Lauren Kilberg is making her mark on the blogosphere, as the owner of a 5-year-old destination and design blog, Double Takes, and a newer blog (2-years-old, which is approximately 36 in blog years) solely dedicated to her explorations in Korea, and sleeping without a bed frame. She is also a freelance contributor to several travel and Korea-focused outlets such as WorknPlay, Jettsettlers and The Korea Blog (the official blog of Korea). Kilberg is always looking for new ways to engage with Korean culture and meaningfully connect with her host country. Check out her blogs for insights into Korea, worldwide travel, and breathtaking design!

How did you end up in Korea and how long have you been here?

Let’s start with the easy answer. I’ve been in Korea for just over 2 years. How I got here is a little harder to say. A number of factors contributed to my expatriation. Mainly, I had a strong desire to start my post-college life out on the most exciting foot while avoiding unemployment. I visited Korea the summer after I graduated and fell in love with the country and its culture. Exactly 6 months later I moved here. It’s been all kimchi and Kpop ever since.

Why did you create your first blog and how has it transformed since you first arrived?

I created my first blog in the fall of 2007. Double Takes has been up and running ever since. I studied creative writing at university and, like many college students, spent an exorbitant amount of time procrastinating online. I basically wanted a place to catalogue the appealing things I was finding. It has greatly changed over the past 5 years, but still remains a place for me to share things I find worthy of sharing.

What are the differences between your two blogs?

Double Takes is my real blog. I curate and write posts relating to travel and design. My other “blog” is just a place for me to post pictures and short anecdotes about my travels and life overseas. I’m pretty sure only my Mom reads it. I also freelance blog specifically about Korea for a number of outlets like WorknPlay, Jettsettlers and The Korea Blog (the official blog of Korea).

What about Korean culture are you most passionate about? Food, language, customs, Seoul, hiking?

In my 2 years here, I’ve tried to learn about and immerse myself in Korea’s culture as much as possible. I absolutely love the food here, from sanakji to moksal. I still stop dead in my tracks in awe every time I see someone in a hanbok or doing bows at a temple. I think my favorite actual cultural experience was the weekend I spent living with the monks at Haeinsa Temple.

How has blogging about Korea changed the way you experience it?

It has definitely encouraged me to learn a lot more about the place I’ve been living. You have to know the topic you’re writing about and also be having experiences worth sharing.

What blogs and websites do you read to keep up with events in Korea?

A lot. I subscribe to loads of blogs and websites via my reader, like 10 Magazine, Chincha!? (of course) and a myriad of news sources. I also follow a lot of other Korean expats and bloggers on twitter. There’s such a great wealth of information out there.

Where do you find your subjects and what do you look for in good blog post topics?

Finding good content to post on Double Takes often feels like more work than actually writing the posts. I really like the curating aspect involved with the kind of blogging I do. I’m constantly searching blogs, Twitter, Pinterest, and so forth, looking for genuinely interesting content. The criteria for what gets posted on my blog is pretty simple, I have to think it’s the coolest thing I’ve seen all day, it has to pertain to travel and design and I prefer it to be unique and not already posted on a lot of other blogs.

If you had to write a mission statement for your blog, what would it sound like?

It’d probably say something about how destination and design are two peas in a pod. It’d also probably have a bunch of spelling errors in it, as I’m a writer with no spelling abilities.

Do you have any advice to aspiring bloggers?

Do it! Also, do it well. Have a clear idea of what you want your blog to accomplish, then find a unique approach to accomplish it.

Something you think we should know about Korea that you don’t think most people know!

The more you do with your time here and the more you experience this country, the more you will absolutely love it.

Seoul favorites: 1) Neighborhood, 2) bar, 3) coffee shop, 4) restaurant

  1. Insadong by day / Hongdae by night.
  2. Anywhere with imported (or real) beer. For example, Craftworks.
  3. I love coffee but sort of hate the coffee shop culture in Korea (don’t get me started).
  4. OK2 Kitchen. Eat there. Do it!

Images all courtesy of Lauren Kilberg at .

Interview by Julia Bass.