About Coco

Update: I moved away from Korea in March of 2012, and now live in Portland, Oregon. Please visit me on my current site, Courtney Tait. See you there!

The name Coco Busan merges one part myself and one part port-city-jammed-with-4-million-people on the South Korean coast.

The nickname Coco was given to me years ago by my friend Sarah, who I roomed with briefly in a two-bedroom flat in Melbourne, Australia. Three months later I left to camp up the East Coast but the name stuck, made its way back to Canada when I returned home, and was adopted by a bunch of friends who are now scattered from Toronto to Victoria and who still call me only that.

Busan is, as of February 2010, my current home.  It’s a sister city to Seoul, a smaller, lesser-known and lesser-explored urban maze that, until a year ago, I didn’t know existed.  During a post-degree stint selling real estate in Edmonton and dreaming of ways to live overseas again, I stumbled on a website that coined Busan ‘The San Francisco of Korea.’ ‘Well,’ I thought, ‘I’ve always wanted to live in San Francisco.’  Six months later I landed.

I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and Journalism, and in addition to teaching, I work as a freelance writer.  Since the Coco Busan blog first launched, it has evolved to feature stories and images not only from Busan but from other parts of Korea, places I strive to capture in an unexpected way that may inspire you to see them yourself.  (At the end of most posts you will find a “Get There” section with directions.)  My published work spans a range of topics–most recently Korean culture, global fashion, and ways to volunteer– and you will find current articles posted here as well.

My passion for people, travel, culture, photography, art, and music continually inspires my words.  I invite you to visit Coco Busan as often as you like–scroll through, have a read, and feel free to say hello!


A few facts:

~I grew up in Victoria, Canada, a gorgeous little city on the Southern tip of Vancouver Island.

~Busan is the second-biggest city in Korea, and the world’s fifth-biggest port.

~Located on Korea’s Southeast coast, Busan is bordered by a range of seven mountains and seven beaches.

~Before completing university, travel was my focus.  I’ve lived in the UK, Israel, Australia, and New Zealand, and backpacked through Western Europe, Egypt, and South East Asia.  I am so happy to be out in the world again.




13 thoughts on “About Coco

  1. hi:) thanks to share us a beautiful city. Where I dream to live there in the future. !! : )
    I just discover your site, and I don’t regret anything 🙂 : )
    Do you speak korean or not? what is cheap to live in Busan?
    Do you think foreigners can work in other job than teach english? For sea carriage, for example…

    Sorry for my english :/
    진짜 감사입니다 🙂

    Eloïse from France 🙂

  2. wow. ive been reading your blog and you seem like a really cool person. I’m glad you are having fun in korea. I studied in the UK and am super jealous that you have seen egypt that is definitely a place I want to see.

    it sounds like you have had quite the adventure.


  3. Hi Coco, thanks for sharing, this is awesome. I was looking for info on how to get to High1 when I found this blog. Very nice. I just moved here from Singapore yesterday, staying for 5 months =)

  4. Thanks! I appreciate you saying so.

    As for a quote, no problem. I’d be happy to help out. Feel free to shoot me an email anytime (gbcurley@gmail.com).

    Have a great Seollal holiday. Stay warm.

    • Hi Gregory,

      Nice to hear from you. My pleasure to have you on the blog roll–Hermit Hideaways is an inspiring world to check out. (Thanks for adding me to your list as well.) On that note, I’d like to do a post sometime soon featuring your blog–perhaps I can contact you for a quote?

  5. Hello Coco, I am in the process of landing a teaching job in Busan. I adore reading your blog and catching up on your adventures so I can learn a bit more about the city and Korea. Do you know of some credible schools in the area so I can keep my eyes out for them?

    • Hi Katherine,
      Thanks for your message, glad you’re enjoying the blog! As for schools, I’m really only familiar with the one I work at (the next opening there will be in February), but what I recommend is making sure you go through a good recruiter and get the email address of a current teacher at the school so you can contact them for info before you accept. Their opinion is the best you can trust. Your recruiter should also be checking to make sure the school is not on any “blacklists.” I highly recommend Jim Russell at http://www.russellrecruiting.com. He was very prompt and professional and helped me find a great school. Best of luck, and hope you keep reading!

  6. Hi! I just found your blog after looking for other English teachers living in Korea. I love all your pictures! I am coming over in October to teach at a girl’s middle school in Seongnam and I’m so excited 🙂

    • Thanks Caroline, glad you like the blog and photos. I checked out bonbon milk, love the fashion photos! Look me up if you make it down to Busan once you’re in Korea! 🙂

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