Yay! We mentioned in our TL;DR that we just passed 5 Years in Korea! Wow. That’s quite a long time. We sometimes speak with people who have been here for, like, a couple of months. We remember what that was like! But we also remember how different we were back then as opposed to now. We mentioned a bunch of ways Korea changed us in the video above, like in our taste buds, portion sizes, perceptions of masculinity and sexuality, our sense of danger, and our paying more attention to our appearances. There are a couple of other things that have changed with us that we didn’t mention in the video, though, so we’ll talk about those here:

Our Taste in Music:

Ok, so we’re music hipsters. We listen to lots of weird indie stuff. People might be really surprised by our taste in music, because they think that we only listen to Kpop, for some reason (maybe because we’re known as Kpop people on YouTube?) Point is: we didn’t like Kpop when we first came to Korea. Our music snobbery got in our way for a while. Hardcore snobbery. It was hard for us to think of Kpop as “real” music, whatever “real music” means. The idea we had before was that music is only good music if it’s made by the musicians alone, and Kpop seemed so fake in comparison. Kpop bands don’t get together from high school and jam out in their mom’s garage and play gigs at local bars and struggle to make ends meet and bartend part time while they practice with their band the rest of the time. There’s none of that with Kpop. Kpop bands are assembled by companies. Members oftentimes don’t know each other before forming the band. Kpop bands oftentimes don’t make their own music, but have songs written for them by people from different countries. There’s none of the traditional sense of sincere artistry in it. Well, that’s what we thought before, or – more specifically – what I – Simon, super music artsnob – thought before.

But that’s changed. I found that I was spending too much time focusing my energies on reasons to NOT like kpop, rather than just letting myself like it. It’s music! Doesn’t matter how it was made: it’s still music. Doesn’t matter if it was one person who wrote the song or a hundred. The song’s there to listen to, and oftentimes it’s ridiculously fun to dance to. Why deprive myself of the joy of liking something? So I can feel better about myself, think highly of myself for not liking a song? Why take pride in NOT liking something? That’s silly. We hear this a lot when we speak with foreigners in Korea not into Kpop. They never speak of it like a “meh, it doesn’t really do it for me.” There’s a passion and a fervor in their eyes, and they speak angrily against kpop. I didn’t want to be one of those angry people any more…

It was really Brown Eyed Girls “Abracadabra” and 2NE1 and Big Bang’s “Lollipop” that got to me. I thought “hell, these are awesome, AWESOME songs. So freaking fun! Why am I trying to deny liking them?” I gave up my pretentions. Sure, I stopped thinking of music as this infallible art or something like that, and good riddance. Pretentious people in any field, be it music or literature or movies suck at parties. They’re condescending fartsuckers and live bitter lives of resentment. Spend your life enjoying more things rather than defining them.

You know, I just realized that I shouldn’t be writing this post while partially drunk. Tomorrow’s a holiday in Korea, and there’s some great energy going on outside, and we’re sitting here at 1AM working on this video and blog post, so we decided to grab a couple of drinks and get back to work, Mad Men style. I forgot that I had a serious post to write, so – my apologies if I’m a bit incoherent.

Our Mission in Life:

Before we came to Korea 5 years ago, we planned on being in Korea for a year. Our plan was this: Korea one year, Japan maybe a year or two, and then back to Canada to teach and “start our lives.” Our idea was that we should travel when we’re young. Why wait till you’re retired to travel? By the time you’re retired, you’re old and in pain and sleep a lot more. Why not enjoy your travels when you’re young and get it out of your system? That’s what we thought.

Yes, it was unconventional, but we thought ourselves risky for doing so. Oooh! A year or two overseas! That’s different! And while we were in Korea at the beginning, we spoke with people who would sometimes ask us “when are you going to start your REAL lives” Real lives. Yes. That was the term used. Like, what we’re doing in Korea isn’t our real life. We have to go back to Canada, back to our roots, and buy a mortgage and buy a car loan, work our 9 to 5, and do all of the things normal people do. Not that we’re bashing that! Not at all! Sometimes we look at our lives now and think that there’d be comfort in a regular life. We just noticed, though, that the idea we had from people who lived lives like this was that the lives we were living here weren’t “real” or weren’t “right.” It’s just a phase, and soon we’ll return to normalcy.

We thought that for a bit, too, but the more we lived here the more we realized that maybe we might want to live here for a long time. Maybe we don’t have to go back and do things the way they “should” be done. Maybe we could live perfectly legitimate and real lives here. We don’t have to get a mortgage. We don’t have to have kids. We don’t have to own a car. We don’t have to do the things that normal folks do, and we wouldn’t have to worry about being unfulfilled as a result.

We’ve met so many awesome people here. Just yesterday we had people from Australia here filming something with us. Two white guys living in Australia, traveling to Korea, and speaking Japanese. How cool is that? We know Canadians living in Korea who married Korean people and have started lovely families here. Are their lives not real? That’s silly. So we look at ourselves now, two white people living in Korea and making YouTube videos. What’s wrong with that? Is that not a real job?

Sorry if that’s a bit of a ramble. Our point is this: coming to Korea and living here has really changed our perceptions of what’s normal and acceptable. Our fruits are far from our roots, but that doesn’t make them rotten. And I hope that, by being here and sharing our lives with people online, we can motivate others to try something different. There’s a world of possibilities out there. So many places. So many options. So many lifestyles. So many lives to live. All of them real. If you’re bored of your life or unhappy or discontent, move! Go somewhere else! You have friends where you live: make new friends! You have family where you live: make new family! It’s not like your old friends and family will cease to exist. Go new places. Do new things, and find something that’s right for you. If life hands you lemons, go somewhere that life grows mangoes. That is, if you like mangoes. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like mangoes…

  1. I’ve never been abroad, not because I didn’t want to, but because of the money situation and my family telling me that it’s not going to happen for me. It’s been my dream to travel and it still is. I decided to apply to teach English for six months in Korea as a “hiatus” from my university studies, but I’m going to live large and go for a year even though it’s going to set me back on my graduate date. Now is the time to do it and I know how much I really want this. I hope to get into the program and be the best teacher I can possibly be while opening myself up to a completely new culture. I really loved your video, it’s eye opening and made me realise how much I want to experience those things. So I will do anything I possibly can to live in another country. People tell me it’s such an impossible dream, but I know it can be done and I’m going to make it happen. Cheers to you, Simon and Martina!

  2. Lisa Bowen

    Korea does change you, agreed! Martina, fyi: I work at the school where they filmed B4Fs. They still have tons of photo ops and movie props around. I’ve heard the F4 classroom is still open to visitors, too. You all should come out one of these days and do an episode on iconic kdramas or english language hagwons or something like. :) http://www.yea.or.kr

  3. Thank you for posting your thoughts. I am inspired more to pursue my dreams and go to S. Korea! And also Japan! I think it would be more exciting if we live unconventional lives (which we can be happy and fulfilled with) and try out new things! :)

    • I agree with you so much! I think you’d be able to say that you’ve really lived a real life if you are really happy, content and fulfilled and you love what you’re doing regardless of how much money you make and how much property you own.

  4. i just love the post, really deep and full of weird metaphores and i agree completely with you about not having one only path to follow and that everybody loves mangoes :) i salute you sr. and msssssjsjs i don´t know how to say it :)

  5. I feel so bored with living in America i want to experience new things I’ve fallen in love with korean culture it would be amazing to move to Korea maybe one day I hope :)

  6. I really like seeing other people doing different stuff. My hubby and I
    live on a boat with our 5 year old. We didnt even TALK about kids until
    we had been married for over 8 years. People were always asking when we
    were going to have kids, and have a “real life”. I call BS on those
    who cant get over their personal paradigm. Same with living life afloat:
    just because it doesnt conform to most peoples ideas doesnt make it
    less real, or “a phase”. Its our life. Korea is YOUR life. Live it how
    you want to. You are the ones whos happiness you need to focus on. ;-)

  7. I always wonder what is Korea standpoints’s the hip hop culture? Are they more into the whole gangsta rap thing( Like in CL’s video the baddest female LOL) going on or are there some influences of groups such as A tribe called quest, J Cole, Wale, De La Soul, Q-tip, Nas, Kanye West, Common to name a few?

  8. Did I just cried over this? Yes, I have. You guys…

  9. Even if you were drunk (or not) that a great thinking ^^.
    I mean, I totally feel good reading that and thinking I’m not alone, and I can try to do whatever I want from now.
    Thanks for those good word and advice. Thank for sharing your experiences too, I enjoy reading and looking at them a lot. It give courage.
    From France ^^ (for now)

  10. You silly geese! :) Korea hasn’t changed you. You’ve made the decision to change yourselves. You might very well have done so, regardless of where you lived. Surely that must be quite evident?

  11. I just discovered this site and S&M and their youtube videos and the nasties and WOW i’m lahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhving all this positivity and youthful vibes! You guys are amazing. I actually met the both of you three weeks ago in hongdae while I was giving a tour of the hongade area to my friend who was visiting me at the time. It was cool cus we were just waiting for the light to turn green to cross the street when she recognized you right away and Simon gave her a hug and the three of you just started talking like yall were the best of friends when it was her first time meeting you guys (in person) too. I just stared and was wondering what on Earth was going on since my knowledge was that I was the only person she really knew in Korea. Then Simon said something like “Oh, didn’t you know we grew up together?” and then I thought about it and remembered my friend telling me about two white folks who vlog on Youtube and said, “Wait! You guys are Youtube stars aren’t you?!” After that I got curious and started watching your videos. And as you can tell, the rest is history.

    There is a point to my rambling and choosing to comment here instead of fangirling on youtube. It is to say this: thank you. It’s so touching to see two foreigners loving Korea and enjoying their lives with such positive and enthusiastic fervor. Your last paragraph in this article really resonated with me. I also became exposed to so many new possibilities and began truly understanding cultural relativism after I moved here upon growing up in Canada for most of my life just as you did. My hope after moving to Korea was that others would also experience the same eye-opening enlightenment I experienced by moving to a different country but what I observed was only disheartening. After I moved here, I began to meet many foreigners who were not having the same experiences as I and did not love Korea or new cultural adventures. Many foreigners merely saw Korea with a critical eye or chose not to open themselves up to these new possibilities that I have begun to love. Granted, I am of Korean ethnicity and have very Korean parents (in the cultural sense) I was able to adjust more easily, it still made me sad to see many people not enjoying what began to be the best journey of my life- that which also could be for them if only they would open themselves up to what is different. Thank you so much for simply being how you guys are: thoughtful, open, experimental, adventurous, exciting, smart, and this list could go on. And though you guys may not realize, your videos embody and symbolize so much more than what meets the eye. You are part of the bridge that is currently being constructed, linking various different cultures, allowing for more understanding, discussion, critical thinking, and acceptance between people of different roots. “Otherness” though still in existence is slowly being pushed aside in this generation, thanks to an amazing bunch of people like you who are willing to see things with a new perspective! Thank you on behalf of Korea, of appreciators of different cultures, travelfreaks like me, and for being such a positive influence on our world. :)

  12. Korea doesn’t grow mangoes… but I feel exactly where you’re coming from with most of this. Me too… I’ve been living my fake life for 7 years in Korea. Have fun, do what you want because YOLO!

  13. wowowowowo…ok I wasnt a subscriber but now I am thanks to this post…my first one you got m fully attention!

  14. Love your posts, but now you know someone who doesn’t like mangoes. I’m possibly allergic to them (One bad allergic reaction after I ate a few things that contained mangoes – now I’m too afraid to eat any sort of “exotic” (American’s idea of that word) fruits. Which sucks because I remember that mangoes did taste alright, but that one bad reaction scared me off them.

  15. I’ve visited Korea for like around 5 times, and I really love staying there. The taxi drivers are amazingly nice and polite (most of them are, I can’t say all). They chat with us and teach us Korean. I’ve learnt Korean before, (I do know some simple sentences and how to read the words) and when the taxi driver realized that, they just keep on chatting with me and teach me new words. They are really nice and helpful. After returning Hong Kong, I feel kind of embarrased. Koreans (most) are helpful and patient. However, in Hong Kong, people are like annoyed when you try to ask them locations (i’m not saying all, but some). Their pace are really quick and if you are too slow, they will just ignore you and become a bit rude to you. You can easily hear slangs and foul languages in HK, but not Korea. I remember once in Korea, after entering the subway, an old man gave his seat to me (I refused it), and he was like smiling at me and keep on pulling me to sit on his seat. I kindly refused it, as I don’t think I need a seat. I can never see this in HK, but only people rushing and try to get a seat.
    Korea is really an amazing place.
    PS sorry for my bad English…

  16. Cassie

    One way that Korea has changed me is my outlook on law enforcement. Police are so nice here. they give everyone the benefit of the doubt.

    My husband got trashed one night and passed out in the taxi on the way home, so the taxi driver called the cops. Rather than detain him for drunk disorderly behavior like an American cop probably would have, they stayed by his side, outside in the cold in the dead of winter at 3am until I came to pick him up, and they were so pleasant about everything.

    Even if someone gets drunk and tries to punch out a cop, usually the worst they will do is cuff the guy and take him to the station so they can watch him until he sobers up enough to come to his senses. The sense of honour here is so great that usually the drunk guy feels really bad and apologizes profusely when the cops let him go.

    I thought it was funny when Simon said that him and his friend left before the cops could pin blame on them for the fight, because more than likely, once they heard the story, they probably would’ve shaken your hands and thanked you for diffusing the situation.

  17. This may be a cray cray question considering you both are doing so much
    as it is, but have you ever considered producing a book in the future?
    Maybe even if it’s just a blog book of your story? Just throwing it out there. ;)

  18. Ely

    By reading this post, I realize how much I want to travel and how important it is for me!! :D The big (p̶r̶o̶b̶l̶e̶m̶) question I ask myself is, how can I have enough money to do that? -_-” *sigh*

  19. Can I just say how inspirational this is?! I mean you guys in general. Reading this just makes me want to travel , learn, see and experience the world and what it has to offer. It makes me realize that I am young and I have so many opportunities at my grasp and I should take advantage of them. Also makes me realize how fortunate I am to have parents who will gladly encourage and support in whatever I choose to do even if it means being away from them.I feel like this post is just the push I needed to got to Korea. I really wanna go to Korea now and part of it because of what you guys have shown through your videos and because of my mother’s fascination towards Korea.( This was kind of long, Sorry ):D

  20. My twinsister doesn’t like mangoes. She’s weird hehe. ^_^

  21. Just wanted to say, thank you all for contributing such awesome comments. I think this is one of the best discussions we’ve ever had on the site, and we’re really moved by seeing what a lot of people wrote. Thank you guise. You’re all so…Nasty!

  22. It’s strange to me that moving away for a year (or more) seems to be an odd concept in North America. In New Zealand, all everyone wants to do is leave and go on our OE (Overseas experience for all you non-kiwis). We regularly go to the UK, Canada, USA and Australia to live for a long periods of time. I think that has something to do with us being so far away from the rest of the world and hence we need to base ourselves somewhere closer to the rest of the world to make travelling cheaper and more accessible.

  23. It’s interesting to hear you guys mention the chopsticks and the street food cuz it’s actually more of Asian culture in general. I’m from Malaysia and we also have chopsticks out in a bucket too. And we would dip our spoons into the same pot and put it into our mouths lol.

  24. Since you guys talked about living life the way you want to, I think this is a good post to tell you this.

    Before I started watching your videos, I was already somewhat interested in Korea and it’s culture, although pretty much the only things I knew were Korean dramas and a few Kpop groups.

    But after watching you guys, I’ve really grown to love what you have shown your Nasties about Korean culture, food, etc. And this could not have come at a better time in my life. I was just graduated from high school and my “plans” for my life were pretty much washed down the drain and I was wondering what I could possibly do that I would actually LIKE, since what most people choose as “real” or “normal” lives seemed completely boring and didn’t interest me in the slightest.

    Now, partially because of you guys (and, admittedly, partially because of my love for Korean dramas and Kpop), I know that I want to major in Korean language, which will give me an opportunity to visit Korea for a study abroad program, and also give me many more options with job opportunities, since I’ve also decided to at least minor, if not double major, in psychology as well.

    My mom, although supportive of my decisions, thinks it’s a bit strange and others don’t understand why I am so in love with Korea. However, because of the wonderful things you have shown about Korea, I’ve learned that many of the things I value and believe in are much more valued there instead of here in the US where my opinions are seen as strange and different.

    I sincerely thank you guys for giving my life some direction when I felt completely lost. And while I’m not sure if I can complete my goal quite yet, I at least have a goal now.

    I respect you guys so much, and I am grateful to you! Fighting!!!!

  25. Question: Is it common to see Idols on the street or in stores?

  26. I hate mangoes. > . <

  27. thank you simon and martina… am planning a trip to Korea to test the waters there (have no great expectations, just excited about the adventure) and i completely agree with you on the ‘real life’ philosophy.. am one of them… wandering around India… for quite a while.. i hope to see you guys or visit your studio when i finally land there.. it would be an honor to see you guys!

  28. my friend is deathly allergic to mangoes……but seriously thanks for this post it is one of my favorites. I have been enjoying your videos for over a year now and must admit to bouts of jealousy as you two are leading the life I would choose but cannot attain atm. It is a bit lonely in the PNW since not many people even know kpop or kdrama and they are prolly 15 years younger than me. The jealousy never lasts b/c of your insights on cross-cultural relations, hilarious commentary on pop culture and of course awesome food porn;)
    congratz on your upcoming anniversary!!

  29. Emilie

    I only like mangoes in super small portions.

