Who are you?
We are Brock and Tanj and we run the travel blog A Travelogue by Brock and Tanj. We are a husband and wife who are adventurers and visual storytellers who love to see the world together. We document our expat lifestyle through photographs – big or small, even the mundane or the extraordinary details of our travels, with our dogs. So far, our jet-setting life took us to live in four countries across three continents.We cannot think of anything that excites us more than seeing the world together, living in other countries, experiencing cultures and eating our way through different places.
Where, when and why did you move abroad?
We always wanted the life of travel so we decided to work abroad. After graduating from one of the top universities in the Philippines, Tangerine decided not to pursue the normal 9 to 5 lifestyle. Instead, she joined one of the most prestigious airlines in the world, which happened to be in the Middle East working as a Flight Attendant. In 2005, Brock’s employer at the time was recruiting staff for reconstruction projects in Iraq. Just out of college, no savings and still living at home, Brock thought it was the perfect opportunity to see the world and build his savings.
What challenges did you face during the move to South Korea?
One of the biggest challenges when we move is moving with our dogs and if the house/apartment we are staying at accepts dogs. Before moving them, there is tons of paperwork you have to know, from importing to exporting them. We love our dogs and we treat them as our kids so we do not mind jumping through hoops for them. Our dogs are rescued from different countries we lived at, just a side note.
Are there many other expats in your area?
Where we live in South Korea, our development is filled with expats so it isn’t too hard. On the other hand, some areas we know in South Korea, there are just a handful of expats.
What do you like about life where you are?
What we like most about living in South Korea is the efficiency of the public transport system. It is easy for us to get around using public transport and navigate the city specially in Seoul. In Seoul, English is much more widely spoken than the rural areas and there’s a variety of restaurants for expats to enjoy.
What do you dislike about your expat life?
Though it’s part of the process, we dislike the constant moving, packing, unpacking and not knowing what’s going to happen to us. At some point, after ten years, four big moves under our belt, it’s exhausting and tiring.
What is the biggest cultural difference you have experienced between your new country and life back home?
Probably, just the language/communication barriers in general. Since we live in more rural parts of Korea, sometimes it’s hard to translate everything. Though this is a hassle, thanks to apps like Google Translate, it’s easier for us to communicate.
What advice would you give to anyone following in your footsteps?
Expat life is not for everyone; you may not enjoy it if you are not adventurous, curious or won’t-get-of-your-comfort-zone type of person because you will really experience the unexpected. Before accepting this lifestyle, you have to really be ready for change and be open to anything that comes your way. In the end, nothing really beats the experience of living in other countries and actually experiencing it for yourself. You will forever cherish this experience because there is nothing like it.
What are your plans for the future?
Actually, just two weeks ago, we repatriated back to the US and we will call this home for now.