Museums of Seoul

A quick Google search will show you that Seoul alone has dozens of beautiful, interesting museums. I’m willing to go on a month-long trip to Seoul just to explore the history that’s captured there. Unfortunately, we were only able to stop by one museum on this trip, but I list a few other museums I’d like to visit on my trip  back.

Note: Amazingly, museums in Korea don’t have an entrance fee (unless it’s a special exhibit). Most museums, palaces, and other historical sites are closed on Mondays. The museum we went to is open 7 days a week.

National Museum of Korea

The National Museum of Korea has three floors of artifacts and stories, so wear your walking shoes. There are plenty of cafes scattered throughout where you can take a break, and the museum has free WiFi for when you want to enjoy afternoon tea and reconnect with the world.

In addition to the main museum, they have a special exhibit and children’s museum. If you want to see the current exhibit in particular, I recommend going there first, or you may find yourself too exhausted after making your way through everything else.

When you’re done exploring the exhibits, head outside to the nearby Yongsan Family Park and go for a walk.

Other Museums of Seoul

Seoul has so many amazing museums I doubt I could visit them all (comfortably) in less than 2 months. When I return, here are the top 3 on my list that I’d like to visit.

  1. The War Memorial of Korea – It’s fascinating to see how different countries’ museums depict wars. I love the soberness of it all.
  2. Dongdaemun History & Culture Park – I caught a quick glimpse of this on our last night, but sadly the museums had already closed.
  3. Cheonggyecheon Museum – We took a free walking tour along the stream, where we learned a little about its history, but we ran out of time for the museum. I recommend taking a walk along the stream after your visit.

Old City Walls and Samcheong Park

Nearby the cafe-lined streets of Bukhon Hanok Village is Samcheong Park.

Whenever you go to a new place, it’s always a good idea to visit a museum and a park to get a glimpse into the past and present life of the place you’re visiting. Plus, parks are awesome.

Samcheong Park is a great place to go with kids, pets, or alone. They have a library/cafe, mulitple playgrounds and hikes, and an awesome place for people to work out. Most of the people who came to exercise were “ajumas” (grandmas), but I guarantee they were more capable than I was.

There’s a mountain trail that will bring you to a section of the old wall that used to surround the city.

The climb up to Bugaksan Seoul Seonggwak-ro had a lot of steps, but the view was worth it. It takes you up to a section of the wall, past tall trees through old sentinel lookouts. By the time I was out of breath, multiple older couples passed me, and we met a couple who were 70+ and did the hike every week! Putting me to shame.

From the top of the mountain, you can continue on Waryong Park, or continue on yet another hike.

It could take weeks to explore the entire place, and was an awesome find just strolling past. If you’re in Seoul, the park is a simple pleasure but a must-do for my list.

Taman Sari Royal Heritage Spa

Taman Sari is a charming spa in Central Jakarta. It has locally inspired decor, and a great menu of services. We were welcomed with hot ginger tea, got papaya milk scrubs (I recommend it), and ended with local orange juice and tropical fruit; today was watermelon, papaya, and green melons. I find their price and service really good, and I was happy with the treatment.

Tips: If you get a scrub, ask them to heat it up. They put their scrub mixture above a candle so it’s warm when they apply it.

Being grateful for 2016

Downtown Queenstown

As 2016 comes to a close, I’m taking a few moments to look back and be thankful for the year so far.

This year was a test and a blessing, as I lost one of my favorite clients and gained four. I have amazing clients who teach me new things at every interaction.

I worked from the beaches of Coron, city streets of Taipei, ryokans in Kyoto, museums in Auckland, and old towns in Jakarta. Before the year ends, I will also have worked among snowy backdrops in Seoul.

I turned 25 in Tokyo, got my first jellyfish sting, learned to snowboard on The Remarkables, rediscovered my fear of heights while paragliding, and wrote more blog posts than I can count.

I went on a church retreat (despite detesting crowds), tried and failed at TRX, joined a bible study, and still cannot cook.