  30. I think the problem here is the use of the word “normal”. A lot of people here are commenting and saying their life goals don’t “fit in” or people “don’t understand” their likes, dislikes and plans. I don’t think anyone should be made to feel that way. When I was in college, I chose social sciences as my path. You wouldn’t believe all of the people who just couldn’t imagine why I would choose the major and that it was a waste of time. So my point is, While we kind of have a “standard” a lot of people flock to, I consider everyone making a neutral or positive impact on the world is normal. Two White bloggers in Korea? Normal. American who wants to be a K-pop star? Normal. Someone who does not want to have kids? Normal. So many people feel down because society’s norms mark them as deviant, or weird. Create your own normal and try to make a good impact on the world! I am glad so many people here are empowered by their personal goals, and wish you all the best :)

  31. I really like this post, I really want to move to Japan or Korea to work, but people around me would say ‘why the heck do you want to go there… blah’ and you just get judged by what music you like. Liking kpop is not a bad thing, alot of friends think kpop as fake, all koreans have plastic sugery, etc. No need to hate with a passion.

  32. S&M…this is more of a serious question. (On a super awesome posting of yours…) But it just seems like almost every week we are hearing about another celebrity/person (i am sure there are so many more than we never hear about as they are “regular people,”) that commit suicide. But why does it seem so prevalent in South Korea/Asian communities? I’m from the states, and here we have psychiatrists, medicine, etc. Is there a lack of this in SK? Or is it just a different culture? This is something that i have been wondering about for pretty much the whole time i have been interested in kpop and South Korea.

  33. Living any place foreign is going to change you, particularly if you spend a lot of time there. Your observations are interesting and are nice tidbits I certainly agree with a lot of it. I can certainly say it changed myself when I lived there teaching way back in the day, without question it forced me into a real serious work ethic that I didn’t know I even had. Early morning and late nights teaching, commuting.. Learning how to live and sink or swim. It’s a good way to test yourself and make you a better person. Now at an older age, I live vicariously through you guys! Keep up the vids!

  34. How do you guys find music because honestly I love most all of your music!!

  35. Best thing I’ve read in a long time..

  36. Do you guys know anything about the KCON for 2013?? I know it will be in August, but where can I get the tickets and how much do they cost? Also, if I go to the KCON, do the concerts cost money that they do in there, or anything they hold that costs money? I’ve never been before…. Thanks!

  37. Are you guys trying to say, that you wrote that when you was partially drunk?!?!! …no way!! I like that article alot :) ..is well written, despite you probably was tired. Good job! :)

  38. I’m studying abroad in Japan for a year and majoring in Japanese&Int’l studies… but i’m worried about how to survive with that type of degree. I mean, I know your degree isn’t your career and there are a lot of things out there but… I don’t want to get stuck in America >< Thank you for the inspiration to just get going!!

  39. it’s not that i don’t like mangoes; it’s that mangoes don’t like me.

  40. Gosh, when both of you were snuggling I was like “uhhh omg,..” and then right after Simon said : stop vomiting . The timing with my complaint was so good that I actually apologised XD

  41. i know i’m probably a little late for the party, but I really appreciate this post a lot, the whole “pretentious” story is really true for me, I am surrounded by that kind of people wether i like it or not, and it’s good to see people who actually just enjoy stuff because it’s fun, instead of being fartsuckers. I love u guys so much!

  42. Isnt it if life hands you lemons, go somewhere where life grows mangoes or is my english getting bad? Oh and anyways love the deep quotes and the kpop story. It’s really true, when I talk to kpop haters over the internet, they always hate it with a passion. It aggrivates me. They dont just say, “Oh, I like my music better, I’ll just pass.” Instead they have to go all in depth on why kpop sucks and the femininity and fakeness of it. It’s just eughhh I get it, kpop isn’t for everyone but you don’t have to insult them so much that my eyes bleed of too much of naive closemindedness.

  43. This post is really inspirational :3 I’m moving to Korea in August because I got an scholarship to study a master program there…people always gets surprised when I tell them, as if they were saying “oh that’s cool for you…but…are you crazy?” …well this is my dream and I worked hard for it and waited patiently, so I don’t mind what other people think, I might be different, yes, but that’s something that will lead me to live new and different experiences in my life and I’m happy about it :)

  44. Really great post guise! I’ve been lucky enough to travel quite a bit so far in my life with work and just on vacations. Having these shortish experiences in a variety of different countries ignited my desire to live abroad…….but it’s such a huge step and I’ve always been afraid!!!! At the end of this year it will be crunch time for me. I’ll have just finished my PhD and will be deciding what to do next. Your videos, particularly this one, have encouraged me to take that next step! Thanks :)

  45. I used to always change the adage of “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade” to “If life gives you lemons, add vodka”. But I sincerely appreciate the new twist that you have added. It is more empowering and less intoxicating!! Congrats on 5 stellar years, and may there many more stellar, nasty ones to come!

  46. Simon and Martina, you have hit a big concept here with the masculine ideology. Being Midwest USA, the man is the (lol) hairy Hugh Jackman-type and so every time I point out a handsome Korean I get weird looks and comments on how he is not a real man. I can see a masculinity to the Korean guys that my friends can’t and I am glad you pointed it out as a perception. Thank you!

    • The funny thing about that Hugh Jackman metaphor is that as much as he represents a hairy wolverine-type character, when I hear his name I immediately think of him as a slightly flamboyant character in the broadway musical ‘ Jersey Boys’.

      Even stereotypes can break stereotypes.

  47. One of my favorite parts about this post is actually reading through the comments people are posting and realizing how many people out there want to travel and want to make their travels more than just a vacations (although vacations are very fantastic lol) There are so many of us, and now we all know that is we ever get those questions from other like,”What about your REAL life?” we can go onto EYK and find others that don’t think like that.
    We should make a club called “The Roaming Nasties” lol

  48. Christina Rolfe

    This was one of my favorite blog posts. I felt I could relate to it so much. I abruptly went to Japan for three months during high school in 2007 because my environment was overwhelmingly depressing to me at the time and I needed to get away. I needed to be in a completely different place. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. My friends back home couldn’t really understand it, though. I feel like many people I know still feel it was some cool, but transient experience that I partook in that was some sort of outlier of my other life experiences. Those three months were more influential to me than other entire years of my life. It inspired me to become an Asian Studies major, seeking to become a Korean and Japanese translator. I have been back to Japan twice and will be going to South Korea for six weeks this summer. It was one of the most self-defining experiences of my life and I certainly was changed because of it. I am a happier, more open-minded and adventurous person.

    So, yeah. Thank you for this awesome blog post! Drunken ramblings are sometimes the best ramblings.

    • I can totally relate. I just up and went to India for a month one time to volunteer teaching English. I was only gone for four weeks but it completely changed my life, and it is now my dream to teach overseas. People get really confused at the fact that so little time (in the grand scheme of things) can have such a big impact on someones life. But being so out of the so-called “comfort zone” is so much more influential than years of “normal” life.
      Anyway, you go girl! Super jealous of your travels. (I don’t have any plans to travel again till I graduate with my bachelors, DARN YOU STUDENT LOANS T_T )
      Hope you have lots of fun this summer!

  49. I love what you said about being a former music snob! As a classical musician I know SO MANY music snobs. When I started listening to K-pop I got a lot of judgemental comments about it not being “real” music or “quality” music, but I say if it makes you happy then it’s good music.

  50. Speaking my language. Traveled via education throughout the US. Now I’m working on teaching certification and experience so I can hopefully work in a (hopefully swanky) international school next school year.

  51. At first I felt wrong for wanting to write YOLO but after a few seconds I was like screw that YOLO :P

    Everyone needs to think how much the world would be better if only those who truly wants to have children have children instead of having them because of social pressure. Now you can pretty much apply that to everything else.

    Please don’t live in regret.

    Be happy.

  52. this post was genuine and funny at the same time

  53. I don’t like mangoes >.>
    And my family thinks I’m weird for that but I just don’t like the texture of mangoes in my mouth >.<"

  54. リ-ア 明子 石井。

    wow. the whole “real life” part really hit me. this post made me want to hurry up and go to another country to teach. That’s what i’ve been aiming for for 3 years now. every time you guys talk about your lives in Korea i get so jealous T^T haha but this was a great post

  55. Gemma Deacon

    The last paragraph speaks to me right now. I’m getting to a point where I might be moving out of the house I have grown up in and I want to be excited and to live life to the full and experience new things. However there is always one nagging part of my brain that is saying ‘what about money? How will you pay for rent, bills, food? What if you don’t get a job?” etc. But I really do want to get out there and experience the world, make new friends, make new family. So what I don’t have any idea what I want to be doing in 5 years time, at least I’m going down a path I enjoy, and meeting some fantastic people along the way. I don’t want to live a ‘real’ life! Thankyou for inspiring me to live life to the fullest! :)

  56. OMG, I’m really happy with this post, it’s like a massege for me! hahaha
    I’m in a phase of my life that I have the opportunity to study in korea for one year and I couldn’ decide to go or not! I’m from Brazil and last month I went to Super Show 5 in my city, I don’t like Super Junior that much but was one of most memorial days of my life. I kept imagining how would be live and study in Korea.
    In Brazil when you say you listen to korean music now they only think in Psy (yes, is sad), even being japanese descendent they think I’m strange. The only person that supports me is my mom because she loves Big Bang, K-dramas and stuff hahaha!
    Unfortunately my father wants me to go to Japan and japanese family you know.. it’s a bit complicated :(
    After watch this video I decide to keep my dream, I wish my experience be as happiest as yours.

    I love you guys and you inspire me for real, thank you so much :D

  57. You’ll love this: You can add COWBELLS to every song you like on this webside :D

  58. Plato. Aristotle. Bertrand Russell. Simon. FYI I’m totally claiming that lemons line.
    I remember the video of the puppies who spent their lives in an animal testing lab when they saw grass for the first time, like “this is real? I can do this and just be me? It’s not some kind of dream?” Enjoy your life! Happy Anniversary!

  59. “Abracadabra” and B1A4′s “Tried Walking” are what dragged me in, and I haven’t looked back since. We are kindred spirits.

  60. I love mangoes, but I am so, so incredibly allergic to them. The last time I ate one, not only did I get big nasty blisters all over my mouth, but my stomach swelled up as well, and I could barely eat anything for days.


  62. *lol* I think i never ate mangoes. . .
    Thou I never lived outside of my country, I think that one will change depending on the culture of the other country.

  63. I live in Brazil, and i love that my country has a lot of different cultures, but i hope some day i can go visit other countries, learn and absorb their culture and make new friends, i’m really happy that through youtube i can see EYK because that’s means that if you guys can, so can i, right ?
    I’m a nasty on the other half of the world, Happy anniversary !!! lol
    sorry for my English, I’m not very good writing in English … but i wanna to say thank you simon and martina for making my days better <33

  64. In my community, girls and boys usually spend a year in Israel after high school. It is such an amazing experience to go to a new country and see a new culture.

  65. Same here on the gayness thing, i don’t live in Korea but i watched a lot of dramas and music videos. At first i was like *I love them* but that’s pretty gay… totally different views now, my dad still calls most of them gay but he is a little more open in regards to gayness ^_~

  66. Gotta say EYK has garnered such a lovely bunch of supportive Nasties ^v^ Great job Simon & Martina and all you ooh so nasty Nasties ^=^!

    Oh and all the best to all who have the opportunity to go to other countries that is totally different from your home town! Not only is it just brave to do it for the first time, that’s “Bravery Achievement Acquired!”, but your life will be richer for it! You’ll get to tell stories like “Oh that one time I went to *exotic place* and *had an awesome story*…

    I was blessed enough to have 2wks in Japan when I was in high school and because we were so high on life (on Life only… Promise!) you get to do some crazy stuff or remember a lot of funny stuff that had happened… Even simple funny stuff like my host family’s dog farting on que when Mama-san was just warning me about him farting ^^’… side note: do not feed chocolate to dogs!

    So going back to my point… Listen to Simon & Martina, they have an excellent point and I happen to love mangoes over lemons

  67. then come to indonesia! we got great mangoes here… sweet yummy and cheap mangoes… i love this article btw <3 i really do. thanks for the inspirations *hugs*

  68. Marian Quah

    This is my most favourite and insightfui TL;DR!! Loves all around! <3<3<3

  69. Marzia Matalone

    *_______* I’m moved guys!
    You’re just so right about this! Living up to others’s expectations of what is normal and right is not a good thing, because it narrows your mind and makes you unable to look at the world in its variety…well, I’m a South Italian girl, and here traditions about life, marriage, work, etc, are really deeply rooted…I like my country but sometimes I feel somehow stuffy, because none can understand why I love Asian culture so much and listen and watch Korean stuff all the time.
    Now I understand it even better.
    It’s all about being curious and willing to learn and discover things about people, even if they live in a far away place, and have perceptions and cultures very different from yours!
    Maybe I’ll never be able to work or live abroad, but even so, thanks to people like you, I can still know and discover a lot, of course using the new technologies in the right way, trying to learn and understand the world a bit more everyday! ^_^

  70. reading this post makes me realised that there are many options in life.THANKS !!!

  71. Sara Napsey

    Korea has changed me as well. Just being around fit, healthy and beautiful people inspired me to lose ten pounds and completely change my lifestyle :)

  72. Danger radar in Korea? You never know when a car would shoot past you. But then again most drivers in Korea have this amazing sense for sudden braking. All I can say is: just cross the zebra crossing. The “look around + wait 3 seconds” rule don’t work here. They won’t stop unless you start crossing(:

  73. yanagiba yusuke22

    i want to know the creepy evil room in ur studio…

  74. Jacklin FbthinksImfake Carter

    Oh English majours…..

    Anyway, this was the first blog post I actually read since I’ve started watching your videos (back when you did a music monday for FT Islands “Hello hello” ) and pretty good thing I did since in a few months I’m going to get married and we have yet to decide where to live due to schooling and jobs. The traveling while you’re young is such a good idea cuz when my parents went to Sweden last fall, my dad was in so much back pain, he could barely walk, not to mention enjoy himself there. (he’s all good now, found a good doctor, had a good surgery and great recovery) But Korea is SOOOO on that list of places we want to visit, especially since my cousin wants to teach English :3
    Thanks for being awesome guise :3

  75. drunk Simon is the best Simon

  76. thisisjustforfunval

    OMG, I can totally relate to my attitude change towards what makes a man hot and manly since I found kpop two years ago. Since U-KISS is my primary addiction I’ll reference them. I could never have imagined being attracted to Kevin (sorry Kevin) because he’s so pretty. He’s very attractive, just not my normal taste. In fact Soohyun was my bias till Eli pigeoned his way up to the top. Yet in the past few weeks, Kevin has caught my eye and I’m seeing more of his manly charms. Something I couldn’t do before. It’s opened my eyes to more perspectives of men in general. Now to find one, you know unless you can send Eli, Soohyun or Kevin my way, which ever one you can catch first. XD

  77. My friend has a theory that things in north america are made more sweet and salty than asian people are used to, because in asia we have a wider variety of spices that we can use in our food. because of that we don’t need to season our foods as strongly in order to make them more appetising

  78. Thank you.

  79. The “real life” thing is so true. I’m looking forward to a future of backpacking and working around the world. That’s my number one dream for my life, and it always has been. By doing something out of the norm, you are standing up as an example for everyone who just wants to do something different with their life, to tread off the beaten path. Thanks for doing what you do. :)

  80. I really understand all the things you were talking about and how perceptions change. I don’t live in Korea, only spend short amounts of time there, but being married to a Korean man and being around Koreans a lot in Australia has really changed me. When I first had Korean friends I remember I had an attitude about what was “right” and my culture being right and many things in Korean culture being wrong.

    I’ve really changed my attitude and opinion the last few years. The things you mentioned in the video definitely as well. I feel embarrassed and ashamed of the point of view I once held. And now, I’m much happier- I’m happier learning about a new culture and accepting different things, I’m happier not being pretentious about music and enjoying a lot of Kpop, I’m happier not thinking that masculinity belongs in such a small box, I’m happier not judging people all the time, I’m happier trying new kinds of food, I’m happier being pushed out of my comfort zone sometimes. I hate to think about the person I might have ended up being if it wasn’t for these experiences.

    We are moving to Korea next year and I’m looking forward to new challenges and experiences.

  81. Rosemary~ (┛◉Д◉)┛彡┻┻


  82. This was a great tldr. ^^

  83. Oh… This really got into me. I seriously need to move. I hadn’t realized how unhappy I am like this, just wishing that things could suddently get better without really doing anything.Thank you very much for writing this :’)

  84. I’ve always been pretty much the same weight, but since coming to Korea and eating Korean food 24/7 (as in, I never stop eating), I’ve lost weight. I mean, I’m not reaaaaally sure, but when I saw my family again, everyone said that… and about my husband, even though he’s really thin, somehow he had lost weight too. Crazy Korean food!

  85. I just love reading all of the comments, they make me really excited in traveling!

    I want to one day visit Japan. At home I watch NHK world and watch a lot of documentaries about Japan, it has made me love it even more! I am also an anime lover and am even planning on taking first semester Japanese next semester! My major in college is Computer Science with hopes that one day this career will allow me to travel. But there are two problems.

    The first one is that I doubt myself about my love for Japan. In my case it might really be a phase, and that worries me. I say so because I started liking Korea and K-Pop, but now I rarely look into Korea or K-Pop. I still like Korea and K-Pop, but I am focused on Japan right now. I have even stopped learning Korean. This wasn’t intentional, it just kinda happened. Right now I am really confused as to what to think. I loved this TLDR because it has caused me to reflect on my own life.

