Here are some resources we have found helpful during out time living and traveling abroad. Hope they are helpful to you as well. We are always looking for new sites and technology to help us share, connect and simplify life.
Software We Use
WordPress is the free and open source platform this entire website is built on. It is a powerful blogging and content management system that allows for easy posting and social network integration. There are two options for WordPress with your blog. You can either host it on your own server as we do here, or you can have WordPress host the site for free!
Elegant Themes is company we bought this themes from. It has been modified a little bit, but for the most part, we were happy with it as is and. One of the things we love about about Elegant Themes is the integration of shortcodes like the one here(put your mouse on top of hereShortcodes are ways to put in cool and helpful features like this description without any coding knowledge or experience! to see a description). To see a list of all their features, check out the features page and then take a look through their beautiful templates as well.
We love Google!! They have so many great products. We use Reader to keep up with the latest news, Google.com to search for anything and everything, Analytics to track this and other website traffic, and most recently we have fallen in love with Translate! Translate is a great tool for people living in other countries, or wanting to learn new languages. Check out the video here and the try it for yourself here.
Dropbox allows us to share large files and also sync them between multiple computers. We use this to sync our personal computer files with our school computer for presentations, etc. This is also helpful for sharing and receiving files too big for email from anywhere in the world. Click this link to get an additional 125MB FREE!
We love Apple!! Griffin used to work for Apple and Valerie has been a huge fan ever since Griffin bought her her first Mac as an anniversary present. We use many Apple products for the editing and backing up of content on this site such as iMovie (Part of iLife), Aperture, Final Cut Studio 2, Time Capsule and iWork. Griffin does his graphic design and editing on a 15″ MacBook Pro and Valerie enjoys using the MacBook for all her computing tasks.
We just recently found WunderList, a beautiful, intuitive and FREE software to help manage tasks and projects. Between travel planning, normal life and running a couple of blogs, we have lots of tasks we do daily and many ongoing projects. We use this program to colaborate on shared tasks as well as manage separate tasks. Best of all, our lists sync from our computers to our iPhones, so there is no need to only use the lists on one device.
Hardware We Use
Check the Software section for the Apple software we use. As far as Hardware goes, we use a Time Capsule to automatically backup both our computers over Wi-Fi. Griffin does his graphic design and editing on a 15″ MacBook Pro and Valerie enjoys using the 13″ MacBook for all her computing tasks.
We love Canon Cameras! We currently use the Canon 7D with an Canon XTi. We really enjoy the picture quality, detail and manual controls that SLRs offer. For lenses, we love using the Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens to capture portraits, the Simga 18-50mm 2.8 for a range of photos from close up to to semi-far away as well as landscapes. The next purchase we hope to make will be the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM for zoom landscape and portrait shots.
Griffin just got the Amazon Kindle from Valerie for Christmas and is loving it! He used to use his iPhone to read many of the business and design books he is interested in using PDFs or from the iBooks store, but his batteries always died on long trips before his interest in reading did. If you havent’s checked out the Kindle yet, we highly recommend giving it a look.
tripit.com allows you to quickly and easily store and organize all your travel plans in one spot. Any booking confirmations you get for flights, hostels or hotels can be forewarded to your trip account and will be organized by day and time. If you have an iPhone iPod Touch, BlackBerry or Android device, be sure to check out their free appsapp to sync your travel itinerary to your phone.
everytimezone.com helps you know when to call who and from where. This interface couldn’t be easier to use and we’ve heard it works offline on the iPad as well. We use it all the time to set up meetings with friends, family and clients via Skype.
maps.google.com allows you to find directions to and from most anywhere in the world. It also has a great feature called My Maps that allows you to create your own maps of your travel plans, favorite secret getaways and more which you can either make publics, keep to yourself or share with only certain friends of your choosing.
tripadvisor.com is a great site to find trip itenerary recommendations, guides, hostel and hotel reviews and more. We use it all the time and had a great experience finding a guide on there when we went to China in 2010.
google.com search for anything, search for everything. We use google all the time for research, images, products and more. If you haven’t used it you should.
Eat Your Kimchi is a great video blog from Simon and Martina, a couple who lives in Bucheon, Korea, which is a city near Seoul. They make entertaining videos about living and teaching in Korea and K-Pop. They also have some great free lesson plans for middle school students.
Chris In South Korea’s blog has some great insight into Korea and also has a great ebook on learning Korean. Be sure to check out his Life in Korea Resources page for tons of helpful sites and phone numbers for your time in Korea.
The Marmot’s Hole is where people come to talk about Korea. Run by Robert J. Koehler, a magazine editor living in Seoul and a 10-year-resident of Korea. Over 3,693 posts here. lots of information, opinions and more.
Gusts of Popular Feeling is a blog that takes a look at Korean society, history, urban space, cyberspace, film, and current events, among other things.
The QiRanger also known as Steve Miller, is a popular video blog where each week Steve takes you with him to explore a new aspect of Korea or the world.
