01.07.2009 - 20.06.2010 23 °C
Just getting started, and not sure where to start!
We are James and Erica! Currently living, exploring and working as English teachers on Jeju (Cheju) Island, South Korea.
Sometime last year (2009), approximately mid July, we met in Toronto, Canada, both studying for TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) certification at International House Toronto.
Hometown: Born in Taipei, moved to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, at 8. Age:24 (1986)
I had just finished University after 5 years at the U. of Waterloo. I already had a job lined up teaching in South Korea through the EPIK program, run by the government of S.Korea. I was taking the TESL program to earn some extra money while in Korea (higher wage with the cert.), and as well to be certified to teach in Canada on my return home.
Hometown: Simcoe, Ontario, Canada. Age: 26 (1983)
I had just finished an 8 month stint saving money in Alberta, Canada, where I worked as a cook in the tar sands. The plan was to earn some quick cash and return to traveling. I have been on a working holiday to Oz, a couple weeks in N.Z. and about a month in Fiji. Prior to traveling, vanned and hitch hiked across Canada on different occasions, and lived in Vancouver for around 2 years. Trying to figure out how to travel forever and not need to come home to earn money, I figured English teaching was the way to go. I had plans to move into South America after the course.
James: We both went to school everyday together in downtown Toronto for a month, studying to be effective ESL teachers. We didn't have much more than short conversation over a month in a 10 student class. After the final exam, but not before all of the final practicum classes, the whole class went out to party. The two of us finally sat down and got to know each other a bit more in depth. We managed to get pretty wasted, and I took her halfway home on the subway. Sometime early in the morning, I called (aka drunk dialed) and invited her over for brunch. She called the next morning almost at my house, as hung over as me, and neither of us in shape to do much. I decided we should do a shopping trip to the grocery store, in the rain, to get the ingredients for my cure-all hangover soup (which I reckon is how I won her over )
To cut a long, romantic story short, we spent the next week together in Toronto, sharing stories, dreams and experiences, then she left for Korea.
Erica: He was going to leave for South America, but he couldn't get me out of his mind, nor could I stop thinking of him. We agreed to meet in the middle of the world someday when we both set out on our travel adventures.
James: I didn't leave for South America, I called her and said, "hey, what would you think if I came to Korea for a visit 'on my way' to South America?"
"Eeeeeeeee," was the reply.
Two weeks later, I was in Korea.
Erica: as soon as I saw him at the airport, I knew something special was going to happen.
James: two weeks after that I asked her to marry me.
(She said yes)
Erica: James then had to change his plans immediately- he flew back to Canada to get a work visa needed for working in Korea (and to buy my beautiful ring ;P ).
Erica and James: Here we are now, almost a year later. Our time in Korea is almost finished, a trip to Taiwan come and gone, amongst many of our ventures. Now, plans and tickets are in place to move onward. Rather than trying to catch up on the past year, we're soon going to post some favourite pictures and moments, and each write some highlights of the past year, including a section on Taiwan.
We'll be heading back to Toronto, Canada on August 25th before heading back over the Pacific. After a quick stop in Fiji (September 14-19), we're onward to Australia!
James: We're heading to the Oz sweet cherry circuit. I'm going to teach Erica how to pick cherries like a monkey on crack picking bananas. I did this previously, and its a good opportunity to bank some good cash for the next leg of our journey... TBA.