I think it’s safe to say that I’m an average blogger (at best) these days. To be fair, my photography has kicked into high gear with the change of the seasons, and I’ve been far more focused on that, as well as the end of school for the boys in just a couple weeks! It’s also hard to believe that just a few days ago, we marked 11 months in South Korea for our little Army family. It’s been an adventure, to say the least, and it’s wild to think that if we don’t extend, we’re about to be on the downward slope of our time on the peninsula.
11 Months in South Korea
It’s no secret that South Korea came with its own mix of challenges, but as a military family, we’re used to the near-constant flux. Something is always coming and going. There’s always a semblance of give and take to this lifestyle, and every duty station is a bit of a mixed bag. It’s important to note that we wanted to live in South Korea, and we wanted to be stationed at Camp Humphreys. This duty station has been challenging, but South Korea has been a huge blessing for our family.
In the wake of senseless and agonizing tragedies in the United States, I’m grateful to be in an extremely safe country. I may lament about mask wearing and the humidity, but you cannot put a price tag on the fact that we don’t fear senseless violence in South Korea. While we ponder what to do next, I’d be lying if I said that didn’t sit in the back of my mind, and thinking about heading back to the States comes with its own mix of emotions, many of which we felt the tip of whilst in Utah.
Our Favorite Parts of Life in South Korea Thus Far
While Covid has prevented a lot of travel off-pen until now, we’ve managed to do and see a lot in our 11 months in South Korea. Some of our favorite family adventures include:
- Sogeumsan Suspension Bridge in Wonju
- Exploring Goseong and the Goseong Dinosaur Museum
- River days in Songnisan National Park
- The Bee and Honey Cafe in Pyeongtaek
- Exploring the Daejeon Expo Bridge at night
- Hiking Crocodile Peak in Chungju
- Our first beach trip to Daecheon Beach in Boryeong
If there’s one thing South Korea does right, it’s making things family – and child – friendly. Almost every place we’ve been is planned for visitors of all ages, and that’s such a refreshing feeling! I also selfishly love that so many public places cater to small children, even offering small child-sized restrooms, which has made potty-training a little girl in Korea such much simpler.
The Most Challenging Parts of Life in South Korea Thus Far
Every duty station comes with its own unique set of challenges, and Camp Humphreys is no exception. One of the strangest things here, however, has been the complete polarity between life on base and life off base. For example, masks are 100% optional on post with obvious exceptions in medical facilities, etc. Off post, masks aren’t mandated outside anymore, but they are mandatory everywhere else. To be fair, South Korea was a mask-wearing culture long before Covid, but it’s been a strange thing to walk around maskless on post then immediately don it again off post.
It’s definitely hard being in such a vastly different time zone than family, as well. While we’re used to most of our family and friends not visiting us at any of our duty stations at this point, it’s definitely more strange going to bed when they’re waking to start their days. And, of course, when emergencies happen, we feel that distance more than ever. Oh, and the most challenging part of South Korea for me? Parking. Driving is crazy and chaotic, but parking is traumatic. Our American cards may or may not work in parking garages, so I can never comfortably use a parking garage, which relegates us to either street parking or trying our luck.
What’s Next for the Moores
We have a trip back to the United States next month! We’d planned this before our emergency trip home earlier this month, and we’re excited to have a solid three week break for the family together. Ryan will be leaving for a mission in early August, and he’ll be gone for a few months, returning in November. We’re hoping to plan our first Asian holiday around the Thanksgiving timeframe, and we’re having fun starting to plan that one.
First up though, we’re heading out of town for a quick little Memorial Day holiday! It’s a simple getaway, but it’s a bit of a trek, so we decided to do an overnight there to make the most of it, and I can’t wait to share upon our return! Do we know what’s next in store for us? Nope, but we can’t wait to see!