getting a magic volume perm in korea, getting hair done in korea, korean hair styles, korean fashion
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Getting my hair done at the Korean beauty salon

Koreans are the best dressed and groomed people in the world. Without a doubt.

A high maintenance looks-oriented society, you’ll find the men, women, teens and toddlers are all stylish, made up, manicured… not a hair out of place. Here, plastic surgery is as common as going to the dentist. Clothes shopping is a popular pasttime for men and women, alike. Guys are tailored to look like like K-pop stars, as women wear short skirts and balance on stilted toothpicks. Toddlers get perms and manicures and children are dressed as if they came out of fashion pages.

January 21, 2011 52
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8 Ways to Stay Warm during Winter in Korea

It’s been said that this is the worst winter Korea has ever seen. It sure feels like it. It’s so cold that the concrete at my work desk provides regular AC breezes through the soles of my shoes and to my feet. Not kidding. During the winter you’ve got to find ways to keep warm.

Here are 8 ways that I fend off winter chill (as well as, a few other K-bloggers):

January 18, 2011 48
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2011 GRRRL’s mom, my solo travel fears and the mystery I’ll be!

Annyeong 2011! Time is flying and it’s taking a jet.

Writing Home for the Holidays: GRRRL TRAVELER’s blogging mom

It was a winter white holiday for us in Korea and this year, while I abroad, I didn’t have to write home. Instead, my mom, the real family blogger, did it for me!

With my mother in town for two weeks, she battled the ups of sightseeing, desk-warming, seeing snow fall for the first time,… with the downs of first time solo travel and winter health. …

January 17, 2011 1
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5 Ways to Trust Yourself as a Traveler (Expat Review)

All artists have a vision of their creation before putting chisel to stone or paintbrush to canvas. At times, the vision is complete; other times, it’s a vague vision with a powerful calling to step into your dream and trust.

Rounding up 2010
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”
– Lao Tzu

January 6, 2011 4
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5 Tips to Celebrating the Holidays Abroad

4 Tips to Celebrating the Holidays Abroad:
So how do expats and travelers recreate their own holiday traditions abroad? Here are some ideas…
1) Hold loose expectations

Not all countries celebrate the holidays to the extent we do in the western world and a country’s lifestyle and cultural gap may make it broader. Most of Asia, for instance, celebrates their New Year in February using the lunar calendar and Christmas is usually celebrated in countries where Christianity is present.

December 30, 2010 8
spending the holidays abroad, home for the holidays, artwork by christine kaaloa
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Finding Home for the Holidays: Where will you Ring in the New Year?

In a few days, fireworks will light the sky and party blowers will sound in the western world- Welcome to 2011! Even travel sites are abuzz with Top 10 lists of Hot New Years Eve Destinations (aren’t fireworks sorta the same anywhere you go?). Meanwhile a week ago, my travel clock was ticking and my small life abroad in Korea was in a conundrum over inflating costs of holiday travel and the global list of options. Panic. Oh my God, where to be on New Years Eve?

December 27, 2010 6
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A Secret List of English-speaking Doctors in Daegu (which none of us know about)

It’s a royal pain to be an expat hunting for English-speaking doctors, dentists and dermatologists in Daegu. You do your Google search a number of times, only to find nothing. You ask your expat friends and they offer that one recommendation that everyone goes with, even if it’s (sometimes) crap or expensive.

Recently, on one of my searches I found a link to Daegu’s Metropolitan City site. Lo and behold, a long list of medical practitioners for the expat was hidden there! Why it never popped up in any of my many searches, I don’t know. So I’m cutting a pasting it here!

December 23, 2010 17
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My Accidental Overnight Templestay at Haeinsa Temple

I was in the home stretch with only two hours to go. Each bent joint in my body wanted to scream with spasms.

What the hell was I thinking?

Staring at the wooden wall before me for the past seven hours, the knots and natural grain of the wood were beginning to form a cackling witch.

Who am I?

This was a good one. These past weeks I’ve wrestled with the rocking crests and uncertain footing of that question. Nearing 40 and still single, the world is mine to create and to accidentally slaughter. Stay in Korea and develop a career in education? Follow my passion for travel and yoga to India? Root down, find a husband and make babies? Everything felt like it should be the right answer.

December 22, 2010 6
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Dec GRRR!: No Home for the Holidays and Vacation Plans

Last week’s forecast spelled snowfall for Korea. Snowfall was brief and light, but it’s looking very possible that Korea could have a white Christmas this year. If so, I’ll be airmailing wintry kisses to everyone this holiday season.

December 15, 2010 2
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