(This is not Gangneung [obvs] - just to clarify - it was our going away party for my sister this summer! Too many white girls trying to be classically Asian. My half-Asian cousin on the left nailed it though!)
So I'll be honest. When I first learned that my sister was going to teach English in South Korea, I thought that I personally would rather go somewhere else. That is until I learned that where she was going had beaches, good hiking, and awesome outdoor explorations! I risk sounding so ignorant, but I didn't even think South Korea had beaches. I know, it's literally surrounded by water!! I never paid much attention to Korea though, and I always assumed it would look like those videos I saw of Japan in school - basically I assumed it was all a jam-packed city. But, truthfully, I didn't understand it, so it didn't excite me. But I am no longer ignorant!! South Korea is actually super fantastic!
So today is a special one because you get to hear from my sister all the way in Korea!
Hello followers of Loafers and Hot Cocoa! My name is Sadie and I will be writing a guest blog post today! To start, I am Lauren's sister who is currently living in South Korea. You might recognize me from the pictures of her past blog posts. I am the sister that was going to school in Italy to study Art History. As you can probably guess I love to travel and see the world. It’s a part of my identity that has been ingrained in me from a young age. It first started when I was a young girl who loved to read. When I think of my first time traveling, I often think of the time that I spent reading. For me reading was a means to explore the world, experience different view points and learn that deep down we are all human. However outside my books every year since I was small my mother would gather the kids together for a road trip (Usually to the USA).. We would save all our money to go shopping, see new sites and visit family. My love of travel can be traced directly traced back to my mother. She would say: “I would rather spend money on memories than stuff,” a sentiment that I fully agree with.
So after I graduated university I packed up two large and extremely full suitcases and set off for my next adventure: South Korea. I currently work in an all-girls public middle school on the coastal city Gangnueng, where I spend my days teaching English as a second language. It is crazy and super different, but I am happily challenged here.
AS for the city of Gangnueng, I lucked out. When I boarded my flight from Edmonton to Seoul I had no clue where I would end up living. A part of me always wanted to live in a beach city and tada! I live in a city where the beach is a ten minute bike away. It’s a dream and half. If any of you are thinking of traveling I would definitely suggest South Korea as a wonderful destination. I think that South Korea fits with any type of traveler out there on the move, and here is why:
For the Foodie:
Korean has some of the best traditional food. Of course there is the famous side dish Kimchi, but Korea has so much more to offer. There are the famous traditional foods like samgyopsal, dak-dal, bulgogi and sundubu. My favorite is Korean BBQ. Imagine this: You walk into a restaurant where they hand you a big slab of raw pork. I know, crazy right? But then you see the grill that has been imbedding into the table. Suddenly it dawns on you; you get to cook your own food. I love going out for Korean BBQ mostly because I make these delicious lettuce wraps with the meat. YUM!
For the Backpacker:
Korea is a special country to visit. It is a little out of the way on the well-worn hippie trail, but hey that’s the point right? Korea is a unique country, a place unlike any other. It feels like a hidden gem tucked away from the super touristy neighboring countries. For me traveling within South Korea has been really fulfilling and positively enjoyable.
For the Shopper:
For everyone that travels for the sole goal of going home with overweight fees, Korea is a top destination for you. From top designer flag shops dotting all over Seoul to the cute markets and boutiques tucked away in the small streets one may spend days simply shopping. However remember that most stores shy away from the customer trying on the clothes, but if you show respect to the clothes and show that you are not wearing any face makeup you can usually finagle a small cupboard of some sorts to try that cute peter pan collared dress.
For the Culture Enthusiast:
Korean culture has been around for many years. It is deep and intricate. I have barely scratched the surface of learning what it means to be Korean in contemporary life. However there are many museums, art galleries, historical sites to last a life time to fill ones days with. A really cool find in Gangnueng is the Charmsori Gramophone & Edison Science Museum. The collection began as single man’s quest to own artifacts from his American idol: Thomas Edison. It is quite the experience learning about the famous American inventor within the cultural context of a Korean museum, one that will not be soon forgotten.
South Korea has everything one could wish for in a travel destination, its beautiful scenery, stimulating culture, exotic cuisine and of course all the kimchee you could possibly eat. Come and enjoy the striking country of South Korea, or even better come by to the coastal city of Gangnueung for a visit.
Thanks for sharing your experience with us all, Sadie! Love you and miss you!
If you want to see and follow all her adventures, you can follow her Instagram here!
Thanks for reading you guys!
P.S. I have a super exciting post coming up next week on Travel-Bug-Thursday!! Get Excited!!