One of the girls that I met when I went to Busan, Rosa, was staying in Seoul one weekend cause she was going back to Chicago. We made last minute plans to hangout. I took the bus from Anjung to SouthSeoul early at 9am on Saturday April 3rd. The ticket was only ₩7600 and I got to Seoul Nambu at 10:45. Not too bad.
It ended up raining all day Saturday, which put a damper on things. No pun intended. Haha. Nambu is in such a great area, right near the Metro line and Rosa’s Airbnb was less than a 10 minute walk from the station.
We made plans to meet in Itaewon and get brunch. I punched in Summer Lane in Naver and was off. I walked out of the station and hopped on line 3 on the orange then transferred to line 6 on the brown.
Summer Lane was an adorable brunch spot. Naver was off by a little, but I made it. I got a Bloody Mary and an espresso martini (my first time in Korea!!!).
After brunch we both decided we needed a fresh look. We found a hair salon close by and called. Luckily, they took us in. For some reason they charged her ₩33,000, which is what the lady said on the phone. I was charged ₩44,000. I was confused, but ’tis life.
After our hair cuts, we went to see where the Old DanBam was from the Kdrama Itaewon Class. Better pictures will be in my next post since it wasn’t raining the next day 😆 In Naver or Kakao Map, you can just type in Seoul Bam and the restaurant will pop up. Although it was raining, it was still amusing.
After seeing the famous spot, we ventured off to Gangnam and went to the Line and Kakao stores!!!! YAY. They are right next to each other, so convenient. The Kakao store has Ryan Cafe on the top floor. It’s a pretty cool set up. Since Thailand, for some reason I’ve been obsessed with the Line sticker Brown so I bought a few things there.
After taking photos and spending a few thousand Won (souvenirs pictured below), we walked around and found a Dublin pub 💕 We stayed there and got some food and drinks then met up with her friend and just chilled at Billy Angel Cake Company for a bit. It was still raining.
We just went back to her place and knocked out.
Safe to say I checked a few things off my Korea bucket list that day.
Emily had to go to Daegu to go back to her town so I figured I’d make a pit stop and spend a few hours in Daegu.
We punched in the station on Naver and followed the route to the KTX. The bus only took about 45 minutes to get to the KTX so it was relaxing after a long night.
Once we got to the station, we both found a ticket kiosk and bought a ticket for our final destination.
Actually, mine wasn’t the final destination but it was the easiest and kind of cheapest option. I booked my ticket from Dongdaegu to CheonanAsan for ₩29,300.
After securing our spots, we were able to freely roam around Daegu.
I had this spot on my Naver maps saved that was on my Korea bucket list so we ventured there. The place is called “Truly Baker.” In Naver it is Teurulli Baker so at first I had no idea what the name of the place was.
We took the bus there and then from the bus stop it was about a five minute walk.
The bagels were fresh. I got two because why not. I also got a vanilla milkshake. YUM.
For my first bagel, I got the rainbow one with plain cream cheese. Emily got the jalapeño nut cream cheese and convinced me, which didn’t really take that much convincing.
The second one was an onion bagel with the jalapeño nut cream cheese. The first one was definitely better but that’s cause I’m more of a plain cream cheese kinda person. I also got some bagels to go.
After carb loading, we just strolled around the city. We saw this Ferris wheel from far away and had to go.
The walk was about twenty minutes and then we made it to Spark Land! Spark Land is basically a mini amusement park on top of a building. Pretty cool.
The Ferris wheel was only ₩5,000 and lasted a little less than ten minutes! It went sooo high. I had never been on a Ferris wheel before so that was exhilarating. I was also a bit terrified, but I’d do it again.
After the Ferris wheel, we walked to the KTX which was luckily about ten minutes away. We went our separate ways. I took the KTX to CheonanAsan and squeezed a little nap during the hour ride. Since the CheonanAsan and Asan Station are connected it was an easy walk to Line 1.
From Asan Station to Pyeongtaek it’s only seven stops away and it took only a half hour. At AK Plaza I took the bus home and had a restful sleep.