    I’m kinda a big mess right now. Reading all of these comments have gotten me excited, but also made realize how confused I am. Not just with liking Japan or Korea, but life in general. I don’t want to get too personal but I do want to share a bit of my struggles. I feel like the Nasties are really a nice community and I want to hear someone’s perspective about my life, seeing as I have conflicted feelings now. Sorry if my post is too long or unrelated to this post.

    I have two more years of college to go, and I will finish, but I don’t know whether I’ll make it in the “real world”. I have friends who have their own apartments and have internships, but I live with my parents and have no job. I am a bit too scared to apply to even the simplest job. I don’t think living with my parents makes me less “grown up” but I don’t feel the sense of responsibility my friends have. All I can think about is animating, creating video games, and going to Japan (and I won’t even go into the struggles I have with deciding whether or not I really have a passion for those). I spend most of time on my computer, but feel it is a waste of time. I have so many creative ideas, but can never follow through. I wanted to start a blog about Japan, but I am not organized enough to do so. I still want to, but at the same time I have to focus on Computer Science. I am trying to figure out what it is I want to do, but at the same time have to be realistic and get myself a job so that I can pay for school. I am having a hard time balancing what I want to do and what I need to do.

    When I was in high school I thought I knew what I was going to do, boy was I wrong. But you know, (now looking at the bright side) if things didn’t happen the way they did, I may have never looked into Japan or Korea and definitely would not have run into Eat Your Kimchi.

  86. So Simon and Martina…I am actually looking to moving to Seoul and want to get a job within Digital Media City as a Software Engineer. I have been to Seoul twice before (Sept 2012, and April 2013), and I have been wanting to move to Seoul for a while. I seen you *getting jobs in Korea* video before, but I am more uncertain about the actual making sure everything is OK before and after moving. Things such as money, finding good places to rent, find Korean friends to learn the culture better (I have a few in Seoul, but want more), etc..

    Any tips.

    Oh, and if you know anyone in Seoul that is looking for software engineers or related fields, then let me know!

  87. Hi Simon and Martina.. and Spudgy.. and Meemersworth, what is religion
    like in South Korea? Do they have a lot of churches or mosques or
    temples in cities? Are there a lot of Christians in South Korea? Do they
    usually tend to “show off” their religious affiliations like with
    crosses on their necklaces? I know in China that religion is sort of a
    taboo subject, so is it the same in Korea? And how do foreigners view
    religion when living in Korea for as long as you guys have? Thanks!!
    NASTY 4 LIFE!!

  88. Totally understand on the sanitary thing. I’ve lived with Filipinos for the past three years and they have gotten me to the point where I don’t even think twice about sharing the same utensils or grabbing food off of a plate with personal ones. It was a huge change for me when I first moved in, but now I find it odd when people freak out over it.

    In fact, I’ve gotten so use to sharing that at a recent family function I went to grab food off a plate with my fork and was immediately reprimanded. I was confused. It later hit me that I was dealing with reverse culture shock.

    And, yes! The guys! Didn’t think of Jihoo as manly until waaaaaaaay later.

    Thank you guys for 5 fantastically nasty years!

  89. I really want to live in Korea for a few years as well, but I can’t really picture myself staying there forever. I plan on moving to Hong Kong and spending the rest of my life there, but who knows what’ll happen!

  90. this post really inspires me to do somethings that I dont know what it is yet. obviously, I am also living, so to speak, an un-real life.

  91. That’s really funny that you were talking about North American portion sizes because I was JUST watching your Soondubu Jigae FAPFAP and was thinking, “How in the world do you eat that much?”
    I mean, you have the actual soup, which would probably fill me up all by itself, and then on top of that you add eggs, and then there’s rice and fish and side dishes. Sure, you’re sharing the side dishes, but if you divided them onto plates it would still be huge!
    That said, I also agree that North American portions are enormous! When I go out to a restaurant, I usually eat a third to half of what I ordered and then take the rest home for later. I love me some leftovers. Of course, that doesn’t work so well with breakfast food. :(

  92. Woahh, you guys are truly an inspiration ^^

  93. now coz u live at korea, and work as full time bloggers, fulfill ur dream: to travel here and there!!! *hooray*

  94. Simon should blog drunk/tipsy more often.

  95. While I live in North America, I am not American and I am just too much of a germophobe to do that whole double dipping thing. Yes, I come from a culture where hygene is stressed due to the lack of adequate drinking water and basic facilities. Hence, hygene is huge! Sorry to say, some of you North Americans scare me with your hygene. I literally have three bottles of hand sanitizer in my purse. I’m all about sharing but not that double dipping life style.

    PS. I would have loved to study abroad and experience this but I am in my last year of college and don’t have the opportunity. Also due to my childhood. I visited and lived in different countries and was fortunate to experience different cultures. Hopefully, when I’m more financially stable, I can go bug my friends around the world.

  96. Nattsh Osiris

    I totally understand what you say. I’m 30 years old and I’ve traveled for 3 years and I’ve no regrets … I think travel and experience new cultures opens your mind…and I’ll continue travelling…It’s different from the norm but that´s what means “real life” for me…;)

  97. This TLDR makes me feel like very nostalgic. I lived in Korea for two years. I thought I would never miss Kimchi since I wasn’t a big fan of it when I was there but every so often I get a craving. And I agree with how Korea changes you. My life now is defined as before Korea and after Korea. I also use Korean in my every day speech- I even use it on my dad and he now knows what “pali pali” means =P.

    About the music thing, I was sooo less open-minded before Korea. I only listened to rock, punk, alternative rock, indie-rock, ska-rock etc — it was all about rock. And I hated pop and didn’t think rap was music. I still don’t listen to a lot of English pop but when I like a song I allow myself to like it.

  98. Cyber_3

    Simon, I can vouch first hand that a little alcohol can go a loooong way to making for a sentimental post *cough*happy 5 years*cough* – LOL! It’s alright, any excuse for more sentimentality and hugs is a welcome thing ^_^v I really liked this TL;DR. Even if you hadn’t gone abroad, I am sure that life, experience, and your personalities would have invoked changes in you too, but not everyone steps back to look at their own evolutions. Going to Korea definitely had a big and positive impact on your lives and I can’t see anything negative, even the loss of your danger-sensitivity. I moved from Toronto to a small town 9 years ago and unless I am leaving town or it’s night time, I never lock my door, even if I’m not home. It’s a great feeling to feel safe ^_^. Martina, if you go to Montreal, you will also feel the intense need to be cool and dressed up. People (women AND men) don’t leave to pick up groceries, beer, or anything without being photo-ready. They also have last call at 3-am, lots of free cultural events and you can get alcohol at the grocery store. Shopping is awesome (and in your size), rent is pretty cheap too. I’d totally be living there again if I could get a job there. You guise would like it. Staying in an apartment on the scene for a week during the Jazz fest and St Jean Baptiste to Canada Day is the best summer fun I’ve ever had, and I’ve done it many times. Well, I can speak french but it’s not necessary.

    I don’t subscribe to the theory that you go to university, get a job, then get married, have kids etc. but it somehow happened to me anyways. It didn’t happen on schedule, there have been crazy circumstances, and it certainly wasn’t sought after or planned but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Sometimes, life just happens. Maybe I’ll try to eat less salty food though…..

    Cyber_3 – thank you eatyourkimchi.com for being my mango XD

  99. You wouldn’t believe how inspiring you are to me. Thank you so much, Simon and Martina.

  100. Awww, this is such a cute topic and video and text (^w^*)!! Thank you for sharing it, else share you experience in videos it so motivate me to do something and be myself. Else plan travel to Seoul, information always good. About topic, i live in Japan now year and something and it already change me somehow. Everything what about your saying it happen with me already too, but i still can’t live without salty food japanese salt not salty too and everything sweet or spicy here (>.<) so i buy salt in German (^-^'). Else Asian sugar not sweet(!!!!). Already deal with it (- -;). Else i start feeling "i'm white"(sound weird) and notice other foreigners, but don't feel that it racism or something, it so usual and normal. Before always hurry up, but now do everything so slow and don't get mad when others being too slow(well, only sometime a bit mad). In "white world" never feel that i'm unique, now feel so and this give a lot self confidence i like it. In Japan i start feel so relax in everything, everyday of life happy and relax, too lazy life. Actually so many changes, but don't want take a lot of time wit my blablabla. Thank you for doing videos!

  101. If you go back and look at your earlier vlogs, even a year ago you can really see how Korean diet has aided in your attractiveness/sexiness esp Martina. I guess that also is because the pressures of stardom ;)

  102. Hey guys! First of all, THANK YOU for this TLDR! It could not be more inspiring!

    Now that you mention how your perceptions of masculinity and sexuality have changed, I wonder again about HOW IS TO BE REALLY HOMOSEXUAL IN KOREA? . I know you are not into discussing “sexual things”, but this subject kind of descourages me about going there; as a society living with values of the 50s, I suppose is not that easy being gay. Do you have any experience, or maybe stories from friends, that you can share?

    Sexuality can be understood on a different way, but seeing idols actually KISSING and touching REALLY touching, kind of confuses me!

    • Actually they did a tl;dr on homosexuality in Korea a while back. You should check it out! :)

      Although idols really work the fanservice tbh. Which is not to say there aren`t lgbt idols, but there`s a reason that guys cuddle on screen (and then often laugh about it afterwards). There`s also that degree of typical Korean friendly behavior but from what I can tell it`s really played up for the fans` benefit. And while there`s really only a handful of Korean students at my school..uh…how should I say…I have never met a Korean guy who would say… grab a guy friend`s thigh for example, unless it was an extreme joke. So in my experience there is a line, but that experience is admittedly limited. Maybe someone who lives in Korea full time could shed more light?

  103. I’m trying to go to Japan as a research exchange student, tomorrow is my first test and I’m very excited about it. You guys made me change my way of thinking and think a little more positive. As a matter of fact my dad is talking a million bad things about Japan and all of that and I’m encouraged to try new things and to go on and study hard to meet new people and live a different life from the one I live here cause I think it’s a boring one.

    The only bad thing on it is that I wanted you two to be living on Japan right now so I could have every info I need on my hands right now >.<

    • :D Good luck! I`m actually just finishing up my time in Japan myself. I think a lot of the things S&M talk about can be applied to Japan as well, especially traveling tips. What city do you want to go to?

      • Well I didn’t decide the city yet. It’s likely I’m in the middle of the process of making tests. When it end by the end of the month if I got an aproval I’ll have to choose 3 universities to send my documents and find a Japanese mentor to guide me on my research.

  104. This has turned into a supportive help group thingee place. I LOVE IT! Simon and Martina, you guys are such wonderful role models! *BEAR HUGS!*

  105. This post is so beautiful; there’s so many worthy quotes in here! ;~; As I read through it, I was thinking “Ah, of course it must be. After all, Simon and Martina majored in English!” :D

    I really don’t feel safe walking in the streets of San Francisco at any time of the day and it just gets really annoying always having a nagging feeling that someone is about to rob or attack me.

    When EYK talked about portion sizes, I immediately thought, “Ah yes, North America at its finest, with the high obesity rates in the US.” ==” And I start to realize why people in Asia tend to be healthier and live longer lives. /:

    Ever since I started watching EYK videos in May 2011 I have wanted to live in Korea for at least a year, and this post just makes me want to achieve my dream even more. Thank you so much EYK, for exposing me to Korean culture and sharing what it’s like to live in Korea! I can’t even begin to imagine what life would be like if I never knew about EYK!

    • You live in San Francisco?! I’m from the Bay Area :) I feel you about the being aware of danger. Where I live I occasionally see altars for people who have been victims of homicide it saddens me too much :(

  106. Thank you for this post. I live in Virginia and nothing is working out for me, and I’m very unhappy. I have an opportunity to move to Colorado. It’s scarier because I’m leaving my family and friends behind, but I know it what I have to do. This post has given me confidence that I’m making the right chose.

    Also, Thank you for your videos. I love everyone of them. They are something to look forward to. To see people as silly as me, well it’s awesome. You make me laugh all the time. :D I hope for many, many more.

  107. Amihellou

    I have lived in Japan, Tokyo, for two DAYS now and I feel already changing XD Example like when I see foreigner I like “OMG, foreigner O.O!!” though… I’m too ^w^’ And clearly I separate from the mass because my blond hair and green-blue eyes ^w^’
    And I’m so into Japanese food, like sushi, ramen, tempura etc.. totally love it!! I couldn’t go to eat to McDonalds and order BIg Mac :P
    But congratulation for five years in Korea!! I hope that I could be in Japan so long…

  108. I don’t like mangoes.

  109. i think this is one of the most inspiration TL;DRs ever. As a person who feels so stuck and suffocated in the type of life style my parents want me to live, this really makes me want to change and live. the question is now how :p thanks simon and martina !!!

  110. Amazing TLDR! Thank you for continuing to educate us and be such a wonderful inspiration to all the Nasties out there…. Especially the young ones! :-)
    I have to agree 100% with you about travel. DO IT! Follow your heart and if you are on the correct path, you will be amazed at what the universe will provide you with! Just like Simon and Martina said, you will change and grow into more than you could imagine.
    I lived in Korea for a year. Since then, I have traveled all over the world, my tastes in everything have changed. I am actually planning to go back to Korea soon to see if it is where I want to be!

    Now that you have been there for 5 years, and been changed in so many ways, do you feel a distance between you ad your friends back home in Canada? This is something I have struggled with myself.

  111. Seems like this phrase: “Our fruits are far from our roots, but that doesn’t make them rotten.” is well loved by everyone but is so good because it is so true!!!! Im glad you guys find your own path and your own happiness!!!! Very inspiring!!! :D

  112. This made me feel a lottt better. I am from the conservative suburbs of the south…and I am terrified of walking out the front door at times. I have always wanted to travel or to start fresh, but the weight of responsibility holds me down and im 21 going on 53…the traditional 2.3 kids and a white picket fence seem a reality. Though, every week I hang with you guys. So its a relief. Also, thank you for introducing me to Park Jiyoon…Im becoming like a tree.

    That was long…and tragic dramatic.

  113. my lifes mission is to find the mangoes!!! thank you<3

  114. Even though I grew up in Australia, I lived in a very Asian dominant community. So I don’t have that germphobia like most people do. I share my food all the time especially in family meals. Australia overall seems to have a very dominant Asian community so sometimes when you go into certain restaurants then you’ll see self serve cutlery. Overall on the size proportion, I once visited North America and me being stupid enough ordered a medium sized pizza. It was the biggest thing I ever saw. I soon figured out that North American so called small is larger than what Australians call a large. Maybe it was just the store I went to but everything was just so big.

  115. Simon and Martina, your videos are so intriguing because they are sincere. Before I found your website I was totally not into Korean culture. I was afraid to go because of issues like racism, prejudices, etc. It was when I watched Boys Over Flowers, **moment of silence for the tears I’ve shed**, and started researching Korean beauty standards and culture that I found your site. Now I want to visit Korea, and not only Korea but the world in general. You guys show that it is possible to emerge yourself into a completely foreign culture and survive happily. So I truly thank you guys because now I am less adamant, and eager to venture beyond my home in the U.S. ^_^

  116. Starsania

    “If life hands you lemons, go somewhere that life grows mangoes.” Best line ever.

  117. It seems like someone brings this up in the comments every time, but: I do feel like I should add that you should still be careful and aware in the streets of Korea. I don’t live in Seoul, but I have been pickpocketed here before. So do still be aware and cautious if you come here!

  118. So my freshman year of University I decided that I wanted to go into TESOL because a) I love teaching English and b) I wanted a job where I could live in foreign countries. And my thought at the time was that I’d work overseas in various countries for maybe five or ten years or forever and maybe work in a doctorate somewhere in there and possibly eventually make my way back to the US. About a year after that I started dating this wonderful person and our relationship got quite serious but I was still set on applying for a job in Korea and living overseas. As the relationship progressed though, and it became clear that my partner had no intention of ever leaving the state, much less the country, I started cutting down my hypothetical time teaching overseas until I was like “Okay, I’ll do the year in Korea and have my fun, youthful freedom and then I’ll come back and we’ll get married and start a family and stuff.” But as it got closer and closer to my graduation and I applied to go to Korea and everything starting becoming much more real I realized that I didn’t want to limit my options for where I’d end up in the future and also “settling down” and being a “real person” really doesn’t appeal to me at this point in my life.
    So, long story short: I ended my relationship and I leave for Korea in less than three months and right now I could literally do anything with my life I want to and it feels good, man.

  119. I loved this TLDR

  120. I just love you guise <3

  121. Amyaco

    …I don’t like mangoes. D:

  122. Last year I met for the first time someone else who doesn’t like mangoes. She was my adviser and gave me a description that perfectly suits my feelings but doesn’t make sense to anyone else it seems, that mangoes taste “hairy”. Not the texture or anything, like I could drink mango juice or eat artificial mango-flavoured candy and it would still taste hairy to me. Everyone else loves them though so I feel like I am missing out :(

  123. Reading the blog post makes Korea seem so magical. I’ve always wanted to go explore the world right after highschool but before university and reading EYK always makes Korea seem so magical (like a unicorn lol) I’m extremely paranoid so South Korea would be so awesome. Plus it seems to have changed your perception on life quite a bit too, so I really really want to go. I’m gonna start a piggy bank for going to Korea right now >_<

    MARTINA! Please make some low-carb recipe videos I beg of you. Every time I hear you guys mention your diet I feel bad because I always want to go on Atkins but I'm really unmotivated. I'm really into cooking though so if it's low-carb and yummy and looks awesome + slightly east asia related, I might get off my butt and try c:

  124. ” I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like mangoes…” I’m eating a mango as I read the blog post! Mango-ception?

  125. Guys, I just got offered a job…. in BUCHEON!! I’ve wanted to do this for two years, and it’s finally happening. I can’t believe that I’ll be in your old hometown! I’m going to visit all of the old WANK and FAP FAP places. AH so excited! :D

    • congrats!!

