, I will break down both and hopefully convince you that this is a good thing. Before I get into it, I want you to know that there are places near by which have big foreigner communities.
Now let’s get into the reasons why I think it is good to live in a place where there are hardly any foreigners around.
A. You can improve your language skills.
People around here are very good at English, but if you are serious about learning Korean, it is excellent when you’re immersed into an environment where people will probably try to speak to you in Korean and appreciate it more!
B. You can learn more about Korean culture by making more Korean friends.
While I know that you can still make Korean friends in Seoul, a lot of people get comfortable and just make friends with foreigners, or Korean people who have been abroad and are very well cultured. So, moving out of Seoul, you are more likely to meet people who want to teach you Korean culture, as opposed to them wanting to learn more about western culture.
C. You are easily recognised so you get a lot of free things!
Now, I am not sure if this is just a benefit I have been spoiled with, but because I’m recognised so much, owners of restaurants, boutiques, and corner shops are constantly giving me free things! Just before starting this post, I went to the corner shop to buy lemon water, and the worker gave me a lollipop! (This guy gives me something for free every time I go into the shop haha!) Who doesn’t like free things?!
- Separating work and play.
When I lived in Seoul, it was very tempting to go out everyday after work. It meant that personal time and work was slowly merging together. I was meeting friends more and more often after work and it made me exhausted the next day.
Living a bit further away from Seoul, where all my friends live, means that I don’t go to Seoul when I finish work, unless it is a day where I finish early.
Rather than meeting friends everyday, I am able to spend more time with my fluff baby, or just by myself. But I am still close enough to Seoul. It just takes me 20 minutes from my house to Hapjeong, or 40 minutes to Gangnam, by bus! It is excellent!
So, I have been able to focus my weekdays on work and resting, and my weekends are free for play!
The examples that I have used for this post, is mostly revolving around Gimpo. Since I live here now, it is the best example that I can give. I know that there are many places in Gyeonggi-do which are very different to what I have mentioned. That is expected since Gyeonggi-do is so big. There is a different feeling in every city in Gyeonggi-do. I am sure there is a city for everyone to love!
My point with this post was to encourage people to think about stepping outside of the city when living in Korea! I am sure it will lead to you enjoying your time here more!
(Please remember this is an opinion piece! So please don’t get angry with me!)
If there is something that you would like to read about, please let me know! I will try my hardest to please you!
Happy summer, and welcome back to my blog!
I have fished around in my brain for things to write about, that relate to Korea.
As opposed to the abundant amount of blog posts about what to pack when coming to Korea, and what to buy when visiting Korea, I have not seen any posts about what to buy when living here.
If you are anything like me, you delay buying things that you need and end up buying it a year or so later. You then think to yourself, ‘why didn’t I buy this sooner?’…
This has happened to me multiple times in the last 4 years.
So, to prevent you wasting time and avoid regret, I present to you…
10 things that you should buy when living in Korea.
Check out my other lists, here.
- Electric blanket
If you have to buy just one thing from this list, please buy this! My electric blanket has saved me from freezing to death in the winter. While Korea is crazy hot in the summer, the winters could not be more opposite. While a duvet can keep you warm, the cozy heat you get from using an electric blanket is irreplaceable.
For my female readers, electric blankets are also a God-send when you are on your period! Gets rid of my lower back pain almost instantly.
While this is not the heated pad that I use, here is a similar one.
Korea is known for having 4 seasons. When I first moved to Korea, each season was 3 months long. What nobody told me was that the summers here are incredibly humid.
As I have only ever lived in 1 house until I moved to Korea, I’m not sure how accurate this is but, I think Korean houses are not built as well as my very old house in London. This means, mold forms very fast. Molds annoying cousin is water.
I regret not buying a dehumidifier in my first year, as I would have avoided sticky summers and countless times trying to scrub mold.
Buy a mini dehumidifier here!