⬆️ onion bagel with jalapeño nut cream cheese, me (definitely not freaking out) on the Ferris wheel, rainbow bagel!! milkshake 💕
One of the girl’s named Nicole that I met through a Facebook group before coming to Korea invited me to her friend’s Rosa’s going away dinner in Busan one weekend.
We all got our TEFL from International TEFL Academy (ITA) so it was going to be a dinner with ITA peeps. ITA is pretty cool. They have Facebook groups and many other helpful resources on their website even after you get your certification.
On the 19th of March, I booked my SRT ticket from Jije Station to Busan for ₩45000. It was difficult. I tried to use my jetBlue card but then realized that I have to use my Korean card. I still had a hard time so I called and the dude helped me buy one. It’s interesting cause you can’t buy a ticket over the phone.. Luckily, for my ignorant self, the guy spoke good English. He told me you have to use the passcode that you use for the ATM. It’s nice but also frustrating at how secure the bank accounts are here.
On the 20th I took the 810 bus to Jije Station Suseo Pyeongtaek Gosokseon (express railroad) for ₩1650 and it took about 25 minutes. I walked up to the ticket booth and showed the guy a picture of my purchase on my phone and he printed my ticket out for me.
The station was nice. It had a 7/11 and a cute little cafe.
I went down and took the 313 to Busan. I got one of the early trains thinking I could explore Busan before our meetup. Little did I know the weather would change my plans.
I ended up in Busan around 10:30am and had a few hours to kill. I walked to a Subway that was about 20 minutes away from the station cause I was starving.
After Subway, I took the bus to where our hostel was located. It took about 45 minutes. Myself and two of the other girls booked a hostel for ₩12000 for the night. SO CHEAP. It was called Kimchee Guesthouse in Haeundae and it was super cute and had a nice little sitting area right when you walked in.
While I was waiting for the others so I took a little stroll and ended up going to Coffeesmith. It was only about a ten minute walk to the hostel from there.
Once Rosa arrived, we left our bags at the hostel and went to grab something to eat. We found this sushi place near the beach. It was one of those sushi restaurants that has a display that spins around and you pick whatever plate you want and at the end of your meal the server adds up the colored plates and that’s how much your food is. So convenient.
We finished right around check-in time- 4pm- so we went back to the hostel and checked in. Then the third girl, Emily, arrived.
We walked around for a bit to kill time. We went to the mall and Starbucks.
We ended up meeting with the others around 8pm at this YUMMY pizza place called SOL in Gwangali. The pizza was actually pizza and not sweet in any way!!! Since they only allow four people per table, two of the girls sat at another table.
I tried a New York Lager and another one that I can’t remember. The place was cheap. Me and Nicole split a pizza and I think we ended up paying ₩20000 each? Plus the beers were around ₩8000-10000.
After the pizza, we walked along the beach. It was such a nice night. We tried going into this other bar but it was too full. Soooo, we hopped on the subway back to Haundae and found a bar over there. It was an Irish pub 💚 so you know what that means! Jameson.
We stayed there for a bit and chatted a lot. It was nice to be able to sit at a bar and drink and talk to people again! Felt like the pre-Covid days. Ahhhh.
Rosa and I were walking out of the pub to go back to our hostel when we saw these people go and sit with the others so we went back in. Turned out they were from Spain and they work here. They weren’t teachers but I forget what their jobs were.
Our night/morning ended at 3am. I haven’t had one of THOSE nights since Thailand and it just made me feel all good inside. Mingling and hanging out with people. It felt great.
Rosa ended up heading back to her town early the next morning. Emily and I woke up around 8am? How??? I do not know. We got ready and checked out and then went to find some breakfast. We walked along Haeundae Beach trying to find something to eat. It was very odd that there weren’t any restaurants along the beach. Naver/Kakao Maps didn’t show any so we didn’t know where else to go. McDonald’s ended up being the winner. While eating breakfast, I decided that I’d tag along and go to Daegu for the day. We booked our ticket for ₩12600 each and finished our meal.
After McDonald’s, we walked back to the beach and ended up finding a Lighthouse Observatory and Mermaid Statue. The observatory was beautiful!!! We didn’t walk down to the statue because there were people taking pictures and we had limited time. We walked to the closest bus station and we were on our way to Daegu.