    • SO COOL! To the right of City Hall, close to the park, where the Angelinus coffee shop should be/is on the corner, that’s where we lived. That’s where we went to the coffee shop with cats. That’s where we went for our favorite patbingsu. That’s where we went for Ajumma Samgyeopsal. It’s a great location. Make sure you go there!

  126. KATHyphenTUN

    Hahaha the ATM comment is sooo true XD I do that all the time when i leave the bank machines!! :P Parents always told me “Don’t let anyone see how much you are taking out and put it in your wallet/purse right away!”
    Also, I have seen my idea of beauty change too! I try to dress cuter and wear more makeup! (and that is just from watching lots of asian culture, I can’t imagine living in it!). The masculinity comment is true too! Whenever friends point out a “hot” guy on the street I never agree, and when I show them a sexy kpop idol they always think hes a “she”.
    Thanks for the TL;DR! I thought it was a wonderful topic!

  127. Mangoes! Each time I get a fresh batch of dried mangoes from back home in the Philippines, the Korean folks decimate the stuff in minutes! Having a hard time breaking the cultural barrier? Break it with mangoes.

  128. Long time fan of EYK and I love, LOVE this post. I just wanted to add for some of the – ahem – younger nasties here who are voicing their worries: seriously, if you are thinking of traveling, studying, or working abroad long-term and you are getting resistance from friends or parents, take it from an old lady like me – Simon and Martina are right, go for it! Follow your bliss and go after what you feel your calling is, no matter how different it looks from what “the others” say a “normal” life is (I always wondered about these mysterious “others” – something tells me they closely resemble sheep). I am a classical musician in my mid-thirties and I knew from a very young age that I had no interest an office job. Even before I found my musical calling, I just had a general vision of traveling around the world for the rest of my life. I wasn’t sure if I ever wanted to get married or have a mortgage and kids, but I was sure I wanted to live abroad. I had a whole list of countries I wanted to live in for at least 6 months to a year. People thought I was nuts, but guess what? It is exactly how I live now and I love it! I don’t own a car. I keep a small, simple apartment in NYC as a base. I don’t have a lot of fancy possessions since I can’t take them with me, so my money goes into my career, experiencing the arts, taking language lessons, and traveling (when someone else isn’t paying me to do so for gigs). My closest friends are all people I met while doing my thing. The most amazing experiences of my life happened because I said “yes” to traveling and singing somewhere new. Looking back on my twenties, the only regrets are over the chances I didn’t take. My life looks so unbelievably different from the people I went to school with as a kid, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. You can do it!!!

  129. On the off chance that anyone sees this comment, never ever let anyone dictate the way your life is going to go. Not your parents, not your friends, not society, no-freaking-one. I have spent way too long living under my “culture”‘s thumb and I have nothing to show for it but some seriously sad mental scars. Go for what you can and seriously take the time and effort to make your life go the way you want. Go to S.Korea and study, or move to Japan, or backpack across Europe. When you die, you won’t remember the awards or the jobs you have had, you will remember the experiences and friends you have made. “You only have a few times in your life to really cut loose, so you might as well take them when they come.”- 1st to Die, James Patterson

  130. I can totally relate about the ‘real life’ stuff. I plan on teaching in Japan for a year and starting ‘real life’ after… but a part of me wants to stay there for longer and see what opportunities are there (of course, I haven’t gone there yet so who knows, I may hate it). It’s just frusterating when I tell people about my plan to teach in Japan and they say “well, that seems risky. What if you can’t find a job when you come back to Canada?” I dunno, just saying that I really loved this TL;DR and your blog post.

    Very well done ^-^

  131. I really like this blog post. It’s so encouraging. And it’s great to see what has changed, plus I think it shows more how Korean is versus North America. I really wish I had found you guys earlier. After slowly getting into Kpop for almost half a year (I think it’s been that long O.o), I have changed without even leaving the U.S. I think differently and you two have helped a lot.

    I just graduated high school and am enrolled to start at an art school for web design in July. Yes, I want to go there…but I feel that I would have liked to somehow get into a school in Korea. I’ve always wanted to travel, but because of my family, I’ve tended to think that it wasn’t possible. Seriously, all of my family lives in one state! It’s ridiculous and I want to branch out.

    I’m only going to be going to this school for two years and get my associates degree. After that I hope to continue my education in Korea. So far from what I’ve learned, I think I’d like it there and want to possibly live there (we’ll see). Though I’m a bit discouraged because I’ll probably be 21 by the time I get the opportunity to leave to go to Korea. I think that’s kind of old and makes me wish I had this idea before I graduated high school. But nevertheless, I’ll try to figure out a way/where to go/how to afford attending a school to get a masters (if this is still what I want to do) in South Korea.

    I’d also like to add to the whole “is that a boy or a girl?” thing. It wasn’t too much of a switch for me to determine what’s masculine or feminine because for years I’ve liked….post-hardcore? I don’t really know what to call it and I know the whole fanbase of that type of music gets offended at the term ‘screamo’ or ‘emo’. But yeah, there’s half of that genre of musicians who are what North Americans would call masculine and the other half seem more feminine by those standards; long hair, makeup for shows and stuff (mainly eyeliner if it’s a daily thing), and how they dress. I feel like that they’re still masculine even if they have longer or colored hair.
    But it was weird to me to want to like K-pop because I don’t really like North American pop music and am more into different genres of rock. But instead of focusing on what you guys did at first (which I did too), I decided to take it as it is-music and not care who wrote it or whatever. It’s still great and I like the style of the whole k-pop/hiphop stuff. ^.^

    But I just want to thank you for this post. It’s helped me to still be positive about what I’ll be able to do.

  132. really insightful blog post, gave me alot of things to think about :)

  133. I wanna be a Kpop star

  134. Wow. I’m glad I read the corresponding blog post. It was really deep and for me this is one of life’s few moments of inspiration. Maybe you should do more half drunk blog posts! Your inspirational/philosophical side comes out! Haha! :D

  135. Simon, you should write more blog posts while partially drunk. This is the first post in a long time that didn’t feature typos. Congrats!!
    (no, I’m not being sarcastic)

  136. Kahu Pohatu-campbell

    I’m sorry to tell you this I truly hate mangoes.
    Very very very much so.
    If anyone tries to get me to eat mangoes I will scream and run away


  137. The reason North American food seems quite salty and unpalatable,is because 90% of our food is GMO. As you probably know Korea just banned the importation of U.S wheat because it was tainted with GMO wheat.Also the reason you are not hungry as often is because the food in Korea contains higher nutritional value such as : Glutathione ,Tryptophan ,Glutamine and Lactoferrin .And when you have an abundance of glutathione it sends signals to your brain telling your body that you are no longer hungry .

    • wow, thats actually really fascinating information, any interesting links you could recommend to read?
      i didnt realise korea would be so strict about GMO, apparently in singapore, even with the strict import process, theres loads of gm food…
      googling Glutathione seems to suggest its a super antioxidant too, wonder if that has anything to do with how asians tend to look 5 to even 10 years younger than western counterparts lol

  138. You guys are awesome! I love the blog post=] I have been working on an Asian studies major (on and off when I can afford it) learning Japanese, Chinese and hopefully Korean. Hopefully someday I can roll down my sexy window at you guise as it is my dream to teach English in either Japan or Korea <3

    PS: I started listening to Jpop when I was younger so I totally know that "omg that is a boy?!" lol. I would show friends groups and be like I really think this guy is cool and they would be like "whut guy?" lol

  139. The end of the post was really deep. You guys don’t only make me laugh but I also learn a lot from you guys as well, it gets me thinking and wanting to do more. Thanks :)

  140. I don’t like mangoes…^_^

  141. “Spend your life enjoying more things rather than defining them.”
    Okay I absolutely love this quote. It’s one of my life mottoes now.

  142. the love flows from the comments today ^_^

  143. Lol, I for some reason heard ‘how Korea has changed since we’ve been here.” Fail. Though that’d be an interesting video . . .

    THANKS for the 5 years of awesome, though =) Just a side note: you probably make this mistake because you were tipsy, but how could you forget spudgy is your child!

  144. Thank you greatly for this post! :]

    As an avid traveller, I am always asked when I will begin my “real life”… as if traveling isn’t my real life. Traveling is this adventure full of vacation-y/tourist-y things: beach, famous historical sites, and eating the indigenous food (or experiencing the foreign McDonalds). People believe it is about “having fun,” when in reality it is quite the opposite. More experiential if you will: to experience the culture, engage with the people you meet, humble yourselves as you struggle to understand a new language and writing system.

    As I prepare for yet another time abroad in Indonesia, this time for one year, I am humbled to know when traveling you gain so much more: new friends, new family, new language, new challenges, what have you. Thank you for this inspiring post about how I more or less relate to traveling and living in a new country. WOO.

  145. I totally agree with you guise, and I think I would be so cool to do a similar thing but what is holding me back is I want a companion like how you Martina have Simon and vice verse that can share the experience with me, the changes, the surprises and the fears. I dont have the guts to jump on this plane ride alone :)

  146. Here’s to a life less ordinary! You guys inspire us daily to better ourselves and we love you for it. Anyone who wants to poo poo your awesomeness obviously doesn’t understand and we pity them.

    Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.
    – Dr. Seuss

  147. The way I now see men has changed like 100%….. I know this might sound funny, but I am having a hard time adjusting to what people think as “masculine” in my country… It’s all about being “big and hairy” here…. Dothraki men warriors all around me… lol

  148. I really relate to the one about music taste! I also listen to a lot of indie and alternative stuff so I was really hesitant to like kpop when I first heard it. But then I realized it’s really fun and enjoyable music and I stopped caring. Now my approach to music is if I like it, I’ll listen to it, and kpop really helped me realize that. It really doesn’t bother me that it’s “manufactured”, it’s still good music to me. But yeah, it does suck when people are so against enjoying something just because it’s different from what they are used to.

  149. 제시카. (◡‿◡✿)

    you guys should adopt me lol

  150. reading all the comments here and why do people not liek da korea ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)

  151. I totally agree with yall! I plan to travel after I graduate university. After that, I just plan to see where life takes me. :)
    and the chicken head bobbing!!!! LOL!!!

  152. Hi Simon and Martina!

    I’ve been to EYK many times, and I’ve never posted before, but when I read that bit about your mission in life it really resonated with me and I felt like it was too good to not respond to.

    I’m currently a college student studying abroad in Japan, and I’ve come to really like it here and am considering spending another year doing an internship or teaching English here. At the same time, I can’t deny that I have this sense of uneasiness and worry. I feel guilty about not having a concrete long-term goal, about not making progress in my “real life,” towards getting a normal, stable job and settling down wherever I’m going to be for the rest of my life. And I feel a little sad about having to turn this period of time in my life into just “another phase.”

    I feel like I’ve been needing what you two have written in this blog post. Thank you so much for showing me that you don’t have to go with conventions and norms to truly live a fulfilling life; hearing about it is one thing, but seeing it is another. I’ve always enjoyed your videos, but I just wanted to say that I really am thankful for your encouraging words, and thanks again being such an inspiration.

  153. Why did you decide to choose Korea to live in? You had plans to live in Japan for a year or two, so why not there(or any other places)?

  154. just saying…I don’t like mangoes. xP

  155. *i dont know anyone who doesn’t like mangoes..* LOL~!
    I’m moving to Korea in 2 months and was very afraid of it, because i was afraid of being by myself without my old family and friends. But this helped me see new perspective. I’m going to go excited and with an adventurous spirit :) Thank you simon and martina~!^^ thank you for your videos, time, effort, and words of advice^^ It’s ok if you were drunk, your message still went through haha

  156. Jordan

    “They’re condescending fartsuckers and live bitter lives of resentment.” I’ll have to remember this line, it could come in handy in the future…

  157. Jordan

    I can’t get over how freaking gorgeous you look in this video Martina. I want to see the rest of that dress, I love light frilly clothing, especially in the spring!

  158. I’m glad I’m not the only one that thought Stand By Me from Boys Over Flowers sounded like Never Gonna Give You Up.

  159. I think the “real lives” dig gets heard a lot because of the amount of privileged foreigners who travel to other countries and just waste time. A lot of the time they’re trying to live out unrealistic life plans based on eat-pray-love fantasies and heavy partying lifestyles. They make these decisions with a real lack of understanding of their destination as a country and as a nation of different people and instead see it almost as a kind of playground. I’ve been living in Argentina for almost five months now as a student-intern and have seen plenty of cases of this. I don’t know how these people don’t have a sense of shame about it because they use public services and infrastructure and other resources without giving anything back to the community. There’s no real sense of responsibility in their “new” lives. They usually end up crashing and burning and returning to their home country with their tail between their legs. I’m not saying all foreigners who decide to move to other countries are like this, but many are.

  160. I would so move to Korea in a heart beat – if I didn’t have to support and raise a family, pay a mortgage, pay car payments. I live vicariously through you guise (and kdramas). You are my sanity savers.

  161. Thank you guys for being such an inspiration! Not only with this post, but with everything you do! I truly believe that normal life is the life you enjoy living regardless anything. And being open to new experience, music, food… everything.. is most important. Thank you once again for sharing this with us! ^^

  162. Drunk minds speaks the sober heart, but not all the time. But in this case, it does. There’s something about your writing that I love. So crystal clear, so motivating, so detailed, I just love it. I love the paragraphs, and even if it’s a long post–it’s well-written long post. Maybe it’s just because I’m an English major, I don’t know, but I really enjoyed this TL;DR.

    The way you guys started to think differently about things, it took me awhile, but I got it done here by myself. Why shouldn’t I like some type of music? It’s sound is it not? Just because I don’t really dig it doesn’t mean I have to condemn it. It may not float my boat, but it will float someone else’s.

    And people that say “When are you going to go back and start your real lives?” Can suck it, no offense. But that’s just how immigrants are. People like your family Simon, came from Poland to go to Canada. Now if someone told them, “When are you going to go back and start your real lives?”, how would it make them feel? My parents would be offended. They came here, to the USA, to make their real lives and to have a better life. That is clearly what you guys are doing. I swear people are always judging, if it’s not one thing it’s another. But I guess they just can’t comprehend things the way some people can? I don’t know.

    The world has change drastically, it’s normal to be your own boss. It’s normal to work through the computer. It’s normal not to have a 9 to 5 job anymore, but the people who are used to that still can’t adapt to it. They think it’s wrong, but it’s not. Kind of reminds me how my mom is not used to people taking classes online and thinks I won’t learn anything. I learn just as much or so much more through a computer than a lectured classroom. I have social skills. I have goals, talents, ambitions just like any college student. I have the will and motivation to achieve, and taking classes online doesn’t rid me of any of that. It’s just so much more time convenient.

    Props to you guys, definitely one of my favorites!

  163. Applesauce 21

    Beautiful :) Don’t be ashamed of this simon, it was intense and immense

  164. It’s impossible not to love mangoes! Although, lemons are my favorite fruit.

    I wonder if the germophobia thing relates to allergies. As you said before, Koreans don’t have allergies as much as Americans and I’ve noticed the same thing with Lebanese people when I visited the country. It seems that the obsession with cleanliness in North America may contribute to the lack of immunities of the people. Being exposed to these slightly “germier” environments may help people tolerate foreign substances easier and prevent such overreactions like allergies. (Sorry for this random thought that came to my head haha)

  165. Well put! :D Really inspiring post :)

  166. That was deep Simon. I am going to work really hard on my math this year so I can graduate. Not that I didn’t last year, but super hard so I can achieve my dream of becoming an English teacher in Korea, and possibly, correcting SM’s English.
    HIRE ME SM! I WILL FIX YOUR ENGLISH! But realistically, become a teacher. Everytime I want to give up, I’ll read this post. ^_^ Hwaiting!

  167. I considered myself as super lucky as my parents are able to send me abroad for studies. It’s kind of like travelling, but then you still have duties to fulfill. Anyhow, I just wanted to say that none of my four years abroad ever gets boring. Being in a new place, seeing, experiencing new culture is super exciting. I’m glad you guys also encourage people to come out and explore because I think that is the best thing that the people should do. It has broaden my view so much and I feel like I understand people from different culture and background more as well :)

  168. Let me just take a moment to mentally freak out that you guys not only replied to my comment but actually answered my question for a tldr…. Ok. I’m going to be on this mental high for a while xD
    Anyway, you guys made me laugh like always :] great video!

    and I saw that tiny sentimental moment that could make someone happy cry ;] //shot

  169. I don’t like mangoes…
    although I did once like a mango-peach taffy candy

  170. Wow! That was awesome :)

    I was really touched and you gave me some encouragement to try something different, because as Simon said “Where you end isn’t where you begin” :)

  171. Simon & Martina please, please make a meemers t-shirt!

  172. This makes me happy because i really like a lot of the asian culture and my family and a few friends judge me for that. A LOT. So much so that my parents try to ban me from watching anime, reading manga, or listening to asian music. When i seem excited about something that is asian they get mad, or make fun of it. I was excited about an exchange program for college and they said “as long as you dont go to china, or taiwan , or korea” and they come up with all these reasons for it. In response to a friend inviting me to come with them to korea for a week on break they said “no, they could be luring you in for human trafficking, even if they are your friend, asia has tons of human trafficking. Why dont you ever ask to go to mexico?”
    THANK YOU, im happy i can experience EYK it makes me feel better about what i like.