Through the ups and downs, God has remained a faithful and masterful manager, taking away responsibilities I can’t handle and challenging me enough to grow.

Overall, it was an amazing year. Cheers to the next one.

Thank you 2016 and see you soon 2017!

What should we even be doing at 25?

​Some of us are married with kids, some of us are Tinder veterans. Some of us are virgins, some of us have an intimate knowledge of all of our fetishes. Some of us are living at home trying to figure out what we want to do next. Some of us are young professionals with promising careers trying to figure out what we want to do next.

Many of us are turning to travel to help find ourselves and our purpose. Sometimes it’s a success, sometimes it’s just an escape, but it is one of the more popular things to do in my circle of 20-something friends. Many of them have moved away and found themselves happily occupied with learning how to succeed in a new city; finding their favorite bakeries, making friends with the local baristas, and learning the ropes in a new job.

I don’t associate new locations with new opportunities for myself, because the work I do is location-independent. As a remote worker, I can be as productive in Taipei as I can be in Portland.

The way my quarterlife crisis manifests itself isn’t by wanting to change my settings, see new things, or live somewhere completely foreign. I want to create something valuable. Not just to make money, but as my contribution to the world and my ‘out’ for myself. I can say, “here world, take this great thing I built and let that be my legacy. Don’t ask about marriage or kids, dont ask about my income. Look at this, and be satisfied, so I dont have to play the game or keep up with my generation of amazing innovators anymore.”

I don’t think we are the first generation to experience the ‘quarterlife crisis,’ but I think we are unique in that we can share it. The Internet connects us all, so that we read articles like this one, where someone your age going through relatively the same emotions can spill their guts and you go “so I’m not the only one who feels like I should be doing more at 25? Young enough to do so much, old enough to feel like time is running out.”

How have you been dealing with your quarterlife crisis? Tell me about where you are right now and what you want to do. I’ll do my best to reach out and help, even if the best I can do for you is be a listening ear. And, if you have an exciting side project idea for a remote marketer, especially if it’s in the renewable resources sector, please get in touch 🙂

Photo Privacy: Organize and Secure Your Photos with Sherish

Sharenting: When parents share information about their children on social media Did you know that more than 1/2 of parents who share about their children on social media give information that could identify their child’s location? A sharenting study by the University of Michigan found some disturbing trends in the social media habits of parents regarding their children. Many parents over-share on social media, and could unknowingly disclose sensitive information about their families to unscrupulous viewers. Sherish Logo The solution to this dangerous lack of privacy lies in Sherish, a new app developed to provide users with a secure place to store and share their photos. Sherish is completely private; you share certain photos with specific people (vs. a list of friends so long you probably forgot who’s on it), and you can revoke access at any time. As the image owner, you remain in full control of who sees your family and personal pictures. Sherish Twitter header Sherish is super simple to use, ad-free, and offers unlimited storage space. That means you can save as many pictures as you want! You can attach voice notes to any image, so for example, if you have a picture of your child’s first birthday, you can attach a recording of the family singing happy birthday. Sherish also has tons of other features, including duplicate removal, automatic backups, easy importing, complete and total privacy assurance, convenient organization tools and more.

Download Sherish here

I’m also pleased to announce that I’m helping out Sherish with some social media and writing on a trial basis! I believe in the need for a service like this, especially because we have to think about the future. Do you know whether your children will appreciate that picture of them using the bathroom when they’re old enough to sign up for social media? No. Once an image is out on the Internet, it’s almost impossible to “get it back” and eliminate all copies. When something goes viral it actually is impossible–people can save images right off their desktop, take screenshots on their phones, etc. I also like the assurance of privacy, which is refreshing in a cyber world where social media sites have confusing privacy agreements. I know that some sites will slip in a clause that allows them to use any of the pictures you upload for ad purposes–imagine having your face on a sidebar ad for some sleezy product. Infuriating, right? Anyways, try it out. They have a special promotion right now where you get 6 months free, so get it before it’s gone!