I hopped on the Korail to Sema station. I make it sound easy but it actually took me a bit because I went the wrong way. It wasn’t completely my fault…Naver told me to go to Line 1, so I did. Then I saw that the subway was going the opposite way. I was also on the phone, which always makes it worse. Will I learn my lesson? Probably not. I just went back and showed the lady at the ticket booth Naver and she told me to go to 7/8. I mean it was kinda obvious that I had to do that, but I just wanted to make sure.
While on the subway, I fell asleep so I missed the stop. I ended up going to Byeongjeom station instead of Sema station. LOL. So, I got off anyways cause it was only the next stop so I was like, “how far can it be?”
Yeaaaah, too long.
I walked back and took the Korail back to Sema.
From the Sema station, Naver gave me the option to take the 9 or 31 bus. I tried walking up to the 31 but the dude told me no. Luckily, the 9 bus was at a red light. I ran over and the driver opened the door for me.
It was only about a five minute ride and then a hike from there.
The Fortress was up a hill and it wasn’t too steep. But it was tough. I’m also not in the best shape so that didn’t help AND it was hot (~13° C & 55° F). Along the road, there were a few restaurants and some nice houses. After about 15 minutes, I reached the entrance.
After huffing and puffing on the path for 12 minutes, I had FINALLY made it to the top.
I wish that the weather was better that day. And by weather I mean the pollution. It was foggy from all of the pollution 😢
The views were still great though. You could (kind of) see all of the apartment buildings and the city.
I wandered around the Fortress with my selfie stick for about an hour.
I came across a temple.
I sat down in a few spots to just take in the views and relax. After completing a full lap, I decided to make my way back down.
Going back down is always easier. The sun was still out but it got a bit chilly. I opened up Naver and tried to find a bus. This area was very rural so it was very difficult. I should have known.
I saw bus 9 and tried to go on but the driver said that he was not heading to Sema Station. I ended up going into a bakery and asking the lady who worked there and she just pointed me to the bus stop that I was waiting at for 20 minutes.
I walked out of the bakery and took a right. I decided to walk all the way to the station. It took about 30 minutes.
Looking back it’s kind of shocking that I’ve made it this far with all of my unorganized/unplanned journeys… I’m not complaining though. LOL.
Once I reached the main road, there were a few bus stops but I figured since I had already started my way to the station I should just go all the way.
I got to the station, I hopped on the Korail and went to AK Plaza. I went inside and treated myself to some Dozo Sushi then took the 80 back to Anjung.
My day trip was a success and very cheap. Next time I plan a spontaneous trip, I need to remember that I have to find a way back home though. LOL.
I booked my Airbnb for February 27 & 28 on the Friday before work and finished packing when I got home. I stayed at The Red House in Sokcho which I booked on Airbnb. The location and price were both great: 30 minute walk from the park (you can also take the 7-1 bus) and $62 for two nights. Ahhhhh mazing.
I woke up around 6am on Saturday thinking I was going to get to the station and get the first bus out to Seoul. I ended up leaving my apartment about four hours after waking up. I walked to the bus station that’s about 15 minutes away and bought a ticket to Incheon. It was only ₩5000.
I waited and waited and then checked Naver again. There was a quicker route. I walked to the bus stop that was near my school, waited for the 98 bus and was off to Pyeongtaek Station. It took about 40 minutes.
Next, I walked around trying to find the station. It is kind of hidden and to the left of AK Plaza. Finally, I saw it across from Cafe Pascucci. I bought a ticket for ₩5300 to Seoul and was on my way.
The Express buses are cool cause they have their own lane. It only took a little less than an hour to get to the Seoul Express Bus Terminal.
I didn’t realize that there were assigned seats so I sat in a random seat. A lady came up to me and gave me a look. Whoops. I went to get up and switch but I think she saw my bags and was like no it’ll take too long. LOL.
I learned a few lessons on this trip. One is that you have to buy bus tickets ahead of time because the spots fill up quickly. This website is for the Express Bus Terminal though, which I learned on my way back. Also, to buy a ticket, you do need a Korean bank account. I did not have one at the time. Fun.