    • hahahahaha, thats pretty funny, im not laughing at you, laughing at what your parents said, im sure you get a pretty good gist from being a nasty already, not only is asia is pretty much the safest CONTINENT(or at least east asia anyway, the definition of asia as a single word for such a massive and diverse area is a joke to me, but thats another rant at another time haha you get what i mean) in the world anyone could travel to, im not saying across the board, and im only speaking of my experience and knowledge of the main cities in east asia, but you would be in less danger walking home alone at 4am when its pitch dark in an asian city than walking in broad daylight near a busy street in much of the western world. ALSO, the flip side of the sentence that makes it funny, if your parents are worried about your safety, mexico is FREAKING dangerous, especially recently, guns and drug cartels much?? do your parents selectively read the news? also, theres no two ways, asia is going to be where the money is for a loong time to come, any experience you can get through an exchange programme will be invaluable even if you are to work in the states(im assuming thats where youre from since you mentioned mexico?), if only to allow you to see an entirely different culture and way of life and thinking.

      im really sorry you have such a negative environment for your k-love, iv heard of lots of people saying they are totally alone in this in their circle, that people dont understand or are worried for them, but really never people who have the closest part of their circles be actively ignorant and racist(sorry it had to be put like this i know theyre youre parents but thats exactly what it sounds like since they have no problem wanting you to go to mexico, it becomes less xenophobia than racism) and derogatory about the k(or j or otherasianstuff)-lovers interests.

      i really hope you continue to have confidence in it anyway, to find sustenance in what clearly makes you very happy, i know i do. if its not detrimental to your life, your studies, your general well being, no one has the right to put you down for this, the internet has provided us a haven for finding the people whom we truly feel we belong with if we feel displaced in our lives and im happy you get that here. i hope one day your parents will come around, even if they never understand it, maybe they can at least accept it and more importantly accept you for it. long answer sorry but your comment made me sad and i want you to know there are others out there reading about you and caring about you because we are all part of a community :D

      • Another funny thing? I live in the suburbs of LA. I’ve been to LA tons of times because my parents went to USC and thats smack in the middle of downtown.

  173. Wow! That was awesome :)

    I was really touched and you gave some encouragement to try something different, because as Simon said “Where you end isn’t where you begin” :)

  174. I so agree on what you say about music, guise! I use to listen only to not-so-well know artists and abandon them as soon as they were played on the radio, go to concerts on village squares and ask signatures to musicians who had never signed anything and were totally taken aback… But now I can’t stand the snobbism that’s spreading like an epidemic, these people who think they’re the only person who doesn’t like Justin Bieber, and that everyone who does is a stupid sheep.

    You guise talk about how you have changed in 5 years, but has Korea changed in 5 years? For exemple, do you notice more diversity, more migrants? I met a lot of young people in South Eastern Asia who dreamt about moving to Korea, I wonder if it’s something you can feel as residents.

  175. This message Simon and Martina are say is so true. I turned 18 last November and at the start of this year I was in a dark place as I din’t know what I was going to do with my life after I finish my A Levels in Law, Psychology and Philosophy&Ethics, I hadn’t applied for Uni as I couldn’t handle being ‘in education’ any longer as I had/have a really really really bad teacher “teaching” me. So I looked into internships and stuff, then my Philosophy teacher said he has had a student drop out of A Level and go to China to teach for a year. So I looked into it. At first everyone I told was like, “How are you gonna do that?”, and was told by my stepdad “We couldn’t afford for me to go”. So I sunk deeper into the dark place, then last resort I send an email to a teaching programme in China inquiring, next thing I know I am doing an online TEFL course, my amazing Nan gave me money to to start me off, found a local job to get money and been accepted on a teaching programme in China. So in less than 11 weeks from today I am due in Shanghai (hopefully), to start teaching in September this year. O_o I have even got one of my best friends coming with me on the same programme.
    So my advice would be; If you want to do it, even for a second, then DO IT! Things wont just fall in your lap, if you truely want something then go and get it!. “Good things comes to those who wait, But amazing thing get to those who get off their ass, fight and work for them”
    So there is my story ^.^

  176. LongClawTiger

    I have to say what you guys do changes us even without setting foot in Korea. I don’t know if I will ever get a chance to visit over there in person, but I find a lot of joy in learning about what else the world has to offer. I think I dream a little bigger because of it and the skits and music certainly bring a smile to my face. Thanks for all you do. :)

  177. This is such a well written post! Thank you for sharing your experiences and what you learned during your time in Korea!

    I haven’t decided on my major yet and I’m constantly getting really worried that I won’t be able to choose one “in time,” because “everyone else” is already in university with their majors decided. All I know is that I really want to travel, or at least just study abroad for a month or so (because I don’t think I’m ready to move to another place yet). And I’ve considered pursuing linguistics because I’m currently learning Japanese, I’m doing well in it, and I absolutely love it, plus I plan to learn Korean as well (I already know Spanish too btw). But I’m hesitant because I’m not sure how many and what kind of careers there are for linguists out there, besides being a university professor or teacher, which I don’t think would be my thing. And since I was young I’d been saying that I wanted to be a doctor or a scientist, and so that now if I say I want to do something like linguistics, especially after my sister majored in English, if I don’t do some technical or math-y subject I’ll be a disappointment to my parents, even though they say it’s not the case. But I realize, there are so many possibilities out there, unlike what my dad says, who believes that a professor or translator are the only things a linguist can be. I will always try to be aware that there are many options available and look for them, and also that doing something different from what the majority here in North America are doing is okay.

  178. Me and my best friend are also really ‘open’ to each other and she sometimes taps my ‘behind’ but it’s just in a friendly way not like when a guy would do that to a girl in a club. I don’t think it’s strange because we are such good friends. But she is an exchange student now in Japan and there it’s apparently not considered normal as she is now called ‘hentai Sara’ (Sara is her name). You guys reminded me of this because of girls holding each other’s hands (and even boys). Every country has their own standards of what is considered normal. :)

  179. Congrats on streaming / blogging Eat Your Kimchi for 5 years! ^_^

  180. bigbangfosho

    Oh Christ: “Our fruits are far from our roots, but that doesn’t make them rotten.” That is John Green level quotable. I loved reading this blog post. It was really insightful. And I don’t like mangoes that much … Am I banned?

  181. I don’t like magoes :(

  182. It has occurred to me, that the guy’s look like girls problem has never been a huge problem before for me before. yes there are sometimes that get me, but that is in manga and what not, when i look at idols and i can easily tell male or female…. I think that because I was introduced to the Japanese culture first, and it just altered my perception. I think that helps.

  183. Brilliant post that just so happens to really hit home with me in my current situation. As a student, I’m asked all the time “What job are you going into?” And the truth is I don’t want to put a limit on what I “should” be doing after I’m finished school. Why should I have to pick a standard job, buy a house, a mortgage, start a family etc. As if I have an answer for that question at 18 anyway… Everyone should be able to follow wherever their interests take them, no matter how unconventional they may seem. You guys really do inspire me to stop being afraid of the world and to just go out and LIVE. Thanks for all your hard work! ^___^ <3

  184. Yeah, I’ve been wanting to teach in Korea for awhile now. It’s unfortunate that I found out about all of this after I got married to my husband who is Dutch..I don’t know, it’s not impossible to do but we would probably have to separate for a year since he has a nice job he doesn’t want to give up. I can understand that. Anyway, I definitely need something new in my life. I just turned 32 and am having a kind of quarter-mid life crisis. lol. I don’t know either, but my basic plan is to work on my creativity and save up enough money to visit Korea-Japan for at least a month. Thanks for the inspiration guys!

  185. I personally know someone who doesn’t like mangoes. Crazy people.

  186. I have to say, this post kind of struck a chord with me too, but for a slightly different reason than other people. I’m a 23 year old woman from the USA, and I still haven’t figured out what I want to do for a ‘career’. I feel pressured all the time to pick something, but the fact is, I like a lot of things, don’t particularly love anything, and can’t do just one thing for a long long time, because I get bored, de-motivated, etc. I know that I’m supposed to pick something, but your post got me thinking. All I really want from life is to be happy. Why can’t I do my series of things that I like when I please, so long as I’m earning enough to survive, and contributing what I need to? I never wanted a big house, or a really nice car, or a lot of money. I don’t want to have kids. My fiance doesn’t want those things either. He doesn’t expect me to go get a career in something and make myself unhappy. Heck, he’s from Canada, and in order to be together, I can’t really work for a few years, depending on the route we take for me to become a citizen, and he still doesn’t mind being the bread-winner.

    But, society and my family are pressuring me. I feel like to them, it’s unacceptable for me not to make a decent salary. I suppose it’s because I dropped out of college, but it’s because I was wasting money for three years thinking that if I could find a class that struck me, I’d find that career. It never happened, and though I learned a lot of interesting things, I never found what it was that could at least be okay for me to get by with. Is it me being selfish, entitled? Is it my desires not matching society’s, and is it okay for me to be that way? This dilemma has gotten to me for awhile now, but your post makes me feel like…. it might be alright to do things the way I want to. If anyone’s read this far, thanks for reading. Don’t be afraid to let me know what your thoughts are about this. My mind is scrambled and I’m just trying to find a way to decide what I should do.

    • I wrote a similar comment to yours. And I am going through something similar. Sometimes I feel like I’m being selfish because my parents have worked so hard for me to get into college and all I can do is be conflicted with figuring out what it is I want to do. My parents have worked really hard and me worrying about what I want to do feels a bit selfish.

      In your case it seems like it is less about figuring out what you want to do and more about letting go of the pressures. It seems like you already know that you can’t stick to one thing, you’re a step a head of me! You don’t have to pick something, I once read that even if you pick something it is likely you won’t end up with it and its okay.

      Thanks for sharing!

      • I’m so glad to learn I’m not the only one. It really feels lonesome sometimes, seeing everyone else succeed, while I can’t decide what to do. I wish you luck finding your path, even if you can’t pick a very specific one, like me, and thank you for sharing as well. :3

    • I can really relate to your situation, and I’m being honest when I say that I almost cried while reading your post because I found it so close to my own situation. I’m a 20 year old female and am just about to finish my second year of university. I don’t like school, and the reason I found on why I even went was because it seemed like the only choice I had and because my friends were all going and my parents wanted me to go. I also grew up in a poor family and been indoctrined by my parents that I shoukd go to colege and get a good job so I don’t have to live poorly. And while I do agree with my parents that I want to carve out a better life for myself I the future, I don’t want money to dictate my life. I like alot of stuff, but I don’t love anything and I don’t have a passion. I feel like a lost puppy since all my friends seem to already kmow what they want to do and I have no clue. I feel like I’m just following the flow and what society expects me to do.

      I’ve never been in a relationship, and my friends and those around me find it weird. I’m not interested in dating, and people find that really surprising, like how could you go 20 years without having ever had a boyfriend? It’s simple, if I’m not interested in having a relationship and like being single, then why should other people be concerned?

      I feel like I’m stuck in a hole. I don’t want to go to school anymore, and I want to travel and experience new things and find my passion and find something I love to do. But all the pressure from my family, friends, and the way the world is structured to revolve around money gives me second thoughts. Having read this tl; dr and all the comments including yours, has been really inspiring. I know that things wont change overnight, but knowing that there are other people who have been in similar situations makes me feel like I’m not alone.

      • Same here! It really helps to know that I’m not the only person with this problem. Maybe what people like us need is indeed to find our passions by literally traveling and finding them along the way. I wish you luck, where-ever life takes you.

    • “I feel like I’m just following the flow and what society expects me to do.” is exactly the wrong thing to do to discover what you want to do with your life. I did all that, I got my degree and I got a job immediately after I graduated but after a while I noticed that I was not happy. Now I found what I want to do with my life and it means giving up my job that is really well paying in order to be happy. So basically I wasted 4 years of my life and plenty of money. Going to college because you “are going with the flow” may works for some people, but in my experience, it’s the worst reason for going to college.

      Also, it’s never too late to change your life, you can do it at 30 or 40. You can do it 10 times. You don’t have to stress in order to make the right decision right now, no matter how old you are. Because you can always change your mind.

      As for social pressure. Please be a little selfish. Your parents and your friends should want you to be happy and your only job in life is to be happy. Whatever that means.

      • Thanks for the advice. I was really worried that I would make the same mistake, so I decided to stop before I even started down that path. It feels nice to know that I have support from someone, even if it’s not anyone close to me. Thanks for your post. <3

        • yuki kokoro

          You’re welcome. If I could help one person, I will be happy. Not that I feel I’m helping much…

    • Ahem. Speaking of not being able to stick to something….

      I’m 24 years old, have spent 6-7ish years in college, where I learned philosophy, English (both of which I have an undergraduate degree for), Japanese (for a single year) and I just finished a French-as-foreign-language teacher course (maybe the equivalent of your ESL?) I also lived in the UK for a year somewhere along the way, and think of moving abroad again in the future (maybe?) Truth is, I’ve always been feeling guilty for not sticking to something, or finding a definite path in life. But I just reached this conclusion: why not using it as a strength? I mean I don’t know what the situation is like in the US, but in France it gets increasingly difficult to quickly find a good and stable job. So I thought maybe it would be worth it to take this opportunity and try several different jobs, then grasp the opportunities that will arise and see what happens?

      Actually, I think what is really important is to do what you want to do when you want to do it and in a way that you will still be able to bear what responsibilities you may have (like paying the bills etc.) From what I’ve read in the comments, a lot of people have chosen different paths, and found different things that worked for them!

      So my only advice is: take time to think what you want to do, and don’t think your choices will last forever: chosing might mean closing doors, but it might open others as well! Even if you decide yourself for a certain career at a certain moment, you can still try and find something else if you ever feel like you need it. So good luck and I hope it helps to see that you are not alone! (I know I’m feeling a little better after reading this blog post and comments^^)

  187. I found your blog in 2008, when I moved to US to pursue my doctoral degree. I enjoyed your videos, well, mostly out of homesickness. I felt you guys must have been experiencing something similar with mine, on the other side of the mirror. I remember how you guys have been transforming in Korea. Also, I changed a lot. Meanwhile I got married and had two kids here in US. I have always liked your posts, and I really love this one. I am a proud fan.

  188. Nia(Nyimasata Sonko)

    It’s amazing that’s it’S already 5 years! It has been an awesome far and you have taught us so so much, I hope you guys keep living your lives to the fullest be it in Korea or somewhere else, NASTYS are always behind you! :):)

  189. I don’t normally comment even though I’ve been watching for about 3 years but the last paragraph really hit me. I wish I could be as optimistic and adventurous as you two, instead I spend most of time at home crippled with a mixture of social anxiety and depression. This is a really downer of a comment…
    Anyway, thanks for the great videos and for being awesome people.

  190. thisisjustforfunval

    I wish when I was younger, especially right out of college, I would have had the drive and desire I have now to live overseas. I had a desire to leave my area of the US but instead I moved back home and started “my real life.” I moved a few times but always ended back in my hometown. Things have never worked out when I left. I’ve always had the desire to travel but nothing like the intensity I have now. I think seeing my oldest niece doing it now, studying in Germany, it makes the desire in my even more intense. I have the freedom to do anything I want, I have no spouse, not kids just a lovely cat, but I have no means. I’m plagued like many with debt (school, car and now medical) and so I work to pay it off and hope one day to get overseas. I’m not going to say I’m completely grounded I find somewhere to go at least once year on my tight budget, even if it’s just a four hour car drive away. I think I’m rambling now and making no sense.

  191. With me living in a country with a lot of different cultures you learn to live with most of the differences.
    There is only a few things I really find important if your going to live in a different country for a long time:
    - Learn the language (I know people around me that still don’t know any of it after 2 years)
    - Respect there way of living and don’t expect the once living there to change for you and your habits (You have people like that)
    - Learn about the culture and get to know about how they live.

    And about the bigger portions of food/smaller portions of food. And I am sometimes amazed how some countries could serve so much food.

  192. Oh, nice to know that I used to live in da hood :) I didn’t know that, but it explains a lot. ;)

    I accually wish I could move to Korea again, but I don’t have a clue how to support myself. The funny thing is that people have a real hard time accepting that this is what me and my husband want to do. Why is it so hard to understand that not everybody lings for the same thing. We can’t all go down the same path in life, it would be to crowded and it would cause trafficjams and so on…. ;)

  193. Dana

    you weren’t conscientious about it (germs)…. you were conscious of it… but we still love you anyway xx :P

  194. Simon, Martina, I’m 100% with you on travelling while you’re young and experiencing as many new things as possible.

    I was born in Dallas Texas but grew up in France, my parents are French and so am I, I’ve actually never lived in the US.

    I was born there because of my dad’s work, he, my mom and my brothers used to travel a lot around North America but they settled back in France after my birth.

    In middle school I got so sick of the daily routine and luckily my dad got the amazing opportunity to work in Tianjin, China for 3 years (My 3 high school years). It changed me, it changed my life. First of all, best 3 years of my life. I was in an International school and got to meet people from everywhere around the world and I learned so much. Side note, China is like another world >< .
    The majority of the students were Koreans and that's actually how I came to know the Korean culture and K-pop; I saw the korean girls dancing to Sorry Sorry in circle during volleyball practice and I got curious… my ex-boyfriend also taught me a lot about the culture and everything.

    My dad's contract ended right when I graduated and it was time for me to decide what I wanted to study and where.

    I knew I wanted to go back to Asia and preferably Korea, I had the chance to visit Seoul three times already (I'm actually going again in a few days to visit my Korean friends) and I absolutely love it there every time I go. Which is why I chose a Business School in the south of France, it has a 4 years program with 2 to 2,5 years abroad and I'm just done with my first year. I can't wait to go back to living in Asia! I'm gonna be in internship in Beijing for 6 months starting next january and after that I'll study a year in Seoul, hopefully find an internship there and maybe get employed at the end of the internship ^^ .
    As for the rest of my life I don't really know where I'm gonna end up but I don't want to think too much about it, I just wanna feel fulfilled with what I'll be doing and I wanna live in a country I love.