Kiss My Kimchi is your guide to thriving not surviving in South Korea! On KMK you’ll find tips, hints and advice about what to do, where to go, and how to make the most out of your time in Korea. Here you’ll find information on living and working in Korea whether you’re part of the ESL industry or a tourist exploring the country.
Zenkimchi Has load of information across currently four different site including Korean Food Journal, Dinning, Adventures and even a podcast. Lots of information to be found there.
Korea How is a great blog resource for English teacher’s and acts as a guide to living, working, and traveling in Korea. Pete is also a great photographer and an avid traveler. You can check out his pictures of Korean and the world here.
10 Magazine is the blog portion of a great magazine for foreigners in Korea. It is the only magazine I know of that is specifically tailored to foreigners in Korea and at currently $27 a year it is a great value to make sure you make the most of your time in Korea as it lists many festivals, events and concerts that may otherwise be difficult to find information on.
Ulsan Online is a great place to find tons of information about living in Korea and more specifically Ulsan with was our home for two years. They have everything from movie theater movie listing and show times to bus stops to the best places to find foreign food and more.
Life in Korea offers information on travel, culture, shopping and more and can be a great resource for finding out what you want to know about Korea.
Visit Korea is the official Korean Torism Organizations site and usually has the most up to date information on special event, festivals an more all across Korea. Have a weekend you don’t know what to do with? Go here and most likely there will be a festival of some sort you can find and go to.
Facebook is a another great place to learn about and connect with others in Korea. There are hundreds of groups on Facebook created for and by those living in Korea. Just do a search for Korea or the name of your city and most likely there will be a group of other foreigners you can find and connect with quickly and easily.
What The Book is the best site we’ve found for finding and purchasing English books in Korea. They have a good website, great service, and fast turnaround, but be ready to pay more than you would back home as English books come at a premium price in Korea.
G-Market is like the amazon.com of Korea and is actually owned by eBay. Most things you find here will be more expensive than back home, but by the time you order from home and pay shipping and import tax, it all evens out. The nice thing about being in a smaller country is that you can usually get your orders in one or two days max and we have even had shipments come in the same afternoon!
Costco Korea when you get the craving for cheese, muffins, pesto or just a huge delicious pizza for about $12, Costco is the place to go. You can usually find some of the best deals on hard drives, cameras and other electronics compared to other places in Korea. Costco also carries a lot of hard to find foreign foods at the best prices in Korea, just be rear to buy in bulk and you have to pay a membership of about $40 once a year to shop there.
EZ Shop Korea has all the foreign food Costco offers plus a whole lot more and they will even ship it to your door. Just be ready to pay a premium for most of it as they mark up all the food prices to cover logistics and shipping, but sometimes it is cheaper than a trip to Costco yourself and many times they have items that can’t be found anyplace else as well.
EPIK stands for English Program In Korea. It is the Government run organization for placement of Native English Teachers in Korean Schools.
Dave’s ESL Café is a great source for teaching english anywhere in the world. Job boards, lesson plans, discussion and more.
Way Gook is the Korean word for foreigner. Another great source for discussion, jobs, questions and lesson plans, but Korea Specific.
Photography in Korea
Jason is great guy and a Canadian born photographer currently based in Ulsan, South Korea. He has also Taught English for more than 6 years in Korea and knows most anything to know about Ulsan.
Hermit Hideaways is the Photo Blog of Seoul based Greg Curley. Greg is currently employed at an ad agency and also part time with CNNGo and Korea Tourism. His photos are always inspirational, plus his weekly snapshots give you a good sense of what other photographers are doing around Korea.
Tiger and Magpies
Tiger and Magpies is a great blog with beautiful picture from all around Korea by Eddie Provencher, an American who has lived in Korea since 2006.
Taekwondo Info is a site is full of information and tips for Teakwondo, it’s history, how to improve, what to expect and more. We really enjoyed reading about their trip to South Korea here and learning what the flag means here. The thing that inspired us the most about this site though, was their story. Read it here and enjoy!
Connect With Us Around the Web
Griffin’s Design Sites
This is Griffin’s design services site that he is building up into a thriving online business for website setup and customization, Custom Pages and eBook templates, logo design and custom wedding design packages.
This is Griffin’s personal portfolio site and also the home of his travel blog before he married the love of his life. Griffin has traveled to over 100 cities in more than 30 countries across five continents and has been recording his travels here since 2006. Griffin studied product design in college and many of his sketches, renderings, and models can also be seen on this site. Enjoy!
Griffin’s Photography Portfolio is where Griffin puts some of his favorites. Any of the images on this site can be purchased in many different sizes and forms from postcards to wall canvases.
Griffin and Valerie’s Flickr Page is where Griffin puts all his pictures since marrying Valerie and chronicles their travels and experiences together.
Griffin’s Flickr Page is where Griffin puts all his pictures before marrying Valerie and chronicles his travels and experiences around the world.