Luckily some of the spots kept opening up. I found a bus to Sokcho at 3:40pm. On the ticket it said 2.2 hours but it took almost 4.
When I got to the Sokcho Express Bus Terminal, I tried to give taxi drivers the address to my Airbnb but that didn’t work. I tried to take the bus but Naver was telling me that there wasn’t any information on bus 7, the one that I was supposed to take. I ended up messaging the Airbnb and they gave me the address and finally a Kakao taxi driver accepted my request.
Right when my taxi driver showed up, bus 7 drove right on by and stopped at the bus stop. Of course.
I think it worked out better that way though because the bus would’ve taken around 45 minutes whereas the drive took about 20. It was only ₩13000 and I was EXHAUSTED.
The host was waiting for me when I got out of the taxi. He took me to my room.
After settling in and cleaning up, I tried to walk to one of the restaurants near the bnb.
I say tried because my GPS ended up bringing me the opposite way. I was also on the phone with Indria so I guess multitasking is just not my thing.
I went back to the Airbnb and the hosts came out. The lady ended up driving me to 연탄구이. I got some 김치 찌개 (kimchi jjigae) and soju for only ₩13000. Indria and I had a nice virtual meal.
I woke up around 8:30, went to get some breakfast at the main building for ₩5000 and was off to the park. I was there from 10-6. The admission fee was only ₩3500!!
The Airbnb was only about a 30 minute walk to the park. You can also take the 7 or 7-1 bus. On the way into the park there is a 7-eleven so I stopped and got a snack. There is also a hotel, Kensington Hotel, which was much more expensive than the Airbnb was.
They also have a store inside of the park. It sells many things. I think I saw a few restaurants too.
The cable car was ₩11000 and it brings you up 670m. It takes about 5 minutes to go up to the top and it also operates every 5 minutes. Pretty convenient.
Once I bought my cable car ticket, I had about an hour to kill.
I walked to 신흥사 (Sinheungsa Temple) and to the bronze buddha, 청동좌불상.
To get to 신흥사 (Sinheungsa Temple), you can walk across 3 different bridges.
The scenery throughout the whole park was astonishing. Rock balancing was everywhere. I contributed a few times.
From the cable car stop, you can go to 권금성 (Gwongeumseong Fortress). It’s about a ten minute walk. The Fortress was built by Gwon and Kim (Geum) as a shelter for their families during the Mongolian invasion. The views were exquisite! You can see the city as well as the East Sea.
After taking in the views for almost two hours, I went back down.
There’s a map of the trails right outside of the cable car building and I took a look at that and chose my next destination: 비룡푹포 (Biryong Falls). It’s between 육담폭포 (Yukdam Falls) and 토왕성폭포 (Towangseong Falls). The map says it takes about 1.5 hours and it’s 2.8km (~1.7miles) to get to 비룡푹포, so about 3 hours round trip. There weren’t that many people. I made some friends along the way. Once we reached the top, one of my friends gave me a tangerine. How cute.
Once I got to the frozen 비룡푹포 (Biryong Falls), there was another trail that went to 토왕성폭포 전망대 (Towangseong Falls Observatory). From the observatory, you can see 토왕성폭포 (Towangseong Falls). I wish I could put into words how beautiful the view was. The pictures will have to do.
The hike from 비룡푹포 (Biryong Falls) to 토왕성폭포 전망대 (Towangseong Falls Observatory) took another 50 minutes and it was HARD and steep. I am also not a regular hiker so I had to take a few breaks. Of course going back down took only about 15 minutes.
When I started walking down the stairs back to 비룡푹포(Biryong Falls) my legs were shaking. That day, I ended up hiking for a total of about 3 hours. Even days later my legs were still trembling.
My day at the park was completely worth it.
After a long and fulfilling day, I went back to 연탄구이 and got 김치찌개 (kimchi jjigae) and some ramen. It was a nice meal for such an eventful day.