    Sorry for the story telling but my experience made me realize what you guys realized, like Simon rightfully said 'Our fruits are far from our roots, but that doesn't make them rotten" and "If life hands you lemons, go somewhere that life grows mangoes." I dont like mangoes (I actually don't like fruits) but you get the drift.
    When I'll have kids, I will do everything for them to experience what I experienced, I want them to see the world, meet and befriend people with different origins and backgrounds.
    I love you guys <3

  195. I guess, I’m quite lucky with my parents… they’ve never really tried to decide over what I should do with my life. I want to have some kind of artistic career (writer, photographer, fashion designer), and I want to travel. My dad thinks traveling it’s a great idea and suggested moving to London to work (like him). And my mom even thought I should become a singer, haha.. But I dunno, there are so many possibilities and I don’t know where to start! ><

  196. irritablevowel

    I think one of our deepest human desires is to contribute. When you find something you’re good at, and you offer it to the world, you are happy because you contribute. When you do things that you know are not right for you, you set yourself up for a whole lot of existential angst later on. I’m not talking about things that scare us, I’m talking about things that on a deep level you know are just not…you. You end up feeling resentful and then spend a lot of time trying to undo that persistent feeling of resentment, but not knowing how. Let your interests guide you. That very rarely will steer you wrong (unless your interests are “hang out in my parents’ basement forever”) You may very well end up doing something traditional, or you may take the skills that you’ve learned and end up doing something completely unique to you. Sometimes it takes awhile for your particular niche to manifest. Take for example the band Rupa and The April Fishes. Rupa is a doctor, but played with the band on her days off. The band was really good, and the ideas they had were really creative. Eventually, she flipped her priority. The band became her full time job, and in her spare time she volunteers free medical care to those in need. She let her interests guide her and now she’s doing something very true and unique to her.

  197. First of all, congratulations on 5 years in Korea!! That is spectacular!! (And I’m SUPER jealous!) Secondly, what you’ve shared is this video is everything my daughter and I appreciate so much about Korea and its culture, which is why we’re so very excited to experience it ourselves. Simon, THIS so much: “coming to Korea and living here has really changed our perceptions of what’s normal and acceptable.” Primarily owing to K-pop, my daughter and I have become unrepentant Korea-philes, along with several of my very dear friends—all of us educated professionals in our mid- to late 40s!! We and our teenage daughters all struggle in various ways with our peers’ perceptions of how we’re “supposed” to behave at our respective ages, and we’re often considered odd for so enthusiastically loving all things Korean, from the music (and lovely male idols, ahem), to the food, to the language, and the beauty of the country itself. So we all excitedly anticipate the day when we can experience the Korea you describe and feel “normal and acceptable” about loving the country and its people the same way you do. Oh, and no pressure, but we fully expect your videos to adequately prepare us for a fabulous experience. ;-) XO!

  198. You courage deserves to be appreciated. Thank you for being so inspirational!

  199. Krista Gibbs-Castillo
    Krista Gibbs-Castillo

    Oh noes! I’m having that problem where the playlist is supposed to show the TLDR and two other videos, and the TLDR is not showing. D: Off to search for it!

  200. Your blog post made me dreamy again! :D
    I have lived almost as half korean, half latvian since highschool for also 5 years now! Dramas, music, food, friends, language, lifestyle! I like everything about Korea. I have been also to Korea for a trip and fell in love with it even more than I was before. I have many Korean friends there, which I have met both here in my country and in internet. I meet korean people who are in my country for university exchange or travel very often. They say, I am like Korean person. They are suprised I speak korean so well and know so much about Korean history and modern life, even more than them. :D Everybody says I need to marry a korean. kkkkk Sometimes I daydream of living there, how would it be!

    But then again… I really like my country, I am quite patriotic too sometimes :D My big family is here. My family wants me to marry here. And my sisters helped me to got work already. I also will graduate in a month as a teacher.. Sad that not as an English teach, so I can’t dream of work like you got when you both went to Korea.
    I have been living of doubts what I can do, what I have to do and what I want to do for a year now, since I returned from my trip. I will go again this August to Korea, just to travel and visist my lovely friends. Sad that Europe is so far and my poore student heart need so much time to save money for such a far trip. T_T But I will try to step by your new studio to look around how you live there! ^^ kkkkkkk
    Also, Martina, I am a little jelous! I wonder is there such an awesome guy as Simon here at Latvia too! Who could understand my likes of drama, kpop bands and other stuff. A guy whom I could be best friends with, like you both! ^^

    oh, I didn’t want to write so much XD I suppose I should do better in my own blog: http://madara-in-klove.blogspot.com/
    I am also diary-like blogger about Korea!
    Well anywayz, congratulations of your aniversaries~!^^ And keep it on! Fighting!
    Best wishes from Madara, your 3,5years fan from Latvia~!

  201. ‘hot guys’ -> Picture of Zelo


  202. …I don’t like mangos. ..XD

  203. I’m of asian ethnicity but was born and raised in Germany. I’ve lived in Asia but am now living in the USA. I carry values and certain cultural behaviors from each of those cultures…im not too americanized, im not too european nor asian, I’m just me. Places don’t define us, they just shape our personalities and bring people together when we can share our stories and where we’ve been in life.

    This TLDR brought on really great comments and discussions…i just love reading about people having the desire to travel and learn about new cultures!!

  204. A few years ago I almost had the opportunity to spend the week in Japan, but due to the earthquake and tsunami my parents didn’t want me to go.

    But I’d LOVE to go to France or French Canada and study abroad there since it’s such a nice language and a different culture. You guys have been a great inspiration to me to want to go abroad and see the world even more that I already do.

  205. Camilla Helen Wickstrøm

    I really liked this TL:DR.

    I am a 25 year old single mom that work in a Kindergarten. Nobody around me. Inkluding friends and Family can understand how i can love k-pop, k-drama, korean culture and food. and why i am Learning korean.

    I constansly hear: Are you not to old to be into boybands? Why koreans? They look like Girls, i dont understand what they are saying. You are a mom… What should that have to say?

    When i said i was going to a concert in Korea to watch korean Groups (SM Town). Everyone was negative. If i had said i was going to Korea to watch the Lady Gaga concert, i am sure the response would be totally different…. Then it would have been cool.

    People travel around for football stuff, formel1 racing and a Whole other stuff. What is so wrong to travel for k-pop? As long as i still can afford the normal daylife i dont see the problem.

    I used to care, it used to be embarresing to mention my love for k-pop (wich was my beginning of my korean interest). Now, altough it still hurts sometimes, have desided not to care. I have found friends online that understands me. My dad has finally at least acsepted that i like to travel, even if he does not like the destination. My daughter has taken a liking to k-pop :)

    I dont care if People find me strange for my interest. I LOVE it, it is part of ME. If they cant accsept it. To bad for them….
    I am going to Korea again in 2 days. It will be my 4. trip there. I cant wait. Going there makes me happy. My interest started With k-pop, but has grown to become so much more.

    • I agree, no one believes me when I say that some kpop stars are actually guys. I get that enough with anime as well.
      Also with the: Why Korea? Why not listen to something you can understand? I hate that so I know where you’re coming from.

    • If your love of Korea and the culture and the music make you feel more fulfilled, if it makes you feel like you want to keep being a better person so you can better appreciate it, KEEP LOVING IT, no matter what anyone else says!! It’s YOU who will be evolving into a more rounded person and you will be passing that along to your daughter…and one day she to hers. :-)

    • I am a 48 year old mother of for kids an I love KPOP passionately. Three years ago my oldest daughter and drove from Utah to Los Angeles for the SMTown concert. Leeteuk almost touched my hand. I think that was the happiest day of my life. Ever. Better than getting married. Better than giving birth. Since then I have flown to NYC for another smtown concert, driven to San Francisco for a concert (Simon and Martina were there an interviewed the Wonder Girls, etc), then drove to Anaheim for the Big Bang concert. I’m learning Korean, cooking Korean, learned Taekwondo, and I support my kids in their dreams to go to Korea. For everyone out there- live your dreams while you are young!!!! It gets so much harder as life goes on and becomes more complicated. As for me, I’m getting tired of drinking lemonade, time to go find some mangoes!

      • Camilla Helen Wickstrøm

        Nice to hear :) Reading this made me happy :) I am glad you are doing what you want to.

        I do SO understand the feelings of Leeteuk almost touching your hand. My favorite group is SHINee, and i have shaked hands with Key, my ultimate bias, and told him that he is my bias! That was AMAZING! I will never forget that moment. I also walked right next to him for some minutes. Because i got to be up on the stage with the artists during the last song on the SM Town concert in Seoul. I got to shake hands, and got eyecontackt and smiles from many other artists also <3 I was in heaven!

        I am also learning korean. I have practided some phrases i plan to say on this trip. It will be my 4. trip there, and i really notice how i have learned more korean between each time. I also have traveled to Paris for SM Town, and Barcelona for JYJ concert. (I live in Norway). K-pop is the "driveforce" behind my interest and travelling, but i also enjoy just beeing in Korea and eating the foos, hearing the language, etc.

        People say: Should you not save your money? But i dont want to save and save to something unknowm when i have this love and interest NOW! Beside. It is not like i get myself broke. I have a saving account also, and always make sure that i can live as normal with my daughter. When she gets older i will bring her with me to Korea :)

        • NeelaWillis

          I am so glad you are living your dreams now. It is much harder to do so when you have a child. It sounds like you are being a responsible mother and when your daughter is older she will be a better person because her needs were being met by a happy mother. Travel broadens a child’s mind my parents were able to travel with me a lot when I was little. My dad was Indian (from India) and my mom is American. My first trip to India was when I was three. I think being able to travel as a young child made me appreciate my life more and helped me understand people better. Also, living in a multi-cultural family has kept me from having a narrow view of the world. Beat of luck to you and your daughter.

    • Helena, I am 43 and enjoy the boy bands! Age is not a factor when it comes to enjoying the talents of others. Of course, I don’t go all fangurl over them, either.

      • Camilla Helen Wickstrøm

        I agree. Age should not put limitations on enjoying music :)
        I LOVE my groups, and spazz with my internet friends, but i talk “normally” about it with my family. Altough they dont understand my love, and dont really want to hear about it, i cant help myself mention things now and then ;)

    • GURRRL I know these feels. For realz though, be passionate about what you love–there’s no shame in our love for Korean boy bands! I know our peers might think it’s strange to be a grown ass professional woman who’s so into this, but k-pop is what helps me de-stress after a grueling day at work! When I’m in a bad place mentally or emotionally it’s such a relief to dive into the music, the dancing, the color, the spectacle, the gorgeous guys, everything I love about K-pop. We don’t choose the fangirl life, the fangirl life chooses us!

      Also, props on your travels to Korea! I studied abroad there twice in grad school and am moving there next month for (hopefully) forever! My interest in Korea and my interest in k-pop kind of came about at the same time, so I don’t know which came first…but I plan on living in Seoul and rocking out to k-pop with shameless abandon for the rest of my life! Cheers, kindred spirit! ^^

    • Emily D.

      This is a beautiful post!! Don’t care about what those people say. Personally, I am the exact same way, except for age and being a mom… :) Be safe in Korea, and hope you have a great trip!! And I have never gone to a K-pop concert or to Korea yet (I wish!!!), so have lots of fun for me! Haha! I agree with everything here.
      Fighting!! (p.s. I’m a total K-pop fangirl, and I hope I never stop being one til I die XD)

    • I will be 42 in 10 days. This is my thought. My body may be old… but my mind and heart are not. That goes for my taste in music also. If I could have gotten the tickets, my daughter and I would have traveled to San Francisco to see B.A.P. If I were rich… I would travel to every concert I could. I am a huge K-pop fangirl. and I am proud of it. It was my kids that got me into k-pop. So they accept it. I don’t think they realized how obsessed I would become. It is nice though because it is something my daughter and I share together. She and I will travel to Korea sometime next year if things go right. I love learning new things. That happens to include Korean culture and language. Oh, by the way I like K-dramas too. I figure if other people can’t accept this about me… that is their problem. This is who I am now. I have changed, yes. But I am happy. So, Just keep that frame of mind. There is nothing wrong with being interested in something someone else is not. You are not strange for it. You are like all of us other Nasties :) Doesn’t that make you feel better? There’s plenty of us out here.

      • Camilla Helen Wickstrøm

        Really Nice to hear :) Yes. It does make me feel better. Thanks for sharing :)

        I hope you get to travel to Korea toghether! HWAITING!

        I am leaving for the airport to og to Korea in 2 hours. It takes 25 hours just from the airport in my town to Incheon… so boring, but so Worth it ;)

  206. I had the opportunity to stay in Seoul for a week in August free of charge through my Mom’s work, but sadly that fell through. Unfortunately I am a pretty stubborn person and wish to visit every country and eventually move out of the US. This post has made my day and I love all of the support from the Nasties that I have read in the comments for other Nasties. Good Luck to us All.

  207. Thank you guys for making this post. I’m struggling with my fears of going out there as in I don’t know what would happen to me and this is a truly inspirational post you wrote.

  208. I don’t like mangos…

  209. Such Inspirational words… I was so touched and enlightened reading this, thank you, Simon and Martina.

  210. Keep on living and fueling our dreams Simon and Martina! (Leigh and Soozee too)

  211. I want to watch this video so bad but it wont play! Is anyone else having this problem? Im in FL, USA

  212. It’s funny, because I ended up with an exactly opposite storyline. I grew up always being different, enjoying uniqueness, dreaming of the day when I could do something exciting and spontaneous, like move to another country! In college I tried every way I could to do a study abroad in South Korea, to take overseas trips during the summer break, but absolutely immoveable barriers kept me from doing so. I wished for my life to be anything but the boring, standard “American dream”, but I just couldn’t make it happen.

    But in the wake of that, I had that “aha” moment it seems Martina had with realizing “BFF Simon” would be better as “husband Simon.” I married a wonderful man and within weeks became pregnant. So, even though I ended up with the “american dream” I dreaded – Married with kids, settled into the suburbs – I am finding that it can still be unique and exciting. And even though I didn’t make it to a study-abroad in Korea, I now have a Korean sister-in-law and nephew whom I adore, and subsequently a husband who LOVES Korean food and wants to take me to S. Korea some day. We’re settled in a town FULL of Korean students, many with whom I’ve been an ESL teacher, conversation partner, and best friend. Plus we have 3 AMAZING Korean restaurants here! How much more of Korea could I ask for in Texas??

    I know, this is a bit of a TL;DR of my own. I just wanted to #1 Thank you for showing me how fun and adventurous marriage can be, no matter where in the world you are. I now see just how exciting and valuable that is. #2 Thank you for cultivating my love for all things Korean. and #3 Maybe I can give encouragement to the folks who aren’t yet able to do a grand international adventure. Sometimes adventure is all in keeping a childlike wonder with the world, locally or abroad.

    You guise are fantastic. My husband and I love to watch your videos, TL;DRs the most, and you give us many laughs and inside jokes. Best wishes to you both in whatever the future years hold for you!

  213. I remember when you guys were only like 2 years there! And I thought it was awesome.
    I came to Montreal from Mexico. To live a “better normal life” and I just received my citizenship. It’s been almosts 6 years I’ve been here. Do I like it? Yes. Do I want to live here longer? Maybe. Why? I came to live here, because it was an adventure. Today, 6 years after, the adventure is gone. I still want to keep looking around the corner and see what’s there for me. Even if I”m more a middle aged adult now, than a young adult. :-(
    I love Canada, I love my home country Mexico… but I want to live also in Germany, or the UK, or Korea… I want to learn new languages and customs and burst my comfort bubble and keep on going.
    I’m really glad for you guys. BTW, this is the first time I write. My best wishes for you, whatever you chose to keep on doing.

  214. You are so inspiring I hope to come day travel. It’s really what i want to do, i’ve just gotta stop being so scared!

  215. you know what my mom told me when i confessed that i was very interested in Korean culture, language, and music and that i want to live there someday? she told me that i should stop obsessing with these silly ideas, concentrate on my studies (as if me, an a.p. – honors kid, doesnt try in school) so i could go to a good college, get a high paying job, get married, and then stay at home to raise kids…and all this before i turn 30 otherwise my life will be “hopeless”. :( i always played it off as a joke but i realise that she wasnt kidding and it really upset me.

    you guys really inspire me though. i hope i can have a life where im happy, wether its a life in korea or america or egypt or mars, as long its a life where im doing something meaningful and makes me and other people happy. THANK YOU SO MUCH SIMON AND MARTINA! :’D

    • Try not to let other people’s perceptions of what you “should” be doing stop you from doing something you know you’ll love, especially when it involves making other people happy too. Too often, people who say “should” are held back by their own fears—show them that there’s nothing to fear by eliminating “should” from your vocabulary and making your life happen!

  216. I went to 홍대 area but I have yet to see the notorious studio of EYK! Anyways love these vids on Korea and much love and support from 잠원/반포동!!!

  217. It’s going to be at least a good five years before I can hopefully go to South Korea (one last year of high school, and then university) and I continue to tell people that’s what I want to do – I want to teach English in Korea. And I always have people saying, “What are you going to do if that doesn’t work out?” It’s like, are you trying to discourage me? If you’re going to ask what I’m going to do if me teaching doesn’t work out, phrase it a little differently. And I hoping that during university, I’ll be able to do an exchange program – I’m pretty sure the university I want to attend does one to South Korea, and I know there’s one to Japan.

