Hello everyone! I would like to offer a little insight about me and how I got here. My name is Janelle and I am the creator of this little blog. I am 27 years old and currently live in Houston, Texas. But I wasn’t always in Texas! I actually grew up in rural southwestern, Pennsylvania. Emphasis on RURAL. There were no tall buildings or even much of a public transportation system where I came from. Mostly just farms and the friendliest people you may ever meet!
Growing up I always knew I wanted to travel. My aspirations to experience new cultures and places wasn’t quite the norm for someone from a town of 1,900 people. However, I’ve always been one to go for my goals so I started making some plans for after I finished college.
The main reason I have always been so driven is because of my mom. We have always been very close and I feel really lucky to call her my mom. She has been a nurse for over 35 years and has always been there for me and puts everyone before herself. She has been a great role-model over the years.
Usually people expected me to take interest in the medical field like she did, but I had different passions such as the arts. During my undergrad I decided to major in theatre arts and minor in international history. I graduated Cum Laude and loved every minute of working with the Band of Brothers Shakespeare Company or the occasional film or modeling job that came my way. To support myself I worked some temp jobs and took on blogging and photography as a hobby. After a year or two I discovered that I wanted to work with kids. I had done a lot of volunteer work during university and found myself missing it. After discovering teach abroad programs, getting certified, and applying I got the opportunity to teach in Seoul, South Korea.
Living abroad is a rewarding experience, but at the same time has it challenges. I lived in Seoul for two years and was not immune to the culture shock or even the unfortunate experience of having my purse stolen in a pub. Yet, the good definitely outweighs the challenges of a life abroad. I loved teaching the students at Mangwoo Elementary. The kids were adorable and I miss them very much. While I was abroad I also met a wonderful guy that I have been with for a year now. We had a chance meeting during the last two months I was in Korea. He was in Seoul teaching SAT prep at a hagwon (private academy) and was heading back to the states for his PHD. I was also moving and looking for a new city to call home. In the end I moved to Houston where he happens to be studying and it was a wonderful decision.
After months of job-hunting in Houston I ended up getting a job at a well-known university in the Houston area. During the daytime I work as a faculty assistant in which I support faculty members preparing for their classes. In my downtime I can usually be found traveling, blogging, cooking, and sharing pictures. It is my hope that I can share some of those things through this blog.
I don’t claim to be a profound writer or the authority on anything I post in my blog. I simply find blogging to be a fun way to record events and little tidbits from life we can eventually look back on and smile. I hope people will enjoy this blog and I encourage you to feel free to ask questions and share some of your own stories with me as well.
Note: If you are interested in teaching abroad you may find some helpful information on my old blog (Shimmering Seoul) which is where I go into detail about my time teaching in Korea: