December 16, 2015
Hey everyone, it’s time for a big talk.
We have both exciting news and sad news. After spending seven amazing years in Korea, we’ve decided it’s time for us to pull up our roots and to take the next step. We’re moving to Japan, a decision that was not easy to make, but one that must happen soon if we’re going to explore Japan as freely as we did Korea. When we moved to Korea seven years ago our plan was to stay in Korea for one year, then to move to Japan, then to move somewhere else, and to explore this great big wonderful world. But one year became more than seven, and it seemed like we were going to keep postponing our dreams indefinitely as we got comfortable in Korea.
However, Martina’s condition is getting worse. Much worse. I’ve seen her cry from her pain and frustration more in this one year than I have in the seven years we’ve been married before. Her pain is becoming an issue we can’t avoid. We can’t carry on as we always did. We can try, but if Martina’s health keeps going at this rate then we don’t have as many good days ahead of us as we had originally foreseen.
As I’m writing this today her arm is in a sling because her shoulder has been dislocated for the past ten days, and she can’t put any pressure on her right knee. It’s a sad day for her, one that we could have spent filming if this was last year, but today’s another example of a day that we can’t do much of anything apart from keeping her joints iced and trying to keep her mind off the pain.
Though we have more challenges to face now than before, this doesn’t mean that we’re stopping everything and running to the bushes to shrivel up in pain. Is running to the bushes to shrivel up in pain even a phrase? I don’t know. I just made it up. The point is, we’re still going to make videos, still keep on traveling, still keep on eating everything we can find, still keep on sharing our joys and excitement with you. We’re just going to have a new place to call home.
This time right now, this transitional period, is not us closing a door as much as opening one. This is our spark. This is our kick in the ass. This is our Shia LaBeouf screaming at us to DO ITTTTTTTTTTT!!!!! For us, we have to do what we can while we still can, and so it’s time to start with the first item on our bucket list.
I’m sure some of you have some burning questions, so we hope to answer them below:
This was a really hard decision to make, but as of the end of November, we had to close the EYK Studio. The owner of the building prefers multiple year contracts (rather than a year by year basis) so we had to make the choice in November to re-sign on for two more years, or to make the big move to Japan. And, really, it doesn’t make sense for us to pay rent both in Japan and Korea, especially if we’re not going to be spending as much time in Korea as before.
We loved the studio to pieces, and for those of you that don’t know, over three years ago the Nasties themselves helped us to build it by crowdfunding the space, and it’s something we never forgot even years after the crowdfunding was over. With your support we gutted and re-designed a boring plain office space into the epic EYK Studio which we’ve worked and filmed in for the past three years. We’ll never forget it, many years down the road, and we’ll constantly remember how special of a place it was to us. Good thing we made videos to remember the place! ;)
We filmed kpop interviews and did funny skits with UKISS, uBEAT, Crayon Pop, Eric Nam, Amber, MFBTY, K.Will, Clazziquai, Neon Bunny, and many local Korean Indie bands, had epic Wonderful Treasure Finds and serious TL;DRs, and just had a generally great work location for the members of the Eatyourkimchi Team. Also, before closing the doors to the studio we took every single piece of fan art you’ve given us, both on tour or via the mail, and it will be accompanying us to Japan. Finally, keep your eyes peeled for the purple velvet kpop couch that will be living on in Korea through our friends Nic and Hugh of the Mykoreanhusband blog. They’re putting it to good use now :D
For starters, we told them about our decision to move to Japan many months ago, before the July Meet Your Kimchi Tour, so we gave them a lot of time to prepare for the transition and so that they had time to find new jobs.
Now, something awkward we have to ask all you lovely Nasties: some of you are new to the Nasty Family and don’t know about the Studio or the EYK Crew (hi new people!), but there are some of you have been with us for a while and have seen the Eatyourkimchi Team grow. We ask that those of you that follow Soozee and Leigh on social media give them the privacy they deserve to move onto new jobs and new lives.
