I’ve always dreamed of going back to Korea. Last time I was there (years and years ago) I was with a good friend of mine. My buddy is Korean and was adopted by a Russian family (so cool!) and always wanted to go to his birth place. So he and I talked to my mom in taking us to Korea for our senior trip when we were in high school.
When we both found out we were going we were really excited. The last time I went to Korea prior to that senior trip was probably when I was in elementary school. So it’s been a while since I last went. Our plane landed at the international airport in Incheon, Korea. Reality hit of how much of war still exists in a very well-developed country.
We walked around the airport for a bit while waiting for our ride to our destination. Despite the beautiful architecture there were still heavily armed guards walking around. they had automatic weapons slung on their backs with lots and lots of zip ties attached to their vests. It didn’t really bother us since it doesn’t bother anyone in Korea at all.
The weird thing is that all over the world everyone fears the North will attack the South. Almost all of my family still lives or has moved back to Korea within the past ten years including my own mother. My friends in Korea asked me why everyone freaks out about a potential attack. Here we are thousands of miles away and we seem to be more fearful than my friends who are basically right on the border. They told me that they trust the government and the military to protect them and that there is nothing to worry about. Honestly, it seems to be more likely that the news stations report the “scariness” of Korea just to get people to watch more often.
But back to the story. We traveled almost everywhere. We went to the mega malls, went to all the historic buildings, and just had a blast out in town. We hit up several internet cafe’s, made friends with the people who we played video games with, and just hopped onto a bus and let it take us anywhere.
I remembered how much fun we had when we last went. I haven’t really traveled much since. The furthest I’ve been after that trip, aside from the military, was just a road trip to the upper peninsula to stay at a cabin with a few friends.
Well my girlfriend is absolutely in love with Korea. I think she loves Korea more than me sometimes.
Okay… So I was exaggerating a lot but you get the idea. She loves Korea. So much culture and tradition still lives in such a developed country. It’s almost sad to compare both American and Korea. Don’t get me wrong, I love America (obviously cause I’m an American who served in the armed forces) but the fact that a country like Korea, to this day, still keeps in touch with its history is just amazing. The closest thing we have in America in comparison are Civil War Reenactments which is pretty sad to think about.
Now the other day my girlfriend and I talked about wanting to go to Korea. I hope I can make it a reality. Plane tickets are fairly priced. Sometimes I just wish we could go in May to see the Cherry Blossom Festival happen.
It’s so beautiful and amazing to attend. The last one I went to, on my senior trip, they set up a huge stage for live Korean folk music and everyone just enjoyed being outside. For such a technologically advanced country it’s amazing that people would rather be outside enjoying life than inside watching it on a screen. I think that’s why I would want to go with my sweetheart. When you really experience Korea you see that just because the world is progressing at super sonic speeds you can find a patch where everything just slows down and you start to appreciate the simple life. What do I mean by that?
I remember when I was there we traveled to a small village just twenty miles away from Seoul. The towns that no one ever see’s are just something you will never be able to find here in America. Just minutes away from one of the worlds most busiest capital cities you find yourself in a remote countryside city with streams that flow through the town, locally owned restaurants just opening up for business, and more people walking the streets than cars on the road. Honestly I think my friend and I had more fun walking than sitting in a car. You are just able to take in the site a whole lot better when you can set your feet on the ground and not on a floor mat of a car.
That’s what I want to do. I want to show my love the roots of where my family came from. Where my mom grew up and, as much as I would not like it for obvious reasons, where my dad came from. It’s hard to explain but it literally is the perfect mix of a complex simple environment of technology and life.
One place that I would want to go to would be Jeju Island. That is known as the Hawaii of Korea. It’s just a beautiful tropical getaway. Eventually I would want to take my sweetheart there, but unfortunately if we do end up going to Korea within a year or two we would not have the time to make it there. But the real reason why I would want to take her there is that my parents, when they were still together and a lot younger, took a photo there. They took a photo by the famous “Dragon Rock” when they first got married and were on their honeymoon.
I would want to do the very same and start an awesome photo album with just the two of us just as my parents did. Ugh… the problem with being so young and new with everything is that I don’t have the time or money to be able to travel all over the world to places that I want to go and to take her with me. I think as long as I can make it to Korea in two years with her that will be enough with me. I know we won’t have to worry about where we would stay since I have many friends and family over there and I’m sure my step-dad would let me borrow his car, but it’s just a matter of when.
I’m just anxiously waiting go.
The clocks ticking…