What we Learned

We are coming on a year living in South Korea. If you told me three years ago I would be writing a post about all the things you need to know about living here, I would have told you that you are crazy, but here we are so lets get into it. Here is a run down of everything I wished I new getting ready to pcs here and everything we learned.

What should I bring- the big question

All things House

With weight limits being half of what they normally are for a pcs we struggled on determining what we should leave behind and what we should bring. Like everyone else we asked for the opinions on the support page. We decided to leave everything and only bring our bed and mattress.. WRONG worst decision of my life. The loaner furniture housing provides is nice, it is decently comfortable but its all brown and my 70s aesthetic of bright colors and funky patterns was not having any of it, I felt like we were living in a hotel and it was hard mentally. We have sense purchased 2 couches and bed for Westley along with two rocking chairs and a desk. So if you have the weight bring your couches! It is crazy what a little bit of your own things can do for your mental health.

As far as decor goes, bring anything the does not hang on the walls. Unlike other bases we have lived, you are not allowed to put any holes in the wall what so ever, making hanging anything nearly impossible. I have had zero luck with sticky strips staying on the walls, resulting in my favorite clock falling and breaking the top of a chair.... yikes. It is easy to liven up a home with plants rugs and furniture so take advantage of that!

Weather: In my opinion the winters are mild here so you will be set with a warm winter coat and a decent pair of boots. I love my Columbia coat for those days that are on the colder side and my Uggs or docs! Monsoon season on the other hand, runs from July to august about, and the rains are no joke. I'd invest in good rain coats, not heavy ones because the rain and humidity make it very hot outside.

Air: The air quality here in Korea is something to be desired. If you purchase anything for your big move make it air purifiers. The px does sell them along with many places off base, however we got ours from amazon and absolutely love them! We got two big ones that cover the entire house, instead of getting ones for every single room. ive attached the ones we got below!

Nuwave OxyPure ZERO Air Purifiers, Large Room Up to 2002 Ft², 20 Yr Reusable Bio Guard Tech Air Filter, 0.1 Microns, 100% Capture Allergies, Dust, Pollen, Pet Dander, Mold, Odor Smoke, Smart WiFi,21dB

Limited-time deal: Nuwave OxyPure Smart Air Purifier Cleans X-Large Area up to 2,671sq ft, 5-Stage Filtration, Auto Mode with Air Quality & Odor Sensors, Removes 100% of Dust, Smoke, Pollen, Allergens, Odors, 5-Yr Wty


Doctors office:

Like most bases( at least the ones I've been too) all the doctors offices are located In the hospital. I have been blessed with nothing but great experiences every time we have visited. We arrived in Korea pregnant and gave birth here.( this is a blog in itself). I have nothing but great things to say about my doctors here! My only frustration I have encountered is they tend to be understaffed a lot of times so getting to see the family doctors can be difficult. Take advantage of the appointment line ( 0503-337-2273) to schedule all your stuff. I tend to schedule both my boys and myself all at once to get everything on the books. All the doctors are fabulous in our experience.

Dentist- is located in the px by lodging ( Sentry Mall). They were amazing with my two year old!

Sentry Mall Waze pin: 36.947644,127.025106

USAG Humphreys

Getting to South Korea-

Lodging- Get on the list asap. The lodging on base fills up extremely fast, as soon as you have your orders make your reservations so you aren't having to hassle with finding a place off base until you get your housing.

Packing- We made the awful mistake of taking advantage of using all the baggage we were allowed, between the 3 of us we had 12 bags and carry ons. It was awful, our first shipment of home goods came within a month of being here. Our car arrived while we were still in lodging and the rest of our goods came within a few months. We didn't end up using 90% of the things we packed, and having all the extra luggage was a nightmare. I highly highly recommend one bag an adult and have your kiddos share a bag. The lodging when you get to base has free laundry so take advantage of it. You don't need all the things you think.

The lovely plane ride: If you have kids, you already know where this is going. Preparing my 2 year old for that long flight was something I dreaded. He's a spunky, wild, full of energy little one so I new I had to get all the things to keep him busy.

-Busy books were my first purchase- they are perfect silent toys and have so many different actives for the kiddos to do, it kept him busy for hours!

I got him his own little backpack he was able to carry on his own throughout the airports and it had all is stuff in it, giving me one less thing to carry.

-Suction cup toys-I got these for the windows of the plane and it kept him busy for along while.