The next and last day was my journey back to Pyeongtaek. It ended up pouring so I did not feel like waiting for the bus. I knew it was going to rain but not that much so taking the bus was a no go. The taxi was another ₩14000 and I went to the wrong station.
Another lesson that I learned: there are two terminals in Sokcho, along with other cities. Sokcho has an Express Bus Terminal and an Intercity Bus Terminal.
Since the website from above is for the Intercity, I had to take another taxi from Express to Intercity.
The next express bus wasn’t until 1:50pm and it was ₩20300. I was there around 10am. As I was leaving the express station, I was like hmmmm did I make a mistake?
When I got to the intercity terminal, the next bus was at 12:25pm and ₩19700. Yay. I was starving. I booked it and stuffed my bags away in a locker for ₩2000. You could keep your bags in there for up to 24 hours.
Little did I know there was a cafe to the left of the building. 동명카피 (Dongmyeong Cafe) had bagels!!! I got a bagel and yummy hibiscus lemon tea. I love the lemon tea here because they put the lemon peel and it adds so much flavor. They also put a lot of sugar though, which I could do without but I am no barista.
The rain turned into snow. How fun. Snow just kept coming down. We were about an hour into the drive when the bus driver turned around. I had no idea what the dude said so luckily there was a nice lady next to me and we used Papago.
Since the bus ride on the way from Seoul to Sokcho took longer than the ticket said, I asked the lady how long Sokcho to Seoul would take. She said 2 hours and 10 minutes. I think I jinxed myself?
Sokcho to Dongseoul ended up taking 6.5 hours. Luckily as we got closer to Seoul the snow was turning into rain.
Once I got to Dongseoul, I found a ticket machine and looked for the next time from there to Pyeongtaek. It was 7:07pm; I had 3 minutes to spare. Right when I got on the bus, we left.
40 minutes later I was walking around AK Plaza and waiting for the 80 bus that was heading to my part of town.
I ended up getting back to my apartment around 9:30pm.
After two days of traveling for about 24 hours in total, and one day filled with hiking and walking, I was exhausted.
Was it worth it? Definitely. I also learned a few lessons while traveling so that’s always good too.
Mount Seoraksan was astounding. And that was only the part that I saw. The park is huge and spreads across Sokcho, Inje, Goseong, and Yangyang. They also have shelters throughout the park but I think you have to book ahead.
Since there are so many national parks in South Korea, I’m not sure if I’ll make it back to Mount Seoraksan again. The whole trip was unforgettable.
I really loved Jules’ town. Her apartment is near everything and it’s so cute.
I swear there’s more to the town than food……
There were hair salons, bars, restaurants, an emart, and Starbucks all within about a ten minute walk. We met at Starbucks a few of the mornings before starting off our day.
There was also this pizza place called Pizza School. We got pizza the first Sunday that I was there and watched some Netflix. Underneath the cheese was some corn. Interesting.
One of the days when Jules had school, I went to this place called Salady. It’s a chain in Korea. Jules raved about it so I had to try it. It lived up to the hype. I actually ended up going there twice.
Tuesday night after Bukchon Hanok Village, I got some 김밥 (kimbap). 김밥 is similar to sushi but I think it is a little bit sweeter.
I got 참치마요 김밥 (tuna) and 새우 김밥 (shrimp).
On my Wednesday night there, Jules and I walked to Gimpo Han River Wild Bird Ecology Park. The park was huge. There was a building where you could walk up and there were binoculars so you could see across the river and into Seoul. They also had a map for tourists. Pretty cool.
Jules, Charlie, Kylah and myself went to a restaurant after our stroll through the park and got 부대찌개 (Budae jjigae). YUM.
On that Sunday, Valentine’s Day, we went to Starbucks and before I left, we went to that same restaurant and got 김치 찌개 (Kimchi jjigae).
김치 찌개 (Kimchi jjigae) was exactly the way that I wanted to end my little vacay. It’s delicious and satisfying.
We had a long weekend for Lunar New Year (February 11 & 12)
I also ended up getting some of my winter break during that week sooo I had the Monday-Wednesday off for break and then Thursday & Friday off for the New Year.