I know, why would I suggest the complete opposite item to the one I have just mentioned. Well, two reasons. First, everyone is different. Second, Korea is wet in the summer, but it is extremely dry in the winter.
When the winter is as cold as it gets here, you need to put the heating on. But the heating does make the air dry. I suffer from nose bleeds sometimes in the winter and I guess it is because the dry air. After I used a humidifier, the nose bleeds stopped and my skin was not dry anymore.
However, a warning, please make sure you clean and disinfect your humidifier as it could be very bad for your health.I am in love with this humidifier lamp!
- Rice cooker
Many of my lucky friends moved into their apartment with a rice cooker waiting to greet them. I however, was not so lucky.
Now, I do not like rice. I can go months or years without eating it. But, a rice cooker is basically a slow cooker and steamer! You can make multiple things in their and it is very compact and cheap.
Whenever my Korean friends visited my house, they always asked where the rice cooker was and they would look at me like I had just offended their entire heritage. Avoid crushing your Korean friends hearts by buying one!
Here is a like to a cute 1-3 person rice cooker.
- Mini oven
Again, this one might not seem necessary, but I only bought mine a year ago and I can say that I am SO glad that I bought it. This should have been the first thing I bought when I got here because I love to bake. Not only baking. When I think about what kind of foods I used to eat back home, I almost always made things in the oven.
Mini ovens are around the same size as a microwave. More importantly, they get the job done!I have no regrets! Here is my mini oven!
- Shower head water purifierNow, I must admit, I have not bought this yet. But, I am including it in my list as most of my friends in Korea have used purifiers and they love them.
The water in Korea is softer and I guess less chemically treated than water in London. So the water here has already done wonders for my hair.
I am not sure about the water in other cities in the world but most of my friends have used these purifiers as they had seen negative changes in their hair and skin condition.
As soon as I finish this post, I will order a purifier and possible give you a blog post about the benefits or cons of it!This is the most famous water purifier I have seen.
As mentioned at the beginning of this post, the summers here are intense. I came from London, where 25 degrees is considered a heat wave! To Korea, where 25 degree is an average spring day.
Most houses in Korea are already installed with air conditioning, but air conditioning is extremely expensive in Korea! So, I suggest buying a fan as it is more cost-effective and if you end up living in a place without an air conditioner, you are set!
Also, handheld fans are so handy when you are out and about in public!
You can buy the Standing fan that I use here.
Most housing in Korea has vinyl plank flooring. I never realised how much hair I and Aurora shed. Not only that, but how fast dust forms! Having a vacuüm makes cleaning so much easier than using a swifter or sweeping.
While I still use my swifter, I use my vacuum almost everyday to get rid of Aurora’s fur in a time-saving way!There are many vacuum cleaners but here is a cheap but sturdy one!
- Brita water purifier
Apparently, Korea’s tap water is drinkable. Not many Korean people drink the tap water, for I think the same reason people from London don’t drink tap water. It smells funny, the water system is old and it is well-known that the water is chemically treated.
However, drinking bottled water is terrible for the environment and Eco system.
Many Korean’s live in apartments and they have a water dispenser or water filtered installed. But for us foreigners, we never know when we will be moving next and water dispensers are like phone contracts, you have to sign a 2 year contract. So I suggest buying a Brita water purifier! It is slim enough to fit into your fridge, so you can also enjoy chilled water in the summer!Buy your own one here!
As mentioned above, the winters here are incredibly cold. At first I thought that I could survive with my winter jacket from back home. I later realised how mild British weather is and how extreme Korean weather is!
My second winter in Korea, I purchased a big padded coat and I realised that I had stopped complaining about the coldness!
If you will be here for the winter, make sure you buy padding!Sorry, I have no link for padding. However, in winter they are easy to find everywhere. I will recommend Discovery expedition!
So there you have it! The 10 things I suggest you buy when living in Korea!
This blog post has not been sponsored (although I am willing to accept some sponsors!).
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