This summer I had the opportunity of visiting with a long time friend that I originally met in Korea. Tonita is one of those rare souls you meet when you live abroad who comes into your life, makes a huge impact, and disappears all too quickly.

In her case, she left because of what she calls her ultimate Korean souvenir: her son.

I hadn’t seen Tonita since she left Korea approximately 4 years ago, so imagine our joy at reuniting and walking down memory lane of all the awesome experience we had in Korea.

I didn’t visit her to make a video, that wasn’t my intention. However, we did ask her if she wanted to make a video once we were there, and she happily agreed to talk about her experience. This is good, because not only is her experience unique, but also EXTEMELY interesting.

She’s basically the total opposite of me: she’s black, and she’s a bigger woman. She’s also very bubbly and outgoing.

Despite her short time in Korea, she made the most of her experience. She’s done as much as a visitor to Korea as anyone I’ve ever known who’s come to live there.

I remember my first few months being intimidated by the new culture and language. She was actually one of the people who helped pull me out of my shell and helped me learn to make the most of my experience. In other words, she taught me how to enjoy myself there, something that at lest for me did not come naturally at first.

We planning on filming one video and ended up going on some tangents. The first one “Ten Things to Know Before Moving to Korea” and the premise is very simple. I made a list of ten things, didn’t show her the list beforehand and asked her to give her honest gut reaction to each item. The result I find really interesting and informative because it’s pretty much everything you could possibly want to know about Korea in 10 exactly minutes.

We made a whole separate second video came because her answer to number 1 of the first video was just so damn compelling. It’s a topic that I know very little about, but that she’s an expert on.

And so for all of you who dream about dating a Korean, I highly recommend watching the second video, this woman has the experience: the good, the bad and the ugly.

For Tonita: Thank you SOOOO MUUUUCCCCCCCH girl for allowing Richard and I to come to visit you and Kellan, and for letting us stay in your home for a few days in North Carolina. It was such a wonderful experience for me because not only did I get to see a little bit of your hometown area, but we finally got to hang out again. Your southern hospitality was as good as it gets.

  • A Korean in America

    I have been in US for almost a decade now. So you may know what’s going on there better than me.


  • Karen Shortell

    Delightful. I bet you two had a ball in Korea together.