I just got back from a two week trip in South Korea and it was hands-down one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. Why Korea? I get asked that all the time. I usually cover my face in embarrassment when I say that it all started with a Kdrama. Kdramas, or Korean TV series, have been my obsession for the past two years. As I continued to watch them, I became obsessed with all things Korea. The culture, the history, the people, the food, the language. Everything. I started taking Korean language classes, learning to cook Korean dishes, and study more about the country. One year in, I decided I needed to actually go there, and I did.
What I did in South Korea
I love traveling solo, and I went there by myself. I stayed in Seoul, in the Insadong area. It’s known for it’s tea shops, cafes, art work, handicrafts, and delicious food. There were so many things to do and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to check everything off my travel bucket list. But I did do a lot. I took a cooking class, had an overnight temple stay, visited museums and palaces, ate street food, and more.
What about the language difference?
I am so glad that I took the time to learn some Korean before I went. Being able to greet people, thank them, and ask for things was extremely helpful. I also know Hangeul, the Korean writing system which is surprisingly easy to learn. Because I knew it I was able to know what bus stops to get on and off. Also, I felt like people were genuinely appreciative of me trying to speak to them in their language. A small bow and “thank you” in Korean went a long way. I found people to be very helpful, even with the language difference. Apps like Papago and Naver were life-savers for me.
Why should you go to South Korea
Everyone has their own reasons to travel the places that they do. For me, South Korea was all about pushing myself to learn more about a language and a people that I wasn’t previously very familiar with. The Korean Wave, or Hallyu, “is a cultural phenomenon in which the global popularity of South Korean popular culture has dramatically risen since the 1990s.” Wikipedia Think Kdramas, Kpop, Kbeauty, etc. It’s off the charts popular globally, and I am riding that wave with pure abandon. Why should you go? If you’re a fan of history, delicious food, learning about different cultures and customs, South Korea should definitely be on your travel bucket list. If you have any questions, I’m always down to talk about my experience. Feel free to email me Pebbles@Hot969Boston.com.