It’s still hard to believe that my trip is over!
But being back home for a day or two has given me time to sit back and reflect on my journey. As I write this final post, I am realizing how difficult it is to really say all that I want to say; so, in an effort to get as much in without boring you all, I’m going to summarize my trip in three top three lists: Things I’ll Miss, Things I won’t forget, and Things to be Thankful for.
Three Things I’ll Miss:
(1) Dumplings – I found some of the most amazing (and cheap) fried japchae-pork dumplings two doors down from my hostel in Seoul. OM NOM NOM NOM;
(2) No Tipping – It’s just easier when you don’t have to figure out 15% all the time; and
(3) Mountains – I mean, look at the photo…
Of course there are things I’m glad to return to, most notably to throwing toilet paper in the toilet rather than in an open trash bin (I think it has something to do with the pipes). I never quite got used to that in Korea.
“Driving through Cheollabuk-do, the mountains were always on one side or the other; they really tied the province together. They made me feel like wherever I was born, it would be in sight of the mountains; wherever I was born, I was born in beauty.”
(1) Bukchon – Wandering the “northern village” of traditional hanok houses in the mountains — accompanied by igers I met up with @allison_rivers and @guitarlogy — was a magical moment and probably the moment when it hit me that “I’m really in Korea! This is really happening!”;
(2) Cab Driver to Jeonju – For full story, see “Lost in Translation: Jeonju, Jinju, or Gyeong Ju?” Parts 1 & 2; and
(3) Cheollabuk-do – Seeing my birth province was…well, look at the photo!
Now, the entire trip was incredible, but getting to see my birth province for the first time was what really made it a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Going in I knew I wouldn’t get to see the actual city I was born in because I don’t know it specifically, but it was almost like I did. Driving through Cheollabuk-do, the mountains were always on one side or the other; they really tied the province together. They made me feel like wherever I was born, it would be in sight of the mountains; wherever I was born, I was born in beauty.
And that brings me to my third list.
Three Things to be Thankful for:
(1) In-flight Movies – Nothing made my 13-hour flights go by faster than Delta’s personal movies I watched 30 Rock, Alice in Wonderland, Breaking Dawn: Part 2, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (twice), Lincoln (at least the first hour of it), Mean Girls, and more!
(2) Passion Passport – I have to give a warm and sincere thank you to the Passion Passport team (Zach, Danielle, Jessica, Jordan, and Juliet – you’re all just wonderful!) for their constant support and for making my dream trip happen — keep doing what you’re doing; and
(3) You – I so very much appreciate all who have voted, liked, commented, and/or followed along with me — your encouragement and support has been outrageous!
Thank you again, I have so much love for you all. Here’s to Round 4!
Words and Photos: Elliot Vernon