On the 5th of February, I packed my suitcase before work. On the way to work, I bought a T-money card at CU. You can also get them and add money on them at 7 or any convenience store. There are different cards that you can get but I got the one that works with everything (subway/bus/train/taxi) because it makes life easier.
There’s also an app called BucaCheck (not sure if it’s the same for Androids) where you can just place your card at the top NFC and it scans your card and tells you how much money is on it and the history of usage. Cool.
The card that I got was only ₩2200, plus however much you want to put on it. It wasn’t that hard to get the card. But luckily, the guy that worked at CU spoke English. You can also use a translator such as Papago if you have trouble.
At 10pm I was speed walking home. I opened Kakao Taxi and was on my way.
My friend Jules that I met in Thailand lives up north in Gimpo. After (almost) three months after being here (Covid sucks!!) I was able to visit her.
The drive was not too bad. It was a little over an hour.
It’s funny cause I accidentally put the wrong address into Kakao Taxi, sooo that was fun.
I ended up walking to McDonald’s that was across the street and they had a shrimp burger and mozzarella sticks. They were both okay.
After I got my food, I had to take another taxi to get to her actual apartment.
About ₩130,000 later, I ended up outside of her apartment.
Yeah, it was a lot of money 🤷🏻♀️
The next day I got to meet Jules’ two friends who she works with- Kylah & Charlie. We walked our way to a tasty brunch spot called Flapjack Cafe. I got a salmon sandwich with some mozzarella fries. Yum.
After brunch, we went to Bonay Cafe on Cafe Road.
Cafe Road defines itself. The road was an interesting, deserted and winding road. Most of the cafes seemed to be closed.
The nice part about living up near Seoul is that there are subway stops at every corner. Jules’ apartment is less than a five minute walk from the station! For that reason, I was able to go to many different places that week!
Itinerary from my trip (more posts have yet to come):
2/06: Flapjack Pantry, Bonay Cafe & Gurae
2/07: Flapjack & Netflix
2/08: Lotte Mall
2/09: Bukchon Hanok Village
2/10: Korean restaurant
2/12: Holly’s Cafe
2/14: Starbucks & journey home
I ended up staying in Gimpo for 8 days. We had loads of fun.
The week that I was in Gimpo was filled with great memories.
On the Tuesday that I was there, since Jules had to work Monday-Wednesday, I ventured off on my own on those days. I also had the pleasure of meeting one of Jules’ friends that lives near Seoul.
She planned a cute day and we had loads of fun.
I hopped on the gold line at Unyang station and then went to the purple line. It took about an hour and a half to meet her friend in Jongno.
We walked around for a bit and there were a bunch of restaurants.
The roads where the restaurants were were narrow and adorable!
We tried going into a few of the restaurants, but they had a break from 3-5pm.
We ended up finding an Italian place and it was delicious!
After eating, we walked around some more.
We ended up finding a store where we rented Hanboks! We picked out Hanboks, got our hair done and also rented a locker all for ₩25,000 (~$25). The owner was also so nice. We were able to walk around the village and take pictures for two hours.
The lockers had notes written on them from a few months ago. People wrote where they were from. People visited from the US, Thailand and some other places.
We wandered about and walked the streets of the village. It was amazing.
On our journey through the village, we hiked our way up to Cha-teul Cafe and took more pictures.
We sat and drank some tea and ate some mocchi. I’ve only tried frozen mocchi and never liked it but real mocchi was AMAAAZING.
The server was genial. He told us to go and take pictures while the sun was setting.
That’s when our second photo shoot came into play.
We found a great spot that showed the city. We walked up there for a bit.
Then, we found another spot where there were mountains in the background. Amazing.
It was such a nice day out and the sunset was beautiful (pictured below). We took some photos and then went back to drink some tea.
We were right near the store where we rented the hanboks from. It only took about ten minutes to hike back down the hills to return our Hanboks.
The village is so close to Seoul and there are buses everywhere so it is easily accessible.
