There is a comfort in finding places all over the world you are completely comfortable. Perhaps that comfort is nature itself, or a renewal when we are able to escape the city. Maybe it is merely just the land and the welcomed feeling of something familiar to us. Or perhaps it stems from a growing comfort within ourselves that helps us appreciate each moment where we are and stop desiring anything more than the present moment. Regardless, I am thankful for being able to find that here, in the mountains of South Korea.
I thought I might take some time to share a few photos from a trip in early November to Seoraksan National Park on the eastern coast of South Korea. I went with an organized tour for this one that I randomly had an invite to on Facebook! I’d say most of the people on the trip knew each other before and were from the same area, but luckily I was adopted and felt right at home having fun hiking, drinking makgeoli (Korean rice wine that is usually flavored to the area of Korea you were in, lucky for me this area’s specialty was CORN makgeoli! haha), eating American style chili hotdogs, staying up late into the night consuming alcohol and then another strenuous stair ridden hike the next morning!
There is a huge market for hiking and outdoor adventurers in Korea, especially with the older population. Decked out in their gear from head to toe, backpacks tight and hiking poles ready- they are a serious presence on the mountain. They hike a few hours into the mountain, sit down in these beautiful picturesque regions and pull out burners to cook up full Korean meals complete with kimchi! Actually, pajong which is a style of egg, onion, potato, and other vegetables mixed together to form a pancake are very popular. As is soju (a lighter vodka) and of course makgeoli. I was sort of caught off guard at first, then found myself immensely envious, they know how to do hiking right!
It was refreshing to get outside the city and surprisingly (and not so surprisingly) comforting to be surrounded by such a diverse group of strangers! I love how easy it is to bond and connect while simply sitting on a bus, in motion up a mountain or passing a bottle of makgeoli. A weekend trip helps me greet Monday feeling much more refreshed and this weekend was no exception. And with that, cheers folks!