It's official: I have 17 teaching days left. on August 7, I'm free. On August 8, I'll be in Tokyo.
Until then, however, I have quite a lot to do:
1) Mud Festival! An annual event in Boryeong. Some sort of fancy, therapeutic mud gets shipped into Korea and people go and roll around in it. Sounds awesome, no?
2) DMZ. I have to go while I'm here. How many people can say they've been to North Korea? And returned.
3) Seoraksan National Park. I was supposed to do this months ago, but some time in the next three weekends I gotta knock this one out. It's supposed to be stunningly beautiful.
4) National Museum of Korea. I was actually there a couple of weeks ago, but went to see the Greek exhibit on loan from the British museum. The exhibit wasn't great (although the famous Discobolus was there). On the other hand, I've heard that the permanent collection is very nice. And the building itself is pretty cool-looking.
5) Busan. Located in the south of South Korea, this is supposed to be a nice beach town. Hopefully we'll get a chance to see this upon our ferry return from Japan. More about this later.
6) Find someone to take over my lease. Since I'm leaving before the year-long lease is up, I'm hoping someone moves in soon so that I don't have to pay for any extra rent. I also hope they really like my furniture, dishes, books, and other miscellanea.
7) Get a visa for China. This is turning out to be more complicated that was first thought. J and I purchased flights and reserved hostels for Beijing and Shanghai, but we're not sure we'll be able to secure the visa in time. There are some pretty finicky rules about US citizens living in South Korea.
8) Plan itinerary, find hostels, and get a return trip from Japan. J and I bought one-way tickets to Tokyo with the intention of buying a rail pass and taking a train down south and taking a ferry that goes from Fukuoka (located very far south in Japan) to Busan to return. We still need to buy tickets for these things. Since the China trip may not happen, we may end up staying in Japan for 3 weeks instead of 10 days, so we're not sure yet about the time line.
9) Finalize post-Korea plans. I have loan documents to sign, an apartment to find in a new city, and a whole new mindset to get ready for. Goodbye being a teacher and hello being a student again.