Well, finally, the website has actually started! It’s been a long, lazy, stressful, challenging year….but I did it, folks. In really slow baby steps.
While the purpose of The Real Seoul is to meet visitors and show them an amazing time, I do have to tease you with blogs, blogs, blogs: amazing food write ups, activities, and other things that are The Real Seoul.
But first, before all that, I want you to know me. Where I come from, how I got here, all that. So let’s do this!
My name is Michael Hollifield. I’m 33 (34 in just two weeks to the day). My last home in America was Atlanta, GA, but I grew up in Spartanburg, SC. I moved here in August 2011 on a whim. I was previously working in marketing in and loved it. But, I worked for a small business and was laid off. It was a perfect time as my apartment lease also ended. I searched around the world for teaching jobs.
Did I care about teaching? Absolutely not. I just wanted to live in a new country. In all my search, it turned out that my friend’s co-worker previously worked at the same academy in Korea that wanted to interview me.
I moved to the suburbs of Seoul and worked at a kindergarten and elementary school English academy for three years. It was hard, I busted my ass, but every day I loved life here more and more.
In 2014, I moved to Seoul for a change of pace. I lived in Itaewon, studied Korean, and prepared to apply for business school by taking the GMAT. I got another teaching job. Unfortunately, after two years of trying, the business school plan was not meant to be.
As I stayed here year after year, I realized that I needed more than teaching. That I really wanted to make Korea my forever home. So, I started the process to become a true resident of Korea and get a residency visa that allows complete freedom and independence. More on that later.
So here I am, residency visa in hand. It’s fresh, too, from August! I’m still teaching by day, but I’m focusing more and more on this website and business every day. Once I realllllllly get going, say in one year, I hope to make this my permanent full time job and say goodbye to teaching!
I currently live and work in Gangnam. Yes, that Gangnam. I LOVE my neighborhood. Not for Gangnam Style, not for fanciness. But it’s the best damn neighborhood in Seoul. I can live cheaply, eat cheaply…. and have the best transportation options, cleanest streets and quality infrastructure at the same time! I can’t wait to show off my neighborhood to you.
Oh and since you might have come here for Gay Nightlife info….yes, I’m totally gay. Living with, obviously, a Korean boyfriend! We definitely still go out to the gay bars and I absolutely can show you a great time there.
It is my goal that you love Seoul as much as I do in the short time you are here. That I can share with you what I love and what Koreans are so damn proud of. That you can love soju as much as I love soju.