During my free time, my friends and I try to leave Ewha's campus to explore other parts of Seoul. In this post, I'll write about my experiences Sinchon, Myeongdong, Hongdae, and the National Museum of Korea.
A 15 minute walk from campus or 1 subway station away on Line 2, Sinchon can be found filled with young university students (from Ewha and Yonsei) and young couples during the night. There are tons of cafes everywhere, two McDonalds on either end of the street, and a thirteen-story U-Plex mall. The outdoor benches allow musicians and dancers to busk late at night, and the atmosphere is always vibrant. I'm at Sinchon almost every other night (mostly trying to find food- hahaha) and it's a great place to stroll in the evening.
It's Week 3 for me in Seoul (even though it still occasionally feels like I arrived yesterday) and I would like to share my first impressions of Seoul during my first week in the megacity...
Being on the older end of the K-pop fan spectrum, Jennifer and I decided to opt out of buying KCON concert tickets and, instead, we bought 1-day convention tickets for $16 each.
We originally planned our LA trip for the 3-day KCON event; however, the line up of artists were not very attractive (most of the groups announced were relatively new) so dropping $200 on tickets would definitely not be worth it. The only groups that I was interested in were VIXX, Super Junior D&E, Heize, and (maybe) Girl's Day out of 10 announced artists.
As our alternate plan, Jennifer and I made it our goal to meet YouTubers and get as much out of KCON in 1 day.
(left) I wasn't planning on running into Joan, but I was super ecstatic that I did! If you know me well, you would know that I watch her vlogs daily- so meeting her was a really pleasant surprise! I was so shocked that my hands were still shaking for about 5 minutes after this photo.
The last time I visited Los Angeles was when I was eight with a Hong Kong tour group. Like typical tour groups we went to Disneyland, Universal Studios, and Hollywood Boulevard. The trip was a blur, and I don't remember much from it.
During our five-day trip, Jennifer and I were determined to cover our bases and see different sides of Los Angeles. Koreatown. Santa Monica. KCON LA. Chinatown. The Broad. El Pueblo. Griffith Observatory. The Last Bookstore. These were just some of the places that we visited. We stayed in the center of Koreatown and ate tons of Korean barbecue, knife cut noodles (kalguksu), and dumplings (mandu). In all, the trip allowed me to see another sprawling city- this time, on the west coast.
By the time you're watching this, I will have already boarded my flight to Seoul. So what better time to tell y'all about my reasons for studying abroad than now?
*Note: Don't forget to click "Read More" at the bottom right!*
TL;DR: Jennifer and I had a great time in Atlanta visiting museums, seeing Eric Nam in concert, and hiking in nature.
Coming back to Atlanta for six days with Jennifer gave me a different perspective on the city. This trip was truly Jennifer's first time experiencing a large southern city. Home to the world's busiest airport, tons of Fortune 500 companies, ridiculous sprawl and traffic, and museums dedicated to colonial, civil war, and civil rights history, Atlanta is a sight to behold. I have always emphasized the need for a car and the distance between places to Jennifer, yet she didn't actually believe me until she realized that she has spent half of her day sitting in the car (occasionally in traffic) getting to places even though our interstates are seven lanes wide and no one obeys the speed limit.
As for me, I was really excited to see my Lovett friends all together at one place! Although we hung out with Izzy just a few days ago in Chicago, we saw each other again in Atlanta with Adrienne and Markell (whom I haven't seen since last summer). Although we only managed to chat for about an hour or so, it was really nice catching up and hearing about the different paths that we are taking in college. Personally, I really love listening to others' journeys towards their goals, especially if theirs are really different than mine.
*Note: Don't forget to click "Read more" on the bottom right to read the entire post!*
Visiting Chicago this time around felt different than the last two times due to the fact that Jennifer and I decided to stay in the city instead of commuting back to Waukegan on Metra daily. We decided to stay at Essex Inn, which is situated right in the center of everything on Michigan Avenue. It's in the process of renovating so things were a bit messy (one out of three elevators were out of order and our sink in the hotel room was the size of a dessert plate -_-) but aside from that, I think we got a pretty good deal considering that we're two college students traveling on a budget.
An excerpt from my Week 9 & 10 reflection email to my academic advisor:
As I’m wrapping up my ten weeks at HabitAware, I’m becoming more aware (pun intended) of the transitional phase between one stage to another, in my life and in HabitAware’s “life.” This past week, I finished writing blog posts for the HabitAware blog, with a dedicated blog post to sum up my entire summer experience with the company. I’m also in the process of contacting HabitAware’s pre-order customers one last time. In the ten weeks that I’ve been a part of the team, the core team has grown to accommodate company growth: a sales representative for the East Coast area, a friend of the team to help with customer service, and an exclusive distributor for Keen bracelets in Australia. Product-wise, we are reaching the end of the inventory from the first production run and two members of the team are leaving for Shenzhen, China again to supervise the second production run, with new designs and upgrades to our product. A few days ago, I joined the rest of the team to look at potential office space for September so that we can finally expand.
college student. junior. international studies major. over-the-top foodie. I clean when I'm stressed. I blog for fun.
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