I just gotta say Korea is wicked cool for their recycling/trash waste program. The orange bags that I was given are for soft food waste, the white bags are for hard food/regular trash (bones, packaging, egg shells, etc.) and recyclables can go into a plain plastic bag. They have set times that you are allowed to put your trash on the side of the road and they don’t pick it up on the weekends. So I can leave my trash outside after 8pm but not after 4am. I was told that some apartments have a sorter which makes it easier but for now, this is how my little apartment building works. My head teacher said that they use the orange bags for animal food. Love it.
It also super useful that they use keypads instead of keys. I just type in my digits and turn the knob.
Not only do they have keypads, they also have HEATED FLOORS. I have to say it took me a few weeks to understand how mine works but I got it figured out. The only downside is is that you can either have heated floors or hot water. Buttt, even when I don’t click that little button to the left of the On/Off switch, my water still gets pretty hot. It takes about 2 hours and 30-40 minutes for the heated floors to go back on after heating the water. Yes, I timed it 😂
My apartment also came with a washer, a rack that comes down from the ceiling for drying clothes, a stove top, and a fridge. You can adjust the drying rack which is nice because I’m short. My apartment also came with a TV so that was cool. I’m not really sure how other apartments are but from what I’ve seen it is pretty much the same setup as mine.
And since this room was previously used by other teachers, it also has a microwave and a mini toaster oven. I’m excited to make cookies in it. I also have a bunch of dishes- plates, silverware, bowls, all that great stuff. I was also lucky enough to have a little couch, a bed, a kettle, a little table, and some cookware. My favorite thing that came with this apartment: a Brita filter. I know that’s a little odd but with the amount of water that I drink, it just makes me happy. I brought a mini water filter from home just to be safe. I don’t even want to know how much money I spent when I was in Thailand. I bought water daily. So having a Brita saves both the environment and my wallet. Yay.
Soo you walk in and there’s my couch to the left and the TV. Straight ahead there’s the fridge with all of my pictures on it 😊 Then there’s the mini kitchen and bathroom and to the left is my bedroom. To the left of my TV is the washer and drying rack.
It’s a few steps up from my Thailand apartment. Actually, it’s quite an improvement. I only had a fridge in Thailand so having a stove top and other appliances is wonderful.
There’s a lot of storage in my apartment. So much that I don’t even know how to fill it all up.
I borrowed this tree for Christmas. I don’t want to keep mentioning my TikTok but I put a before and after picture of the tree. I haven’t decorated a tree in years. It was nice decorating because I was by myself for Christmas so it was a fun little activity. So I spent Christmas Eve decorating and talking to friends. I spent Christmas Day cooking pasta and talking with friends and family.
It feels soooo nice to be settled into my apartment.
It’s cool cause the apartment that I’m staying in has been used by the previous teachers at my school so it already had some things that I would’ve had to buy here. More on that later.
I’m still trying to find places for stuff. I have about 90% of my belongings in their places. The pile of stuff in my bedroom will find homes at some point 😆
So I don’t have to keep repeating myself, I just want to mention that I’m not sure when I’ll even be back in the USA. I packed up my whole room and either brought it with me, donated it, or gave it to friends/family. Everything that I brought is in good condition so why throw it out?
It pains me to think back at the $500 that I spent for my huge suitcases. As I was unpacking, I realized that I did bring WAAAAY too much. So, was paying the $500 for my huge suitcases worth it? I’d have say no. However, I didn’t really know what to believe from the videos and blogs that I stumbled upon before arriving in Korea so it is what it is.
Things that I brought:
Pictures. I have a bunch of pictures taped to my fridge. I printed them out at CVS and am SO happy that I did. My apartment in Thailand was not really that homey. If I had pictures I think it would’ve been.
Clothes. I brought lots of socks and bras/sports bras, dress shirts, jeans, tank tops, shorts, underwear, etc. I think I could’ve chilled with the amount of socks, bras, and tank tops that I brought. But most of them were new. I am excited to go shopping in Seoul to see what they have to offer. There are also some cute stores near me but it is cold and Covid is making its way back so I’ve decided to put my adventures on hold.
HDMI cord and Apple adapter. Other necessities: lightning cables, my universal adapter, portable chargers. I know I mentioned some of these in a previous post but, the HDMI cord and Apple adapter have been sooo useful. Of course, you can also get those here. But they were nice to have from my days in quarantine to now in my new apartment. It’s nice to be able to watch shows and such on a TV rather than my tiny iPad screen.
