Category Archives: Have Books, Will Travel

Korean Adventures

In July 2017, I had the opportunity to go to Korea for work! I work for a great creative writing program for kids in Vancouver, called the Creative Writing for Children Society. I am one of their writer mentors, teaching an after-school creative writing program for kids. It’s a wonderful program; kids who love to write come and hang out for a few hours a week. We read good books, write stories, hone writing skills and do fun crafts and games to be inspired for writing that week.  One of the perks of working with the CWC is that they have strong ties to Korea, and run a creative writing camp for Korean students, and invited me to join their team of three mentors. Not only that, but this year was extra special, because I was a judge for a children’s creative writing contest hosted by the Canadian Embassy in Seoul.

What an incredible place to visit! Our time at the embassy in Seoul was inspiring, getting the chance to speak with a group of talented young writers. From there, we were whisked away to the countryside, where we taught for a week in what felt a little like the Korean summer version of The Shining hotel (in a good way?). The kids were great, and I loved the opportunity to work with two different groups all week. It wasn’t even that hot, which was the thing that worried me the most going in mid-July! On my breaks, I made sure to explore the river walks and mountain views surrounding us. I didn’t get much writing done, but it was great fun to look around, and be inspired as a teacher to create new programs and classes to bring back to my classes in Vancouver.

The trip finished with three days in Seoul, where the other mentors and I explored all things Korean, including a palace, a theatre, so much shopping, the meerkat cafe, a spa, and my favourite part, the food!

Speaking at the Canadian Embassy in Seoul: a first for me!

My view at the hotel

Making friends

Octopus so fresh it was still moving!

Rainy days = trick eye museum

Meerkats, guys! Meerkats!

Not a meerkat.

Dawson City, I Love You

From January 3rd until March 31st, I had the amazing opportunity to live in Pierre Berton’s house up in Dawson City, Yukon. It was the best three months of my life. Seriously, the best.

Not only was it a cozy home with a great space for getting writing done, the community up there is friendly, welcoming and vibrant, rife with stuff to do!

You might be thinking, “A small town in the middle of the Yukon in the dead of winter? What could there be to do?”
Well, I curled, I hiked, I snowshoed. I went dog mushing. I played a lot of ping pong. I went to trivia nights. I attended potlucks and worked with the kids at the school on writing for the newspaper, and on writing a survival guide for school. I went to concerts, movies, and plays. I also learned how to skijore, which is the best! It’s cross country skiing, but you also harness your body to a sled dog. They pull while you ski, and it’s so fast and sweaty and super fun! I saw the northern lights a lot, and I got to take a weekend trip up to Inuvik, which is in the Northwest Territories and even farther north than I was!

I would say that it was a once in a lifetime experience, but I don’t think it is. I’m already planning my return trip back next winter.