Mild, temperate, and cold. These are the best words to describe the winter season Korea is currently experiencing at least so far in the 2016/2017 winter season. Having been on vacation for 2+ weeks now I feel fortunate to have played my cards right and chosen one of the more mildest winter’s in recent decades to visit my boyfriend and friends in Seoul.
Just two weeks ago, me and my boyfriend were napping on the pebble beaches of Geoje-do. Just one week ago today we were touring the bay gardens of Suncheon. And just a few days ago we were strolling through Sincheon, a popular central area of Seoul for youth, just as we used to do during our 1st year of dating. Reminiscing of these recent experiences I am eagerly looking forward to the next vacation we will be planning in 2017. However, not thinking too far ahead I am looking forward to the rest of my stay in Korea on these last few days.
As mentioned two weeks ago me and my boyfriend spent some time together down south on Geoje-do island, Korea’s second largest and more mildly warm temperate islands after Jeju-do. Our decision to visit Geoje-do in winter was simple we wanted to visit a new part of Korea that was foreign and unknown to both of us. Since neither of us had ever toured or much less knew a lot about Geoje we mutually thought that the temperate weather island would be a great destination to escape the cold and enjoy one anothers company.
Sharing the same taste for traveling my boyfriend and I have been fortunate to visit areas in Korea’s Gyeonggi-d0, Jeollanam-do, Gyangsannam-do, and respectively Jeju-do. Just like all previous areas we have visited on Geoje our itinerary entailed visiting famous landmarks, eating regional dishes, utilizing local transportation, going out on walking dates, and taking keepsake photos of another first-time travel experience. On each trip or stay, however, we sometimes would forgo set plans and get lost in the moments. During our Geoje trip we spent a few hours visiting the renowned Hakdong Mongdol Beach (학동몽돌해변) and basking in the sun for a few hours before resting at our pension house and having dinner. It was still a nice experience with welcomed r+r (rest and relaxation).
After returning from Geoje-do I spent a majority of time in-between the Seoul, Bucheon, Anyang, Seongnam, and Suwon areas in Gyeonggi-do staying with friends and touring new & old areas of interest. Being part of Korea’s northernmost region the weather this month has been somewhat chilly. Me and my boyfriend, however, chose to spend these days of vacation hanging out in the evenings due to more exciting things to see and do in the areas surrounding Seoul. For instance, we spent a lot of time visiting evening/winter-light festivals in different city areas, eating outside at street food vendor carts, going on walking dates around our favorite old areas, and enjoying Korean Chimek(치맥) nights & noraebang(노래방), which is the Korean version of karaoke.
To some of my friends who I had lunch dates with prior to my evening dates with the BF, our dates were viewed by my friends as simple. But, that’s pretty much how me an my boyfriend enjoy our time most, doing simple stuff like walking or eating classic-favorite evening dishes such as Chimek over visiting 4-5 star restaurants such as Top Cloud(탑클라우드) in Jongro Tower or Skyfarm (세상의 모든 아침) in Yeouido (*but I definitely wouldn’t mind a date there) d(-_^) Actually, my boyfriend recently tried to make a special reservation at Skyfarm in Yeouido, but was told that the restaurant was booked for the entire month of January ༼☯﹏☯༽ and was no longer taking anymore reservation appointments. Due to this we have forgoed visiting any popular restaurants this winter.
Visiting and traveling in Korea this new year so far has been a great experience. It has been wonderful to see my boyfriend again, go on long-awaited date nights again, and play typical couple-shenanigans on each other again. In addition, it has been great to spend this vacation so far visiting new areas together and creating more memories that we can look back on years if not months from now. Finally, it’s been an exciting trip because on this vacation my boyfriend and I are not only spending more time together, but also getting to know more about one another on a deeper level, by meeting more long-time & childhood friends, and actually planning out how we’d like to live our lives & when we would both like to settle down. In matters related to that we have lots of planning to do, so for now I can only say for certain that we are taking initial steps in the right direction. In the meantime though we are enjoying our time together this winter and rekindling the spark that started our love story.