-Bluetooth headphones: let's be honest screen time can be a life savor at times. We got my son wireless headphones and he got an iPad for the trip. We downloaded things like abc Mouse, Disney, Netflix and all the things. Take advantage of the downloading part on these apps so you don't have to worry about being connected to internet. I promise the unlimited screen time is not going to kill them and will help with your sanity!

I've also seen 5 point seatbelts you can purchase for the plane seats and they help the kids sit still better because it makes them feel like they are in their carseat. We did not have one so I can't say if they help or not, Just do your research.

Getting to base to the airport- Learn from our mistake and make sure to find the shuttle bus that takes you right to base, as long as you have your id you will be able to take it. Unfortunately, we did not know about this and we took a taxi.. almost 200 dollars later we learned our lesson! be warned the taxi drivers walk around the airport and are really convincing ha.

On or off post- We live on post, and I will be honest we have a really nice place. I was pleasantly surprised once we got into housing. We are 5 minutes away from the hanger( where my husband works) so it truly has been a blessing. However, id consider looking off post if it is an option you are okay with. You're in a new country take advantage of it. Dawson and I often find ourselves wishing would have lived off base to get the full experience of living in a new place. Do your research and chose what's best for your family. But don't knock it off the idea completely, the places are really cute!

Things to accomplish to get settled in the first month-

sofa stamp in passports this is as simple thing that you can knock off right away. You will need a copy of orders and a letter from sg1 ( as I recall). The sofa stamp office is located in Mude Hall ( same place as in and out processing). They are only open a few days a week so make sure to check the hours before you go.

Drivers license- you will be required to take a corse and pass the test( its all online) to get your drivers license. Once you pass getting the license is really simple! Your service member theoretically should receive the information on the link to accomplish this.

Shopping Korea

My go to stores in Korea for groceries are daiso, emart, Costco, Olive Young, and starfield mall. We also hit the 3/8ths market located in the Ville.

Dasio- think of it as a high end dollar store, they have a little bit of everything and its all extremely cheap!

[Naver Map]

Daiso Pyeongtaek Segyo Branch

경기 평택시 평택로 311

Emart-think of it as a Walmart they have really good fresh produce!

Naver Map]

E-mart Pyeongtaek Branch

경기 평택시 영신로 29 이마트

COSTCO- you can use your American membership here but the Korean one is cheaper!

Naver Map]

Costco Wholesale Korea Cheonan Branch

충남 천안시 서북구 3공단6로 77


Olive Young- All things skin care. I am not going to add a pin for this because there are a million around. My favorite band right now are: The ordinary.

3/8ths market- think of this as a farmers Market. It is located in the Ville right outside of base on days that end in 3 or 8. They have the best fresh produce however we stopped going because we just don't go through the amount of produce that you get. We ended up waisting a lot. If you eat a lot of fruit and veggies it is worth checking out!

Starfield- this is a mall that has 4 floors! They have stores like Zara, H&M, Nike, Converse etc. They also have a Dasio and a small grocery store. There is a movie theater and arcades. They pretty much have everything. My favorite winter activity is to take my son there early in the mornings when they open at 10 and let my soon run around. There is hardly anyone there and it gets his energy out.

[Naver Map]

Starfield Anseong

경기 안성시 공도읍 서동대로 3930-39

for the stores like Costco daiso and emart- Bring your own shopping bags, as most places reqire you to use your own/ Pay for your own/ simply don't provide any.

Traveling Korea

If you find yourself traveling a lot around Korea id suggest investing in a high-pass for the toll roads. This just saves yourself the headache of paying the tickets later on or at the booths. It is a device you put-on your windshield with a prepaid card that automatically pays as you drive through. You can get them at the highpass store in the px across from smoothy king.

Apps to Get

Naver- this is my favorite for off post. It is a navigation app that tells you where all the speed cameras are ha! It does not work on base but it truly is my favorite.

Waze- this is another navigation app that does work on base.. I don't love it for off base

Google translate- I like this one because you can type or take photos for the translation.

Kakaomap- is another navigation app- however ive never used it

Subway Korea- for the subways

SRT- for the bullet train

EZBus- Camp Humphreys- has all the different buss routes and times.

Basic Phrases to Learn

안녕하세요- annyeonghaseyo: Hello

안녕히 가세요- annyeonghi gaseyo: Goodbye

감사합니다- gamsahabnida- Thank you

My Favorite Places:

Cafe Louis- coffee located in the ville

snow pea-sushi- located in the ville

Maple- best shrimp tacos and margs ive ever had- located on base by yoon gate

I think I touched on everything. I hope this helps! Come to Korea with an open mind, it is a once in a life time experience.