My IDP from AAA. I mean I haven’t used it yet but I’m really looking forward to renting a car and driving here. Again, since we’re in the middle of a pandemic it’s not recommended to take public transportation so starting on December 21, I can rent a car here and drive around. We’ll see if that actually happens. It’s cool cause you can post date it up to (I think) three months.
I also brought a duffle bag on the plane to bring because two suitcases just wasn’t enough 😒 I used my backpack and duffle bag as my two carry-ons. I’m thinking that the duffle bag will come in handy when I’m actually able to travel and I use my backpack to bring my laptop and small dinner to school.
Things that I brought that I definitely did NOT need to bring:
My cervical pillow (I found some at Homeplus that were actually half the price I paid for back home). Of course, they also have regular pillows.
Water bottles. I have a sick obsession with water bottles and I don’t know how to stop. I brought 2 water bottles, 1 travel tea mug, and a CrazyCap water bottle. I brought that for when I go on trips so I don’t have to buy plastic water bottles. They have plenty of different water bottles at Homeplus. Butttt, to be fair, the pandemic made me buy stuff that I clearly didn’t need. So I blame Covid.
Sneakers/any other shoes. Seoul has all different types of stores from Sephora to New Balance. I have yet to go there but I have looked up some stores for when I do go there post-pandemic.
Workout gear. I have my resistance bands and two ankle weights. I also brought my acupuncture and yoga mats. On one of my trips to Daiso, I saw that they had a good amount of workout gear so one of these days I’m taking my empty shopping bag and going crazy.
You can also buy items online through Gmarket. There’s also this cool website called Borderlinx where you can buy items, have it shipped to the US/UK and then they will ship it to you. There are other websites like Borderlinx but that’s the first one that came to mind. From what I’ve heard you do need a Korean bank account though so I guess I will have to wait. Luckily, I also have family in the US sooooo they can just ship stuff to me for a lower price (I think/hope) 😂
I’ve also read that they don’t have deodorant here. They do. I think maybe it depends on your location? Either way, if they don’t have the kind you like, you can buy it online. You really don’t have to go too crazy (like me) and bring a bunch of stuff that you can easily buy here. The only thing is is that it might be more expensive here. The way that I look at it is you either pay lugging all of your things from the other side of the world or buy stuff here. It’s a lose-lose situation. I also think back to Thailand because I couldn’t find good shoes and other stuff that I needed so I thought “better be safe than sorry.” I just didn’t want to be stuck like that again.
iHerb also has a website in Korea, so that made my year. They’re international so that’s cool. Amazon also ships here but I haven’t tried it cause I’m thinking it will be expensive like it was in Thailand. I had ordered vitamins from iHerb back when I was in the US and loved them. I ran out right before I came to Korea but then found out that they are a thing in Korea so it was a great moment. I’m not sure how it works yet but once I get my ARC (alien registration card) I can play around with these online stores and write about them. What I do know is that iHerb has awesome products from supplements to makeup to tea. I’m actually scared for my bank account when I get my ARC.
Honestly, everything else that I brought I am okay with. Yeah, you can always go shopping here but walking everywhere with your hands full can be fun for only so long (cause I walk everywhere) It’s also difficult right now because of the whole pandemic thing.
What I wish I brought:
I honestly can’t think of anything that I wish I brought. I do miss my computer adapter, but I can easily just buy that online or at a store so I’m not too worried about it.
South Korea does use a different type of plug than the US. In the US we use type A and B. Korea uses C and F. Korea also has a voltage of 220 V and 60 Hz while the US has 120 V and 60 Hz. Like I said, I brought my little adapter. I kind of wish I brought something like this though cause it just would’ve made my life easier. But that is what online shopping is for.
You know when you’re packing and you’re like ahhhh I’m going to forget something?? Well, even after being here for more than a month, it’s still in the back of my brain. If I actually did forget anything, I will update this.
Make sure to check out my TikTok for some videos that I think are funny but they’re probably not 😀