Frank Venum

1281    UN    Quality
 

Frank Venum

Age: 39
Member since:  2016-01-18
Last seen in: Korea, South – Seoul National Capital Area (Seoul, Incheon)
on 2019-01-14
Overall rank:

1299

Scores:
186
NM1281
62
UN
70
UN+
83
TCC
108
WHS
KYE
118
MTP

Bio

I was lucky enough to grow up in a 'traveling' family. My parents spent time in Africa in the 70s, and once they got back and had me, we still moved round the country a lot. We also went on a few family holidays to Canada, Tunisia and other places. This sense of momentum stuck with me, and once I had finished University i began to travel on my own. I was also lucky enough to go to Poland in 1995 on a school exchange. My first real travel experiences were inter railing around Spain and Morocco for a few weeks in between Jobs. This started a pattern of job, travel job travel that persisted for about 3 years and took me to France, Germany and Iceland. The Iceland trip really sealed my love of travel, as it was so exotic compared to anything else I had ever seen. This led me to change career, I moved to Scotland from London to complete my teacher training degree at Edinburgh University. At the time my plan was to get qualified, take a year and teach in Japan on the (now defunct) JET scheme. However, I met a Canadian girl who suggested we try South Korea instead. We moved to Korea in 2005, and I lived there for a year straight without leaving the country. It was an eye opening experience that I loved. After a few months off to travel round Thailand, i returned to Korea and spent 4 happy years there working at a local University teaching EAL. This allowed me plenty of time to travel, so I visited Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Singapore, Thailand (again), Vietnam, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Laos during this time, as well as North Korea and China. My favorite destinations again being the strangest (Mongolia and Sri Lanka). During this time, I met my wife (again canadian teaching EAL) in Korea. We enjoyed our time there together, but both felt that a professional change was in order. Life in Korea had something of an 'extended University' feel, and we felt a little old for the young crowd that lived there. My wife did not have her teaching certification, so we came up with a plan to return to the UK, via a year in Dubai to save enough money for University. We were both offered jobs at a small school on the outskirts of Dubai where we remained for a year. We weren't massive fans of the country, and our school was rather badly run so we were happy to leave after a year. Having said that, Dubai is a great travel hub with cheap flights. We were able to visit Jordan, The Ukraine, Nepal, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar all in a year. the visit to Nepal was definitely and confirmed my love of the sub continent. We both returned to the UK determined to get out to travel again as soon as possible. Our year at university didn't allow for a lot of travel, but we did manage to visit Croatia, Bosnia and Montenegro. Bosnia was particularly fascinating, as we had friends who were able to show us round. We then were offered teaching jobs in Jordan, Amman. We were happy to take these as Jordan was a country we had enjoyed visiting. We spent two happy years in Amman, during which we visited every area of the country we could. I'd highly recommend a trip to this fascinating place. Whilst there we managed trips to Cyprus, Turkey, Lebanon, India, Sri Lanka (again) France, Belgium, Hong Kong and Macao. Again the highlights being India and Sri lanka, we were able to visit the Andaman islands, which was a childhood dream come true for me. Whilst we loved the country, Jordan became politically unstable, and many of our friends left. We took the decision to move yet again and ended up in our next location- China. We lived in Suzhou (near Shanghai) for four years. Pollution is as bad as people say, and our jobs were high pressure. Having said that China is a fascinating country. Since living here we have travelled extensively within the country to Nanjing, Shanhai, Beijing, Ningbo, Harbin, Guangzhou, Chonqqing, urumqi and Turpan. We also took an extended trip through Yunnan which was a definite highlight as it is easily the most beautiful part of China I have so far seen. Shanghai is also a great city to live near by, and allows us to access cultural items, like live music. Again, China has allowed us lots of opportunities to travel. We have visited, Phillipines, Indonesia, and East Timor, an excellently unspoiled location. Australia was also possible. We also took the opportunity to visit the Netherlands as well as Portugal. The highlight being a trip to Bhutan, a country I had wanted to visit for 15 years. We have also managed return trips to Japan, Cambodia and Malaysia and Singapore. We also took a very nostalgic trip back to South Korea, and relived our younger traveling days.  One thing that all this travel has taught me is that I can't settle too long in one place, unless I am content. I have also learned that cultural differences make no real difference to who a person is deep down. I also know I want to keep travelling. the world really is a wonderful place.

 

As an update, since 2017 we have travelled to Uzbeksitan, Kyrgystan Myanmar and repeated trips to Vietnam and Thailand. We finished our time in China with a visit to Tibet and Ladakh and Leh in notheren Inda- absolutely amazing. We were also able to visit Budapest and Cuba.

 

We have since moved back to South Korea- an ironic twist that we have enjoyed. We have visited Vietnam, and Malaysia as well as Japan. Our latest trip too in 5 new countries _ Khazakstan, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Finland.

We havejust returned to China (Guilin), Thailand (7th visit) Laos (3rd visit) to the south, Vietnam (4th visit), and Sri Lanka (3rd visit).

Then, we will visit Greece in April (1st time) and then the plan is to visit Denmark, Sweden, Slovenia and Mauritius.

Series scores

Geography

Rank: 804
Score: 65

Urban

Rank: 477
Score: 184

Transport

Rank: 814
Score: 83

Intellectual

Rank: 958
Score: 9

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SOUTHERN EUROPE

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