Since I was a little girl my favorite season of the year was summer. Coincidentally, I was born in the middle of summer on what may have been a hot summer day that may have also been a horrible day for my mother (꒪ȏ꒪;). Nonetheless, summer has always been the best season of the year.
Living on an island summer was always a highlight period. Every year, me and family or me and childhood friends would spend our summer days at the beach. We would stroll around the boardwalk , eat hotdogs, drink coca-cola, and at the end of the day after finishing to swim enjoy some Italian ices. Everyday played out in the same sequence and each day was memorable.
My childhood summers were some of best the moments of my life, as summers should be. However, in-between high school, college, and even graduate school my beach time summer days dwindled. I would like to blame lack of time for not going to the beach as much, but truthfully things changed as I aged.
No longer were my summer days as carefree. Instead of beach days I worked summers as a camp counselor in my teens, went on summer study abroad programs (*in Japan and Brazil) while in college, and traveled around the states during the summer attending conferences after enrolling in graduate school. In reality, I was growing up and summer started to feel like every other busy season.
Summer started to feel less special, and began to be viewed as just a hot period of the year after I moved to Korea. During my first summer in Korea I was enrolled throughout summer period in language courses at Sogang University. Spending all-day and everyday in class, at a cafe studying, and working on my KU grad-thesis dissertation research were my main focuses. However, remembering my birthday month, many of my new friends were open to celebrating with me.
Having made friends at both Korea University and Sogang University that year I thought it would be nice to hold a big dinner party. That was the first summer in a while since I had friends to celebrate with. In addition to the party my closet friends and I planned a trip to Busan that summer. Visiting both Haeundae Beach (해운대해수욕장) and Gwangalli Beach (광안리해수욕장) during our trip, was my first time at a real beach since 2010. Ever since that summer I have always tried to visit a beach each year while living in Korea. Since 2013 I have gotten to visit beaches/ shores off of Oido, Busan, a fishing village outside Gyeongju, Sokcho, Gangneung, Jindo, Incheon(Eulwangri beach), and Jeju-do. I always tried to visit more, and visit each with a friend or two. My reason for visiting the beaches/shores was not only an escape from Korea’s dreadful humidity, but to begin a new summer cycle. Like my childhood summers I wanted to make my summers in Korea forever how long or short memorable. And just my luck they each were.
Last summer, my boyfriend and I spent many dates out and about all over Seoul and neighboring cities. We hung out indoors and outdoors. We hung out early in the day and late at night. We did, we tried, and we ate new things. My summer days last year were one of kind. They were one of a kind because I got to spend more time with the man I love.
This year, back in New York, I can’t wait to visit old (favorites) and new beaches on the island. I also can’t wait to see, try, and do new things with my boyfriend when he comes to visit. Lastly, I can’t wait to join my family on our first Europe trip in August. The summer has begun and I am so excited to spend each day (*even work days) making this summer as memorable as the last.
Once again my summer days hold a special place in my heart…
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