#MatrixChallenge with David’s Salon: Chopping it all off

Long hair is great for keeping you warm (especially the ears), but in a tropical country like the Philippines it’s a nuisance. Long hair is heavy, there’s too much of it, and it takes up oodles of shampoo! So, for all you ladies with at least eight inches of hair to spare, please consider taking the Matrix 8 Inch Cut for Cancer challenge. Just visit any David’s salon and ask about hair donations!

I visited David’s Salon in Eastwood unaware of this opportunity, but mentioned that I was looking for a charity that took hair donations. My hair has never been treated or colored, and hadn’t been cut in a year so it was down to my waist and a pain in the butt. They told me if I donated 8 or more inches of my hair, I could get it cut for free! No-brainer. It’s like the stars aligned when I walked into the one salon where I could donate my hair.

I’m not telling you to shave your head, but short hair is quite liberating. Easy to brush, easy to clean, and it feels like my head is 3lbs lighter. The most important thing being you can give someone a gift that we usually take for granted–a full head of hair!

Get your hair cut in any David’s Salon until December 31, 2014 and you can take the Matrix Challenge and get a free (and gorgeous) new haircut!

2014 was a contract, Make 2015 a better one

Every year should be better for you than the last one was, and one way to make sure that happens is to treat each year as a contract.

  • Consider everything you’ve done and are doing this year, and decide whether you want to take it with you into the next. Look at your current living situation, your roommates, your wardrobe, your personal brand. What do you want to take with you into 2015? What should you leave in the past?
  • Fire the clients that cost too much time for too few returns. These clients could be a relationship, a job, a habit, or anything else that has bad ROI. As a professional, signing contracts you need to “get by” will do that and only that. You’ll get by, learn for a little while as all new experiences go, and then you’ll stop growing, stop moving and maybe even stop dreaming.
  • Discuss renewal terms. Every time you renew a contract, you know a little more about the company than you did at the last contract signing. Maybe now you know the company is stingy with vacation leave, or they are not paying you a living wage. Now that you are equipped with the knowledge of experience, get better terms moving forward. You could agree to give yourself every Sunday to relax, or to save up more of your paycheck for retirement.
  • A contract exists to ensure the survival and encourage the growth of the company and signee. When a professional signs a contract, he or she is there to help the success of the company. A historic researcher wouldn’t sign a contract to teach math. Look at what parts of your contract didn’t result in the success of all parties. What parts of your life aren’t helping you grow and learn?

Happy New Year! Make it better than the last.

Time is the New Money

There’s a new currency emerging in employees’ benefits schemes; time. Ask the best employee you have to work 12-hour days, seven days a week and he or she will eventually (and unhappily) quit no matter how much you pay. But give your employees their time back, and you give them their freedom. Give them their freedom, and they can work without that nagging feeling of constraint or wishing they were somewhere else–because essentially, they have their freedom because they have their job.

Virgin employees have unlimited vacation days, which allow all salaried staff to take off whenever they want for as long as they want (without having to keep track!). Netflix also allows unlimited vacation days, and no one–not employees themselves nor managers–keeps track of time off. It works!

Back in the old days – 2004 – Netflix treated holidays the old-fashioned way: it allotted everyone N days a year. You either used them up – or you duked it out with accounting to try to get paid for the time you didn’t consume.

But eventually some employees recognised that this arrangement was at odds with how they really did their jobs. After all, they were responding to emails on weekends, they were solving problems online at home at night. And every so often, they would take off an afternoon to ferry a child to the pediatrician or to check in on an aging parent.

Since Netflix wasn’t tracking how many hours people were logging each work day, these employees wondered, why should it track how many holidays people were taking each work year? (Pink, D. H., The Telegraph)

Why does it work? Think about it; if you have the greatest job in the world that lets you take all the time off you want, would you abuse it at the risk of losing a job? Or would you work twice as hard to ensure the company succeeds and doesn’t change their awesome holiday scheme?

Alternatively, if you work for a company that deducts pay every time you come in late, and doesn’t pay any extra for all the times you come in early or work late, would you stay? How frustrated would you be?