    And I can COMPLETELY agree with Martina on the making an effort to put on a little makeup, or dressing nicer. Up until grade eight, I had no interest in really putting effort – sure, I played around with makeup a little, and I had a few nice things, but, I pretty much just wore t-shirts, sweaters and jogging pants (that I now cringe at). In grade nine I started to get into Tokusatsu, and J-Pop, and later K-Pop, and while I know I’m not as good looking as these girls, or even the guys, it’s inspired me to put a little effort into making myself not only look a little better, but, making myself feel more confident as well, because I think I look better.

    • irritablevowel

      Last year my cousin left her stable job to move to Chicago and one of the things she noticed were how friends of hers who had also picked up and moved to a different city at some point in their lives all said, “YES. DO IT. You will not regret it. If you don’t get a job in your field you can wait tables, but at least you know you tried.” But her other friends who had never travelled for a long period of time, or didn’t live far from their childhood towns were relentlessly negative. It was all, “Why would you leave your job? Why would you move there when there is so much crime? Will you be able to afford it?” To them it seemed an extraordinary risk, which is why they had never done anything like it, so they couldn’t understand why she would. So I say to you, only seek the opinions of people who can offer you practical advice.
      By the way, she did get a job in her field, and an affordable apartment in a safe neighborhood :-)

  218. I totally understand the salt part! In my city there’s an International theater festival and each year a number of Japanese volunteers come for the festival (sometimes a few come from other countries). Last year they made Japanese food for their farewell party and except the Miso soup, everything barely had any salt for my European taste.

  219. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to Europe, North & South America with my parents when i was a teenager and younger. You learn quite a bit from travelling. If you get a chance to visit anywhere, do it its well worth it, just keep an open mind. You learn a lot from seeing how other people live and their views on life in general. I’m looking forward to and hoping that I get chance to go for a semester in university to Korea, Japan or Australia.

  220. I really want to live in South Korea for a year. I’ll be graduating college in about 2 years and that’s when I wanna go; before I have to start my “real” life. The only problem is…MONEY! I don’t know how much money I’d need to stay there for a year, and no matter how hard I try I can’t get a job. It’s frustrating.

    • Well really, assuming your teaching or have some kind of job there, you’d just need enough to get there and for start up costs until you get a paycheck.

      • Well the only job that would be possible is teaching. But my worst subject is English so I don’t think I’d want to go to teach. and I’m only getting my associates so I don’t think I would be eligible to teach.

        • Erin O'Shea

          If you have a TEFL certificate, you might. Not sure about the Bachelors/associates degree requirement, but I believe if you have a 100 hour TEFL certificate that would probably help your chances. Assuming that was what you want to do of course, if you don’t then by all means, do what would make you happy:)

        • Heather Jacobs

          It would be easier to get by if I was teaching for a year, but I heard you need a bachelors degree. I’d have to look further into it. I’m going to school to be a Physical Therapist Assistant so teaching isn’t really what I’m passionate about lol.

  221. Shelley Beh

    I just wanna say I really enjoyed that TLDR. :) oh and totally get what you mean Martina about the image thing. I used to be someone who rarely put makeup on or make the effort to dress nice when I went out. But i’ve changed since, and now I enjoy making myself look good when I go out (mind you tere are days where I’ll dress totally like a bum). I think it’s the sense of taking pride and enjoyment in making yourself look good not just for people but for yourself if that makes any sense.

  222. PunkyPrincess92

    ahahahaha atm machine!!! i was like that today!! i was with my best friend though and told her to watch my back, be my bodyguard ahahha!! would have gone inside the bank but it was closed!

    “It’s music! Doesn’t matter how it was made: it’s still music. Doesn’t matter if it was one person who wrote the song or a hundred. The song’s there to listen to, and oftentimes it’s ridiculously fun to dance to. Why deprive myself of the joy of liking something? So I can feel better about myself, think highly of myself for not liking a song? Why take pride in NOT liking something? That’s silly. We hear this a lot when we speak with foreigners in Korea not into Kpop. They never speak of it like a “meh, it doesn’t really do it for me.” There’s a passion and a fervor in their eyes, and they speak angrily against kpop. I didn’t want to be one of those angry people any more…” well said!!! that’s what i always think about people who listen to other non mainstream korean music!! those kinda people annoy me so much! they just think they’re better cos they don’t listen to kpop but “real” music!! if they don’t like it then fine! but i don’t get why they have to put kpop music and idols down!! glad you changed and became more open!! it’s totally fine to like different kinds of music!! i like both kpop and other non mainstream music!!

  223. I’ve been having a really hard trying to decide what I want to study. I kept thinking that I should study languages because I love learning new languages. I like the differences in other cultures, what makes each country so special. But my mom says to study nursing and I just can’t…. see myself as a nurse. I want to explore the world and I think being a translate/interpreter will help me achieve that. Thanks Simon and Martina for helping me re-think an important decision! Love you guys :’”)~

  224. I love this post, I also feel this way too that you should do whatever you feel is right. I guess people’s mentality is too caught up in normalcy and which is i guess that a real life is where you go buy a house, get a good job and have kids and a family and the end. if you want to move and explore and discover a new place and culture i say go for it! i know alot of people think its crazy when some people want to go and become a teacher in korea they think that its just a phase or something. Honestly Ive been watching your videos from the beginng and you guys have gave me the inspiration to go live in Korea someday. Ive gotten some crazy looks when I tell people I want to live in Korea they dont take me seriously lol but I try not to let it get me down cause i know its partially not their fault that they think this is a joke, its just the way some people are raised i guess. Anyways sorry for the rant but thanks so much and keep doing what you’re doing you guys are great! <3

  225. This is very inspirational to me. I’m going to be a senior next year and I still don’t know what I want to do with my life, what to major in, what college to go to, etc. I love music, but seeing as it’s not a stable career, I want to do something else with music on the side. I want to travel and learn languages so much. I don’t know how to incorporate that into a job, but I hope I can find a way to travel and work. I just hope I can find something that I love as much as you guys love making videos (:

  226. I love this post, I also feel this way too that you should do whatever you feel is right. I guess people’s mentality is too caught up in normalcy and which is i guess that a real life is where you go buy a house, get a good job and have kids and a family and the end. if you want to move and explore and disocover a new place and culture i say go for it! i know alot of people think its crazy when some people want to go and become a teacher in korea they think that its just a phase or something. Honestly Ive been watching your videos from the beginng and you guys have gave me the inspiration to go live in Korea someday. Ive gotten some crazy looks when I tell people I want to live in Korea they dont take me seriously lol but I try not to let it get me down cause i know its partially not their fault that they think this is a joke, its just the way some people are raised i guess. Anyways sorry for the rant but thanks so much and keep doing what you’re doing you guys are great! <3

  227. When you were talking about how you don’t see homosexuality as a big deal anymore I immediately thought of that Simon Kevin fanfic…. I’m scarred for life

    • LOL I don’t know what was the creepiest, the fanfic itself or Simon tweeting it… I’m kind of shocked too!

      • Cyber_3

        From what I read, nothing actually happened except clever wordsmithing (maybe I could only see the first page?)…..I think the creepier bit is that this is exactly what I was thinking during the interview….er….not the fanfic but that Kevin seemed WAY too interested in Simon’s chest hair……..even if I had a kpop override on my gaydar, it got broken in that moment ^^;;;;;;;;

        • If you read only the first page, you didn’t read anything! Don’t get me wrong it’s hilarious, but… disturbing!

        • Cyber_3

          Well, in that case, I’m probably better off not reading it. I only checked out for lulz and I got some already from the first page so I’m satisfied. Yaoi is not really my thing and fanfic is definitely not my thing. Thanks for the heads’ up. BTW, I’m on the fence about whether it’s creepy for Simon to tweet about it. Maybe he only read the first page? If it’s hilarious (even creepy-hilarious), it’s still hilarious and technically, meant as a compliment so why not? Martina’s on to your motives Kevin! LOL!

        • He wrote in his tweet that there was smut, so he definitely read all of it, and he still decided to share it although some Nasties are underage (but Nasty) (but still underage) ^^ Bad, Simon, bad! And not bad meaning good, but bad meaning bad, ya know! :-p

        • Cyber_3

          I can’t tell if you’re doing an imaginary ironic spanking of Simon while you say that or if you’re serious. I totally wasn’t thinking it was creepy that way. I let my 6-year-old son watch Eat Your Kimchi videos but I preview them most of the time and if I don’t, I accept that that’s my responsibility/fault if there’s content I didn’t want him to see. I certainly wouldn’t steer him towards yaoi fanfics (of any sort) and lucky for me he’s too young to read well yet anyways but I definitely take care to filter what he sees/reads on the internet. Because he’s only 6 years old, he’s still too vulnerable until he’s like… hmmm……I’ll decide that later. Anyways, Simon and Martina are adults, they don’t make any secrets that their content gets nasty from time to time – it’s part of why lots of us (adults and under) like them. While I am sure there is some low-level filtering in the editing of the videos, if you are not yourself when you tweet, who are you? They’re not in public office, I don’t think they have to justify what they say to anyone. If your brand is yourself, you can’t just stop being yourself because people will get offended. The internet is wide, people can always go and enjoy some other content.

          edit: not that there’s anything wrong with yaoi fanfics if you’re old enough to understand them…….

        • No, I wasn’t so serious! There’s nothing traumatizing anyways (well, at least not more traumatizing for a teen than for anyone else!)

  228. maybe it’s just me, but i had to go to YouTube to access the actual video–here it just wants to go straight to the five-year tribute (which i LOVED, btw). But anyway:

    I love that you guys are doing what is right for you; my friends and I have been talking lately about how ours is the first generation where we really feel like we have the choice. The generations before us fought to make those choices, but now we really have the choice to: go to college or really be successful with a career, have children or not, travel, marry, etc. My friends are really feeling guilty because they are coming to the realization that they don’t want kids (while I came to terms with this a long time ago), but the thing is, it’s finally really really okay if you don’t. I think it’s the same with travel and conventional ideas of career and relationship. you both have a fantastic career and obviously a creditable work ethic. I love what you do!

  229. I love this blog post so much. I want to thank you because of EYK and the videos you produced showing Korea ie the wanks and fapfaps, it made me fall in love with Korea even more than just the music, traditions and TV and now I’m off to university after two years at college to study to be a teacher, doing a Bachelors in Education studies, English lit and English language :) I wanted to teach before but I wasn’t sure what. I want to teach English as a language and I’m also learning Korean so in the future I can also teach it as a lesson ie literature.. You guys inspired me to take a chance and make a risk, gave me motivation to work hard. You made me see that my dreams were possible you just have to work for them, now I’m well on the way to building a good life for me and my daughter who is 6 and very excited at the Hello Kitty cafe’s and the awesome arcades. She love’s Odeng and octopus flavoured crisps, she’s really getting into Korean culture too, and loves your hair Martina, thinks Simon funny faces are hilarious and begs me to show her pictures of Spudgy and Meemers :)

    So thank you guys, I’ve been a nasty since the beginning, here’s to another awesome five years :D

  230. How do you think your time in Korea would have been different if you didn’t have each other? Sometimes I feel like by going to Korea I’m wasting an opportunity with my boyfriend to grow closer or into something more. By the way, I loved this TL;DR!

  231. Random question. I just watched the tattoos TLDR and it got me thinking. What’s the attitude towards facial/body piercings in Korea? Are they frowned upon or not?

  232. Mafalda Panda Do Mar

    I really enjoyed this vid guys, but I honestly thought you were going to talk about the #ChangeinKorea initiative since not long ago you discussed cultural apropriation on Kpop Music Mondays.

  233. Thank you guys for posting this, I really loved the blog post, especially the “real life” part. When I tell people that I want to teach abroad and traveling is my dream in life I always get a response like “Wow that’s cool, do that when you’re young. So what are you planning to do afterwards, continue teaching in the States?”

    Its really hard to explain to people why I want to live other places and why I want to travel for a long time. Some people even think that I hate or dislike my home county! HOW RIDICULOUS IS THAT?! Just because I want to experience new things and learn about new cultures, doesn’t mean that I dislike where I came from or that my dreams aren’t “real life.” You make your own reality.

    Thanks S&M for making me feel like I’m (semi) normal and not a complete odd ball. YOU GUYS ROCK!!!

    • I know how you feel. I’ve wanted to be a touring musician (well, I have a home base that hide in when I need breaks, want to record an album, et al), but people always scoff at the idea and tell me that I need to find a “real” job and do “real” work, so I can start a family or whatever. Now, I’m totes not against starting families and having a secure job (because I can’t wait to get married and start a family ^^), but where’s the adventure in *just* doing that? I wanna live and see the world and experience different cultures. I’ve almost 20 and I’ve only left my home state four times. And all four were for no more than a weekend (Friday through Sunday; one time Thursday through Sunday). FOUR TIMES!! I’m not trying to sound ungrateful or anything (I really appreciate those times, and think of them fondly), but that’s lame to me. I wanna have stories for kids of adventures I’ve had and the passion I have for my craft. I wanna inspire them to dream big and step into the unknown. I suppose what I’m trying to say is that you should totally reach for the stars, because I Know I am. And I don’t care if that makes me an odd ball, because that’s me ^^

  234. I have a question for the TLDR. I know that the EYK Studio is considered a business, but is that what supports you guys financially, and if it is, then how does it? It’s something that always intrigued me, since at first glance it seems like making videos on YT wouldn’t pay anything other than what ads on the page pay.

  235. Well, there’s a question I’m burning to asked for a long time already. I spent have a year in Korea as an exchange student and it was just awesome! But the one thing a noticed along people and along my friends as well is that there seems to be a lot of social pressure. People seem to think that they have to fit in no matter what. It doesn’t matter if it’s about clothes, relationship status or material items. Especially, when it comes to marriage and age. Not being married at a certain age seems to be kinda unacceptable. Plus, as I mentioned clothes, every where else you see a lot of different styles such as gothic stuff, or rock guys, exoctic, extraordinary and brave styles. In Korea I got the feeling that people rather trying not to stick out.

    Did I just get a wrong impression over this short stay or might I be right somehow?

    • I think you’re impression is right in some ways, however I don’t think it should be viewed negatively. Korea definitely has its own amazing/old traditions, culture, and social norms. I think that depending on any country you go to, there is always going to be it’s own social pressure. Even in the states and other places in the world there’s social pressure to be skinny, get rich, be famous, etc – you can tell from all the comments here that people are feeling pressured to be “normal” by staying in North America and getting a degree, getting rich, getting married. I think it may have really stood out to you in Korea because that’s not the culture that you grew up in; and as foreigners going to a different country, we’re always on the lookout for what’s different because it’s so fascinating :) .

      Having grown up as a half korean in korea, I definitely had the same views at times as you – why does everyone want to be the same!? It was frustrating at times, especially when my mom (korean) and her friends would always make sure to one-up the other by bragging about whose kids did what at what college. aiguu!! lol. But in reality, it’s no different from other cultures and subcultures that you’ll find anywhere else. I think in both Korea and other countries you’ll see the people that will happily accept and be okay with the social norms (and that’s totally okay!), but you’ll also see the people who want to try something different (which is awesome too :) ).

  236. Mythbusters did an episode on double dipping. Most food already has more bacteria in it than you could ever add to it just by double-dipping so it’s not as big of an issue as we like to think.

    And portion size = why us Americans are fat

    Unlike you two who look fricken fantastic :D

  237. I currently live and teach English in Germany and have lived here for a total of 2.5 years, and I’ve got to say, the travel bug is addicting – the more countries I visit, the more I want to see! I’ve been to over a dozen European countries, the USA, Canada, and Mexico, and the more time I spend abroad, the more I realize that I don’t want to stop. I am planning on applying to teach English in Asia at some point in the future for sure, because although experiencing one foreign culture is great, I think traveling only gets better the more you do it ;)

  238. I loved this TL;Dr and blog post. “Our fruits are far from our roots, but that doesn’t make them rotten.” This is what I try to tell my family and friends. Everyone judges me hardcore because I am white and I like Korea to the point that I want to live there. Whenever I tell someone I will be studying abroad in South Korea, they are always so negative, but only because they fall for senseless stereotypes. They think there is a lot of human trafficking, or North Korea will blow them up, or they are disease-infested, or women are exploited. Have they ever been to Korea to see for themselves? No. Just because a place is different doesn’t mean it’s bad. Everyone thinks I should focus on a career that makes a butt-load of money, get a huge house, and have a family in a rich white neighborhood (probably in posh Connecticut). But that’s not what I want. I am trying to find a career that will take me places, and possibly live full-time in Korea. The world is too big for me to want to stay in a cubicle in some office, making a rich CEO richer. I want to experience different places, cultures, language, people. I want to have conversations in languages I’m not fluent in, or get lost in a city that I’ve never visited before, or try food I’ve never heard of. Successful traveling careers are not easy to find. My parents would kill me if I “threw my international affairs degree out the window and settled for teaching english in Korea.” Unfortunately any other career requires years of commitment to even have a slight chance to live abroad. I’ll find a way though because, ironically, there is something about being abroad that makes me feel at home.
    I’m glad everything work out for you two. You’re very inspiring.

    • Meghann

      I feel for you, bro. You are basically living my life. Lol I don’t have my degree yet, but when I told my parents that I was switching my major to Asian studies/cultural anthropology, they flipped. For whatever reason, they think my fascination with Korea/Asia is a “phase” that I’ll grow out of. They don’t want to recognize that I can make a legitimate (but most likely poor) career out of my interest. It’s an uphill battle with my family, but I’m getting there. They finally agreed to let me do a summer program in Korea!
      Anyways, my point is, you’re not alone. Lol Stick to your guns because eventually you’ll make a life you want to live :3

      • Better than my family; they think anime has hypnotized me into someone that I’m not and that the K-Pop I listen to is reinforcing it >_>

        And no, I wish I’m kidding. If I said I wanted to go to Korea, they’d flip their chips -_-

      • Cultural anthropology is the best!!! That’s my major in uni right now and I absolutely love it. Culture is something unique in every place but underlies and is part of beliefs, politics, social standards, and everything else that makes up life around the world. Being able to study it and understand it’s importance is a great privilege, and will only serve to broaden your mind and equip you with knowledge that will get you far in life. It’s important to understand why people are the way they are because of the culture that they grew up in and it will help you so much if/when you move to Asia :)

        sorry if that was a bit nerdy and long but i am hopelessly in love with what i study!

