10 Things I Learned in Korea (Part 2)

6:12:00 PM

Ready for more life lessons and tons of travel photos? 

Here's Part 2 of our Winter in Korea trip! :)

6.) Escapes are great, if not NEEDED - If you've been reading my blog for some time now, you would know how much of an "Escape Day" believer I am. I LIVE for escape days not because my life sucks or because I like to run away from problems but simply because we all need to "restart" every once in a while.

As part of our winter trip in Korea, we decided to take a tour to Nami Island and the village of the Little Prince. This was exciting as it was the only part of our trip that was "scheduled"- we decided to wing everything else which may or may not have resulted in a couple of arguments (3 traveling women? There's DEFINITELY going to be some form of friction! #hardtruth)

Who remembers this? Is it a hat? or a snake with an elephant inside? NAKKKSSS

Seeing the snow covering the mountains and fields took my breath away. It really made me see just how beautiful the world is and how much there is to explore and discover. The bus ride to the village of the Little Prince was about an hour and a half away from the city proper. It was comfy and my mom and I found ourselves sleeping for most of the trip whilst Trina was bonding with a friend we made on the way- his name is Jay and he was Filipino too! It's so great to meet Filipinos when you're abroad- sarap mag Tagalog! :)

7.) No matter what, family sorts itself out - The trip was filled with a lot of exploring and walking, which led to one of our biggest problems. My mother's shoes. They were NOT at all comfy and hurt her feet so badly that she could barely walk without wanting to cry. This happened early on in our trip and we had to struggle through finding her a comfy pair of shoes that were winter appropriate. Because she was in so much pain, the "friction" I spoke of earlier was not only about the actual friction between her feet and shoes, but between us 3. We all grew frustrated, impatient, annoyed and ready to fight it out. Luckily, through it all, we managed not to kill each other during the trip (and we found comfy winter boots for my mom). Which brings me to my next lesson...

8.) When all else fails, LAUGH. - The trip would've easily been ruined if we didn't laugh at all of our little mishaps and fails. Granted, we were annoyed and frustrated but at the end of the day, looking back, one can't help but laugh. I guess coming into 2015, I'm going to really try and bear in mind this particular lesson. We can get so caught up in our problems and little bubbles that we forget to just laugh certain things off.

We can't change how people treat us, how the world works or what the universe has in store, but we can sure as heck choose how we feel about it, and what we can DO about it. And when things get frustratingly horrible, LAUGH. You can't imagine how much better you will feel after.

9.) Our little Life Bubbles are just one tiny part of God's huge masterpiece - Oooohhh getting all philosophical/theological are we ey, Karla? Hear me out. In the middle of all of the chaos that our lives bring us- career changes, relationship developments, fashion choices, friend arguments etc., it sometimes becomes easier to just get stuck in everything. We forget how vast the world is and how much more there is to discover, learn, and live. I'm a firm believer in the fact that "Manila is too small" or how it has sadly, but somehow accurately become "DRAMAnila" does anyone else feel me?

Taking the 4 minute boat ride to Nami Island made me realize how much there still is to explore in the world and how little of it I've seen and experienced. Having the cold air hit my face as I was surrounded by tons of people from different countries speaking in different languages left me breathless. How can my problems seem so much bigger than all this? It was a definite wake up call that I badly needed.

With Jay our new friend! Haha :)

Another thing you have to do when visiting Korea is to visit Nami Island. My family and I were amazed at how "magical" the place really felt (apparently it was the set for one of the most popular Korea soaps Winter Sonata) it smelled of pine and despite all of the melted snow and mud, we couldn't help but wipe the smiles off of our faces. So awesome! Which now brings me to my last and final lesson-

10.) There are still some genuinely NICE people - Coming into the trip people had been telling me to prepare myself as Koreans were "rude." And even if we were pushed, shoved and nearly spat on, I was happy to have experienced a few instances of genuine kindness from Korean locals who went out of their way to help my family and I.

Fun (and extremely practical) little pine wood fire places to warm up before moving on in the park
Mom clearly isn't too impressed with the street food HAHA
The Korean street food was TO DIE FOR!
Finally got to try the "original" Potato Tornado!
The first instance involved a young Korean student and a lost family at the train station who couldn't seem to figure out the route they needed to take using the train card machines. She went up to us, asked us in the little English she knew, where we needed to go. She then proceeded to type in the machine our route and destination and showed us how to work it. When all was said and done, she looked us, smiled, and rushed off- possibly late for class or a meeting or whatever. First act of genuine kindness. We are forever grateful as from that moment onward, we knew how to work the train card machines and which routes to take.
My current obsession is Pomegranate juice.. Got to try a freshly squeezed pack here and now I'm on the hunt!
McDonald's is definitely a must visit in every new country! Hihi :)

The second instance involved an elderly woman who saw my sister walking ahead of us, completely lost at which exit to go to in order to reach the first temple we were going to visit. She walked with us, ALL THE WAY to the OPPOSITE exit in order to make sure that we knew where to go and where to pass. She walked all the way to the end of the exit and with a smile on her face, gave my sister instructions on where to pass next. Then, she smiled, told us to have a good day, and walked back the opposite direction. An elderly woman did this for us- complete strangers. We were at a loss for words.

This winter trip made me realize that although the world seems cold and dark and depressing at times, there are still great things to see, amazing experiences to live, and genuinely good people to meet. I couldn't have asked for a better trip and eye-opening experience.

My family and I are already planning our next trip back to Korea.

And I can't wait for Vietnam this March! :)

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Thanks for reading my entry! I hope you enjoyed it. :)