A Place to Rest Your Head

Our new humble abode. This is what most of the new apartment buildings look like where we live.

I’m very happy to announce that we are unpacked, uncluttered and completely settled into our new place. While it was a long day last Saturday as we spent the good part of 13 hours packing up, making trips back and forth and unpacking everything, we now feel right at home in our new place.

Packing: our worst nightmare but our cats dream come true

While with our last place, we drove around solo and found new buildings, it wasn’t possible to do that with our new location. We moved out of a relatively new, spread out area where buildings are being completed monthly and into an older town nearby which is densely populated with people and apartment buildings. We needed serious help navigating this maze of buildings.

We recruited a great Korean friend of ours to help us out. Little did we know that it would once again, take a lot of foot work to find the perfect place for us. See, in Korea, you can’t just go to one realtor to show you all of the available apartments like you can in the States. Each realtor is responsible for a certain area and can only show you a few apartments each. We must have gone to 6 different realtors to see more apartments that I care to remember. We saw brand new 350 square foot apartments (that we tried our best to be optimistic about and try to plan where our furniture stacked boxes would go) to 800 square foot apartments that we had to navigate through the smoke clouds and piles of trash to see the place. Let’s just say, we were a little more than discouraged.

Then we found the place. You know, the one the realtor shows you, knowing perfectly well that it is just out of your price range. The one that you compare all other places to after that. Yea, we saw, and fell in love with, that one. The thing is though, it wasn’t entirely out of our price range. The key money (remember, it’s like a really big deposit) was really low so we offered them more key money in exchange for lower rent. No go. We were disheartened but continued on our way to look at more apartments. Later that week we got an unexpected phone call from a previous realtor saying that she got the owner of the place we loved to come down in rent. Perfect! We went down to the office to sign papers only to find out the place was already taken. But! But, wait for it, the one across the hall that was bigger and more expensive was still available. If we couldn’t even afford the smaller one, there was no way we could afford the larger one. We were about to give up hope and hit the pavement again when they told us that the landlord was willing to give us the larger place for the price of the smaller one. The shock didn’t wear off for days after that. We feel so blessed to have been able to get the apartment we did, and we have no doubt that God has His hand in all of this (and probably to teach me a little lesson about patience!). 

This is the one room hubs is disappointed about. No room for a shower curtain in this one!

So, might I add, that Koreans have a pretty awesome habit that many foreigners who are provided unfurnished apartments take full advantage of. In each apartment complex, there are ‘furniture drop off’ areas. Aka, gold mines. Our second year we moved into an unfurnished apartment. The landlord graciously provided the bed, fridge, tv and washer but that was it. So for a good month we went scavenging for furniture. Sure, we could go buy it. But when we aren’t staying forever and we have found perfectly good furniture in these areas, what’s the point? I am proud to say that we found every piece of furniture in our apartment minus the bed and TV stand which were provided. Couch, chair, bookshelves, vacuum, microwave, table, the list goes on. Through this process, Korea has taught us to be extremely thrifty. And we’ll probably be the couple back in the states that’s looking through the dumpsters for a new chair. I’m ok with it.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14652599539623634250 Karen Curtis

    The “drop off” is a pretty cool concept. Like Craigslist but free and more convenient!

    -Karen
    http://www.yourstylistkaren.com

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04390613561715464322 Mary De Bastos

    Looks cozy!! I love the idea of the furniture drop off!! I wish we had something like that here. But, everyone wants to sell it and make money.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16603955636771429512 gladley

    I love the concept of a furniture drop-off – I definitely could have done with that when I was a student!

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03340277403271465452 lost in travels

      Me too! Luckily for me I had older siblings that I got to take stuff from : )

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12090735810562146009 M and L

    That is so awesome! Bet you two are thrilled :) Love the new place. & yes, I know that feeling about owning used furniture. The only new piece of furniture we have was a wedding gift, everything else was thrifted or made :)

    -L

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03340277403271465452 lost in travels

      We are! We’re so glad we found such a great place! We were the same way when we lived in the states, it was all hand me downs from family. But hey, it’s free and still looks nice!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17330800382323726076 Savanah

    I’m your newest follower from the clarisonic giveaway (i’m participating too!) Love your blog and can’t wait to read more about your adventures!!

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03340277403271465452 lost in travels

      I’m so glad you stopped by and decided to follow along!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02924067155608140518 lilywanderlust

    It’s very cool to see your place in S. Korea, I have always thought of living there for a year to teach… Here in Amsterdam, it’s not an uncommon sight to see Dutch (my boyfriend included) people rummaging through giveaways and junk outside on the corner, not quite as nice as an official donation room though :)

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03340277403271465452 lost in travels

      You should! It’s such a great opportunity to live in a different culture and travel the world! And I’m glad to see it’s not just the foreigners here that like to rummage : )

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08468446498929492169 Shireen McCleary

    Oh my gosh totally thrifty!! Lol my apartment in Korea came decently furnished, but over the year, I found awesome stuff left outside. Now that I’m back in the states, I’ve continued to “scavenge” for free stuff on CL or when people leave furniture outside of my apt building with a sign that says FREE. Picking up this stuff makes me feel a little like a hobo but my bank account isn’t complaining :) Great apartment!!! It looks SUPER nice even by US standards! Bc we all know how Korean buildings are slapped together in a month then leak and smell forever after.

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03340277403271465452 lost in travels

      You can find such great stuff on the street here! haha, i told my family back home about it and they just gave me weird looks.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01913588998763402939 Amy

    yes…God is so good…especially when we are extra patient! Love this post…your new apartment is adorable!

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03340277403271465452 lost in travels

      I AGREE! I just need to be more patient!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08909202849532507950 Dan and Vanessa

    Wow! You guys are brave to find your own place vs. whatever the hagwon offers. Guess if you’ve been here for a bit and know how things work, it’s probably easier to navigate the system. Cute place! Cute cat!! hehe

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03340277403271465452 lost in travels

      It was intimidating at first but we’re so glad that we did it! It has definitely been worth the extra work to have a place of our own!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07230317338656376910 Kaylin

    Just found your blog through Postcards for Rachel, and fell in love. I am TEFL certified, but have never been brave enough to go teach. Newest follower

    Would love for you to stop by my neighborhood if you get a chance.
    http://stayblondeskilocal.blogspot.com/

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03340277403271465452 lost in travels

      I’m so glad you found us and stopped by! That’s awesome that you’re certified, I would HIGHLY recommend traveling with it! It’s been one of the best experiences we’ve ever had!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05405115935272870774 Linny

    So happy for you! That is so cool about the furniture drop off area, I wish more places did that! I hope you have a wonderful week!

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03340277403271465452 lost in travels

      Me too! We’re definitely going to miss it once we go back to the states!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04779894634614425090 Brianna Renee

    your place looks fantastic! glad you guys are all settled and made yourself a homey home.

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03340277403271465452 lost in travels

      Thanks so much! We’re glad we got settled quickly : )

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07177081269343759076 Treasure Tromp

    the apartment looks fantastic!!

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03340277403271465452 lost in travels

      Thanks! We’re really excited about how it turned out!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00174774989199314006 Beka

    I love the new apartment and I’m glad God gave you the perfect one!

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03340277403271465452 lost in travels

      Me too! We feel so blessed to have found this place!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18101932639543215210 Lindsay

    Furniture Drop Off areas sound fabulous! Before we bought our house, we were always moving from apartment to apartment, not wanting to lug crappy furniture with us or buy something nice just to move again. That’s so cool!

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03340277403271465452 lost in travels

      It’s a life saver! And they drop off such great stuff!