    • Wow. I’m rooting for you! At the age of 17, I am attempting to position my life around being able to move to Korea or Japan. And I’ve been this way for years. Everybody knows I want to and they’re “supportive”, but it feels like they don’t take me seriously, so I’m feeling you. :3 No good luck required since I believe it can happen for you! :)

    • “there is something about being abroad that makes me feel at home” – exactly how I feel!

      I’ve been travelling around every Summer with my family since I was 4 y/o so I absolutely have no issues adjusting to new places, in fact staying at one place for a long time makes me extremely bored! lol

      I’m currently living in Greece (not native in any way), studying economics (that I’m deadly bored of thus stuck with pile of subjects I failed and have to retake those exams -___-) and thinking of the ways how I can move to S.Korea. Not bcz I love Kpop but bcz ever since I dig a lil info on Korea I literally feel it being a place I belong. The only problem is me being almost 23 without finished degree and no money… XD

      For starters I’d like to go in Korea for a year for language courses (I’m so in love with the language & it’s easy~^^) but I strongly need scholarship (my family won’t pay for me for sure – they cannot get it why I love Korea and only nag with “you have to finish university”, “what are you gonna do without a degree” etc. .< and I'm a 3rd year! Ottokaji?)

      I tried to find any info how to obtain it but kinda failed :(

  239. I love how Simon Rick-rolled the video. :) Congratulations on five years in Korea, and thank you for such an insightful post and video!

  240. I used to think like that (and still do parts of it) but now I’ve realized when I’m 80-90 and my partner has died (or the other way) I want to have kids who still care of me and visit me, so even if it’s at 50 I eventually want to adopt. Just cuz there’s a lot of unhappy kids out there, why get your own when you could give some of them a loving home.

  241. This post made me cry. I’ve been struggling with this feeling of being trapped and like everyone expects me to have a normal life and I don’t want that. Thank you for saying all of this. I’m going to save it in hopes of looking back on it and on people who didn’t do what people expected of them and they turned out just fine. In fact, more than fine, wonderful, amazing, inspiring. You guys are my heroes. ;; Thank you.

  242. Well there’s actually a lot of restaurants that are exactly like that in North America (well where I live at least), where they have the utensils out and you just take them or they give them to you like you guys said. Ex. Vietnamese Restaurants (Pho) lol :) It’s probably just an asian thing. LOL

  243. I’ve been sad for the society for a long time now because of it trying to shove a certain kind of lifestyle or acceptable personality onto people. It sometimes drives me nuts because people are so different they just can’t be fit in to same molds, especially if they don’t want to. My view of the world has changed ever since I became fascinated with Asian cultures and other stuff all around at a young age and I wish other people as well would take the time some day to discover that not everyone has the same view or manners and it’s completely fine.

  244. This post was really a fantastic read, and it had many amazing things to take from it. Your partial drunk writing has told me to just enjoy, I have been so stuck in defining things that i forget to just enjoy. Thanks guys! You are an inspiration.

  245. I love how towards the end the post took a sort of inspirational post!! It’s really cute <3 I'm SO happy I found your videos, although I have always researched a lot about Korea, aiming to sometime visit or even live there, if it wasn't for you, it would've been much more boring to find all the info, and you give a lot of things you can just find out randomly!
    Now I feel really ready for Korea! (funny thing is, all what you said now, why am I already like that although I haven't been in Korea even once? XD)

  246. I like mangoes, but not enough to move across the world for them. Oranges, maybe. Mangoes, no.

  247. You guys are such an inspiration. I mean, we’ve been taught, all our lives, that there was one acceptable route in life: go to university, get some high salary boring ass job, find a spouse, have two kids, retire and travel the world.

    But why do we have to wait till we’re sixty to do what makes us happy?
    Thank you for reminding me that maybe, just maybe, I can start living life to the fullest now.

    • I agree with you 100%! That’s all I’ve ever heard in life, all of my friends anymore are doing just that, go to school, get a good job, get married, have kids… I work with a lot of middle aged people and that’s ALL they ever talk about. Whenever I tell them no, I don’t have kids, I don’t have a spouse, I didn’t attend college and don’t plan to, and I’d rather be single and spend my life doing what I want and saving money from my current job to be able to travel abroad, I get the weirdest looks. -_-

      It seems a lot of people don’t understand that you don’t have to fall in line like everyone else to be happy. Sometimes you have to do what you enjoy, what you want to do, rather than what society says you should do, in order to be happy. Simon & Martina are such an inspiration for that. :) Once I save enough money, I plan on visiting Korea, if only for a couple weeks at first, whatever I can afford, and make it my mission to meet them and thank them for continuing to inspire me towards my goal of being able to travel and enjoy life my own way, just like them. ^_^ <3

  248. I love this video!! well said guys!!!

  249. Great post! I’m in college now in the US and living in another country has always been something I wanted to do. After spending a long time doing research into teaching programs in all different places (Japan, China, France, Korea…) I have decided that I really want to try teaching in Korea for a year (despite my parents not being too thrilled with the idea. Also, it’s especially strange for me, considering I am an Education/French major and Spanish minor, having absolutely nothing to do with South Korea…

  250. GoldenAngelFeather

    I don’t even live in S. Korea but I changed a lot too!! My taste in fashion, music, other stuff all changed xD
    Whenever I send pics to my guy friends they’re like, is that a girl you just send me? I’m like: nooo, isn’t HE hot and cute! xD
    Yeah…..My ming of what is manly is totally different. I hate it how to explain it everytime that when people touch each other, especially the guys, it’s not gay, it’s just like how girls link arms but guys are just close too…Yeah…
    I used to think a lot of male idols are so gay, but now…I find them totally manl! much to my moms disagreement xD

  251. You know you guys talked about touchy-feeliness between people of the same sex, do guys and girls use as much skinship with each other when they aren’t dating?

  252. haruchi

    So much has changed as I’ve been into Asia (almost 8 years) so I bet some changes happen when you move to a different country. I’m gonna stay for a year in Japan soon and I know it’s gonna change me some way but change is sometimes good. I think people should be offered to see the world and see different cultures. I study anthropology and it has changed some of my views, I think people should be more open to difference. Why indeed should we all be the same?
    Also I have to say that yes I also sometimes show Asian guys to my friends and ask aren’t they good looking and many say they look feminine or aren’t into Asians. Then I forget that oh yeah… Not everyone prefer Asians. haha And yeah they don’t look that girly anymore to me. (actually after visual kei no k-popper look girly haha)

  253. I live in KoreatownLA and the germaphobia thing is so hilarious when I bring friends who have never been here. They freak out. I just wanna put food in their mouth.

    • Spoon feed them, and yell “DIARRHOEA” with every bite.

      • LOL! The funny thing is you are more likely to get diarrhea from the food itself than the utensils or table…unless someone decided to wash those items with fecal matter.

        Honestly one possible reason why there are weird allergies and people that often get sick in the US is because of the germaphobia thing. I’m a PA (physician assistant) student and I believe the more exposure to germs the better. It’s called…using your immune system.

  254. I think anytime one decides to pick themselves up from their hometown roots and move to another city/ town/ country, it will ultimately change them. When I visited Seoul, there was this kind of energy that I really missed when I returned to Toronto. Perhaps it was more of the first time visitor experience and I just had an awesome time meeting up with friends and hanging out with cool people. My boyfriend and I had a real local experience via people who lived and worked there.

    I do believe that the more one travels and tries hard to have a local experience and not a tourist one, the better understanding they have of the world.

  255. LOVE this post and video!!! Thank you for what you said about perceptions about masculinity. I have a post for my blog half-drafted about it…perhaps I should actually edit it and post it. It really annoys me when I post a picture of JYJ of FB and people are like: “Why do you like Korean men who look like girls?” and I am like: “WHAT?!!! They are so hotte, sexy, and manly (whatever ‘manly’ means)”. So I am really glad that you said something about that. And mad props for living the life that brings you fulfillment! I think it’s so important to do that.

    • When your FB friends give you a bad time about Korean men not being “manly,” just post a few choice pics of T.O.P. or Rain or SE7EN—that’ll shut ‘em up for awhile. :-)

      • Oh, it doesn’t matter which pictures of Korean stars I post, I have some friends who think all Korean men are girly looking, even non-Korean entertainment ones. I just have to shake my head, and tell them they’re missing out.

    • I think it’s such a shame how people will only perceive others based on their own limited and sterotyped ideals, especially with masculinity and femininity. There are so many different ways people present themselves and pushing people into a box filled with certain expectations just shows how ignorant some people can be. Sometimes I am also hesitant to say I like a certain celebrity or post pictures of them because I know there will be peopke who will go “is that a man or woman” or “why do you like girly guys?” But it really bothers me since there is no “right” way to be a male or female.

      Jaejoong is my ultimate bias in Korean entertainment and it irks me when people criticize him for being too “girly looking”

      • I agree!!! I just tend to keep my K-pop and K-entertainment comments to the bloggersphere and Twitter where mostly everyone around here isn’t as prejudiced. Many of my FB friends aren’t, just some of them have not yet embraced the awesomeness ;)

  256. amazing post! it really inspires me to do something great with my life.

  257. There’s a scholarship available for me to learn Japanese for two years and then go to a Japanese University to study a subject of my choice.

    Should I do it?

    Hailing from the Caribbean

    • I strongly recommend that everyone, if they have the means or opportunity to do so, live at least one year in another country. It makes you reconsider the things you grew up with. It shows you better ways your old life could have been lived, and makes you appreciate what you’ve taken as granted.

    • What is stopping you? I think if it is something you want to do and CAN do, why not do it?

      • *sheepish* Well… my age. I started school early and though I’m graduating this year, I’m not yet old enough to legally leave my parents’ house or apply for a driver’s license… I’m scared that they’ll give the scholarship to someone else ’cause I’m not old enough… To study overseas by myself that is…

        • Well, it doesn’t hurt to ask and see. And if you don’t get it, there will be other chances. Don’t limit yourself because of this. Life is full of chances! :)

        • Thank you so much for the support! And I’ll do that.

        • They typically don’t care about your age, and base their decision for scholarships on your personality and academics. As long as you could be considered a “teen”, you’re not too young. I went on exchange when I was 16, and I’ve met exchange students as young as 13 or 14. So age is usually not a factor. :)

        • irritablevowel

          A student at the school I teach at just went on exchange for several months in Europe, and he was 12!

        • ethiopiankpoper

          I’d say go ahead and do it.. Age shouldn’t really stop you from such a great opportunity. Don’t be worried about living away from your parents. You’ll definitely get used to it. I left home to attend a school abroad when I was 15. It is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I learned and gained a lot from it. So yeah if it is something you like to do, go a head and do it. Trust me you’ll enjoy it a lot! :D
          Good luck!

        • Hokkaido Fox

          If there’s a minimum age requirement there’s nothing you can do about it. That doesn’t mean you can’t apply next year. Or the year after. I’m in Japan on the JET program and I only got accepted after my second try. Just because S&M say to travel while your young doesn’t mean you’re old if you can’t travel OMG!RIGHTNOW!! If there’s an age limit, get a job, save up money, spend time with your friends and travel around your home country first. Nothing has made me want to tour America more than living in Japan. Don’t feel bad if you can’t make it this year. Try next year. That’s the great thing about being young. You have a lot more tomorrows waiting for you than you will 20, 30, 40 years from now.

        • Cassandra Bosquet

          Prove to them that you have the drive and determination to not only succeed, but also make the best of this enriching experience. Unless the legal language in the tiny fine print [look that part over with a microscope] says that you are not eligible for the scholarship, I say you are just as worthy as anyone else.
          I hail from the Caribbean too, though I now live in the states; and one of the things I wish I had done more in my younger years of college was travel or study abroad. I also have parents who were tough about me going too far on my own. However, I did get the chance to travel through Europe and Aussie in my last years of college and I loved every minute of it. But now that I work as a teacher, it’s too hard to do. I say go for it. It will add so many wonderful experiences to your life, and think of just how exotic it will be to couple your Caribbean island flavor with the flair of the East!! Good luck, I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you!

        • When I was in 2nd grade we had an exchange student from Korea so I don’t think age would matter unless you’re like 4 or something.

    • Yes! I’m currently studying in Hong Kong and studying abroad is one of the BEST things you can choose to do with your life. You won’t regret it!

    • do it do it do it do it! :D

    • I enjoy being in the Nasty Community. You all are so supportive!

      Thank You!

      NASTIES 4 LYFE!!!!

    • You should totally do it :D

    • Heyo fellow bimshire person. Is this the Monbukagakusho scholarship the Japanese embassy is promoting? If this scholarship had been around when I was your age I would have done it. It is actually much easier to acclimatize to Japan as a student than a worker because college is actually the time in Japan that they are allowed to be a bit freer and will have the ability and opportunity to make more friends. Also, since you are a foreign student, you will be guided a lot more and be able to take advantage of the college facilities.

      I am planning to go as a teacher, but I feel worried that I will have problems finding friends and whatnot because I will be an outsider.

      Also, studying off island is best. Maybe it is because I did it. I learned a lot being away from home. There are a lot of things that I became more open minded and aware of due to leaving the island to go to college.

      • Hey there! May I ask you, what would you like to teach in Japan?

        • Marko Stoić

          OK, cause there is also a Monbukagakusho for students of Japanese language and culture and I thought that maybe you are somewhat in that domain. People usually try it, go there for a year or so and see what the life is like. Afterwards, if they don’t like it there’s always a possibility of going back and if they do they can try finding a working place as English teachers.

          If you plan to go there as a teacher I don’t think you will be lonely. There are lots of foreigners, other teachers, different people to hang out with. In some cases, gaijins will always be gaijins, but that will never be the reason not to get some good Japanese friends.
          In any case, I wish you luck. :-)

        • I know about the Monbukagakusho scholarship. However the subjects you are allowed to study for Post grad I am not interested in. As I said before. If I had k own about it as an undergrad I would have done it. Alas, I only became aware of it after I graduated college and started to work as a teacher.

    • Absolutely!! An experience like this will flavor your entire life in ways that you don’t even yet realize you’ll appreciate! Have no regrets—do it! And best of luck!

    • I don’t see why not. If you can, just do it. Otherwise you’ll regret it.

    • If you feel like doing it, just go for it! I’ve been studying in the UK for a year (being French) and I don’t regret it at all! Everything Simon and Martina said is true, it helped me get a new vision of things and made me want to work abroad in the future… And I study Japanese too, and really enjoy that language^^

  258. “If life hands you lemons, go somewhere that life grows mangoes” – I think that will become my motto from now on :)

  259. yer yer yerrr werk ittt EYK<3 i love you guys :'3

  260. I would just like to thank you guys for your written blog post. Your experiences, really relate to the social conformity crisis I’m facing right now. I’ve just recently graduated from undergrad, starting law school, preparing for my “real” life. And all I want to do is travel. I think about it every day, I dream about it at night. And I feel pressured into this social conformity not to do that, and instead just become a lawyer, work, buy a house, etc. So thank you. Your post has inspired me.

    • Go. Travel. Now’s the time to do it :D

    • If you decide to get the law degree, you can always work for a non profit that’s based in another country!

    • You know, I kinda had the same trouble not so long ago. I never felt like a ‘standard’ life would do it for me (like having a stable job, then a house, then kids…) and at the same time I didn’t have enough confidence to actually think of a different career. But now as I’m about to start my ‘working life’ I realise you have so many more options. Like you can do a job that will make you travel a lot, or live in a different country while still having a comfortable job (surely as a lawyer you can work abroad too?) And the strangest thing is that I don’t even feel non-conformist or anything, I just feel like trying different things and finding a compromise that will work for me…

      So maybe you shouldn’t worry too much about this ‘conformity’ thingie. I’m sure there are many ways to achieve what you really want to do^^

  261. How long did it take you all to realize how much you have changed?

    • I don’t know, really. We didn’t think about it much until we started discussing the topic. The North American food issue was one when we, well, traveled back home. The other issues we talked about from time to time. The big one we talked about here in the blog post, about how to live a “real” life is one we only recently started discussing…

  262. Sorry, just had to add that May 30th’s also my anniversary for moving to Poland! 2 years, woo!

  263. I think it’s the fact that they douse the food in salt, which is why it’s so salty…. I can’t eat that much even though I’m american… Thanks to living in a Chinese household, lots of veggies and lean meats! and I love korean food, its so much fresher and refreshing on the palate! And I totally agree with the interaction between guys and girls.. I wish people here would accept such closeness, but like you said they would think you were gay or lesbian… so sad because I can only do that with my close friends who aren’t asian and they enjoy it.

  264. You make me super excited to go over and experience it. Hahah as of next year i will (hopefully) be living over there and not vicariously through your videos! :-D I loved it when i was there in Sept, i think this sept will make it more awesome and then just ..just have to get a job. :) Thank you for aiding in my Korea research. :)

  265. TT.TT I’ll never be able to go to Korea… DAMN YOU CONTAMINATION OCD
    I’d seriously have panic attacks every day >.<

  266. “Our fruits are far from our roots, but that doesn’t make them rotten.”
    Well said, well said. *slow clapping*

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