When we started following them on their personal social media accounts years ago, we didn’t realize how much their personal lives would be affected. We literally had no experience with the impact this would have on our friends and family before. But, since they started appearing in our videos, they’ve been stopped on the streets and had lots of people follow them on social media. It’s taken away their ability to post or talk freely about whatever they want, and NONE of us saw it coming. We were really sorry this happened to them because to be honest, they were never super comfortable with the loss of the anonymity, which is a really scary thing to lose if you’re not prepared for it. We learned from their experiences, and so you might have noticed that we didn’t make announcement videos for the new members of the Eatyourkimchi Team for this reason.
Rose – who was our web developer – on the other hand, is planning for an exciting career in the Korean entertainment industry. You might have already seen her dancing in some kpop videos, and she has told us she doesn’t care if you follow her; in fact, she encourages you to follow her on social media. Go Rose go! As for Soozee and Leigh, we’re not asking you to stop following them, we’re just saying please don’t send them messages asking them about Eatyourkimchi, or make them uncomfortable about it. Please let them adjust to the new chapter of their lives. We have loved working with the whole Eatyourkimchi Team, and I’m sooooo happy we have videos online to look back on and to laugh at all our epic times together. Couldn’t have wished for a better team of people, we really lucked out. It’s been a hard few months without them around and we miss them a whole lot, but we’ll come back to Korea to visit for sure!
Well, we love food, so you know we’ll have lots of food videos to film in Japan. Udon. Bento boxes. COCOCURRY!!!! There’s lots of things we haven’t shared with you on video, lots of things we haven’t eaten yet that we can’t wait to experience and share. And Japan is loaded with Wonderful Treasures to Find. That won’t be an issue. And we’ll also have new adventures to share, tons of things which I’m sure I can’t even imagine yet, things that I don’t know that exist. We’re excited at all of the possibilities! I really hope you can come along for the ride with us. Martina is also determined to share her Japanese language learning experience too, something we didn’t do when we first came to Korea.
We’ll be in Japan, right? So why call it Eatyourkimchi, you might be wondering? Well, I don’t think we’re going to change the name, even though we own eatyoursushi.com (and have for many years now). I mean, we’ve been in Korea for seven years now. It’s a part of us. It’s changed us in so many ways. Eatyourkimchi, too, is a part of us; we’ll always perceive the world through the filter of our life experiences, and to say that we’ll experience the world unaffected by our Korean experiences would be a lie. We’ve been here for many major formative years of our lives; almost our entire married life. And it’s not something that we can shake off. We won’t try to. And Martina is preparing to pack a suitcase filled with Korean cooking ingredients for the dire hankerings we know we’ll have for Korean food.
Well, it’s something we’re not going to be able to be part of. If one day we open another small shop by ourselves, we’ll have a wealth of experience from the cafe to help us out, but we’re not going to be in Korea anymore, so we won’t be of much help there. We’ll be back in Korea from time to time, for sure, and we’d love to stop by the cafe and see what’s happening, but we won’t be able to contribute as much as before.
Well, do you remember ages ago we did that Stalking Vampire video where we both got bitten and turned into creepy vampires? Well, the people we filmed it with, SQUASHfilms, are part of a network called Breaker Incorporated. We know some of the people over at Breaker, spoke with them a bunch, and they’re cool people who are interested in working with us on some new ideas. They also have a studio space in Harajuku where we’re planning on filming a new segment! SO EXCITED!!!
We’re in the final stages now of working out all our documents, we still have to find an apartment, but it looks like we’ll be in Japan for late January/February. We’ll be sure to document our whole moving experience for all of you that are curious. We still have to pack, and Spudgy & Meemers have a ton of paperwork since Japan is a rabies free country. Guess we’ll have to make a new apartment tour! :)
So I hope we’ve answered all your questions. Even though everything has been going really well for us with our business in Korea, we have to try to follow our dreams while we still can. We’ll miss Korea dearly since it has been home to us for so many years, but I don’t think of this as goodbye to Korea. We’ll be living so darn close by it will be easy to come visit. We love you guys and can’t wait to share new food and adventures with you! If there is something you really want us to film in Japan, let us know in the comment section below and we’ll get our thinking hats on for this new chapter of our lives.