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My daughter recently turned three year old. Naturally, at this stage of linguistic development she’s a bit of a blabber mouth. She’s stringing together sentences, asking loads of “why” questions, singing her own made-up songs about butterflies or rainbows or daddy being her best friend.

Parenting is hard. Keeping up with a healthy lifestyle is hard. Parenting by oneself is hard. Keeping up with a healthy lifestyle and a 5 year old is hard. Can it be done? Yes. Should it be done? Yes. Does it take work? Yes. Can you do it? Yes. I do it…most of the time.

When people think of the Middle East the first place that often pops into their heads is Dubai. We get to see a lot about Dubai through our media. It’s definitely a place that should be visited, especially if you are in the region. There are a lot of good things and bad things about Dubai. First, I’ll talk about the good things then I’ll talk about the not so good things.

I know, every parent’s worst nightmare – a child who doesn’t take any responsibility for herself or her stuff. The child you fight with day in and day out about feeding pets, picking up clothes, taking care of toys, putting away her lunch bag and backpack.

A Short Disclaimer

Please note that I am not an accountant, nor am I an international tax expert. I’m an English teacher in South Korea who is interested in personal finance and did a ridiculous amount of research for a book I wrote (The Wealthy English Teacher-find it on Amazon). Heck, I’m not even American!

The beginning of the school year –where the teachers and parents are excited for the new year and the kids dread it. No more sleeping in – no more playing outside whenever – no more staying up late – no more biking outside in pajamas n- no more free childcare so mommy can go for a run…Summer is over and now begins the daily grind for the kids and teachers alike.

Expectations. This is a big word with a whole lot of emotion attached to it. For me, expectations are a drug affecting every part of my life. They are present in situations without my knowing sometimes. They offer me hope and keep me high with anticipation for blissful, rewarding outcomes. They also make me crash and burn with disappointment when they are not met. Such is life right?

As a woman, I’m often asked about covering my hair in the Middle East. Since I’m not Muslim, it’s not required. However, would it be best to just cover my hair anyway? You pretty much get to choose. There are a few things you should consider though. Although you don’t have to cover up, you do want to remember to be culturally sensitive. What does this look like?

When you first make the decision to move overseas and teach in South Korea, there is a sense of euphoria and adventure. You start to wonder about your new apartment, the weather, the language, the amazing food and how you will be able to get all your documentation together in time to leave. But, what about teaching?

Namhae is a beautiful island in Gyeongsangnam-do province in South Korea. It’s nickname is “Treasure Island,” and although it makes a funny story now, getting lost on that island wasn’t super funny at the time.

Meeting Jackie


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