Asia,  South Korea,  Thyra Travels,  Travel,  Travel Advice

Thyra Travels: Six Weeks In Seoul 2018

For all of September and part of October, I didn’t have to carry my backpack, I didn’t have to deal with locking my bag, and I had consistent laundry access. I spent six weeks living and working in Seoul, South Korea. The main reason I chose to come to Seoul and stay for such an extended period of time in place of other locations was honestly food-oriented. Korean food is my go-to in the United States and I can not explain the excitement I felt to go to South Korea myself and experience the food. I will have another post centered around the food (yes, it was amazing) but now I will tell you how I occupied my time while living in the land of foodgasms.

Where did I live?

I was living in the heart of Seoul, in a neighborhood called Hongdae. Hongdae is known for the nightlife and also has a lot of young people due to the proximity of several colleges. The streets were always full of people and there was a food and shopping street mere blocks from my apartment. I lived in a shared apartment with other foreigners from all over the world. I was in a three person room and worked with everyone in a language cafe, a 15 minute walk from the flat.

My friends, housemates, and co-workers!

What did I do?

In exchange for the accommodation, I was working in an English Language Cafe for four hours a day during the week. In total I worked twenty hours a week, doing conversational English with people who wanted to improve their speaking and listening abilities. The cafe was primarily focused on conversation, not direct teacher-to-pupil teaching. It was a great experience and I definitely grew my ability to speak with and encourage English-language learners. In my free time outside of the cafe, I met great people, explored Seoul, experienced the nightlife, and ate my life away.

In Seoul, I made my way slowly around to all of the sights to see, although I admit most of what I spent my month on was eating out. My favorite things I did were:

Myeongdong Shopping Neighborhood – This is a neighborhood where there are streets filled with cheap shops and food stalls. I loved coming here to go shopping or to eat, they definitely had my business. This place was always packed with people and I even saw a huge protest going on right through the middle of it one day. The protest was really interesting because there were police officers lining each side of the the progression, acting as a human barrier – It must have been hundreds of officers in one place! So different and so much more organized that any protest I have ever seen.

Namsan Tower – Even though the day was cloudy, I went to visit the tower with two of my friends from the house. We had a great time taking the cable car up and eating delicious stew at the top. Even with the clouds the view was great and if you want to save money, you can walk up the mountain as well to get to the top!

Top of Seoul Tower.

Han River – We went to the Han river a few times, it was a perfect spot for a picnic or a walk at night. You can rent a tent, or bring your own, and many people would set up shop in a little tent eating take-out chicken to watch the sunset.

Han River.
Vikki eating corn at the river.

Made friends! – I made friends for life living in the international apartment. Traveling brings out the best and worst in people and you can make strong connections in a short time. I know I will be talking to these people for years to come!

My friend Ashley and I.
Ashley, I, and Vikki on the top of Bukhansan Mountain.
Aida and I wearing our ‘couple shirts’. In Korea, there were so many couples everywhere and I got us these as a joke so we didn’t feel left out.

What did I learn?

I was excited to go to South Korea to see if I potentially would like to teach English there for a year. I would love to learn the language on top of making money while living in a different country. I still have a lot of countries to see and decide which one I may settle in for a while but South Korea is a strong option. Learning the language would help my career in many ways due to the rise of interest in Korea, both politically and culturally. The country was also easy to live in and it was safe. Get back to me in a few months though because I am loving every country I visit.

Group dinner at the language cafe with our students.

What is next? I take about two weeks to travel to Busan and Jeju Island before setting off to Vietnam. A new adventure after hyper-organized South Korea.


One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.