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Travel-Stained Monthly Recap: April 2016

At the beginning of April, the cherry blossoms exploded all over the city, turning Seoul temporarily into a pink fairytale wonderland.

The spring flowers and warm weather were not far behind, and we’ve been taking full advantage of the gorgeous weather by spending as much time outside as possible, before the insane heat and humidity of the summer hit.

TRAVEL
April was the month that we finally saw more of Korea. Agri had signed up to run his first marathon down in Gyeongju, so we took the opportunity to road trip around the south of the peninsula. We visited Yeosu, Suncheon, Daegu and Jeonju, before stopping into my cousin’s place in Daejeon, enroute to Seoul.

I’ll have posts coming up about roadtrippin’ Korea, as well as our experiences in all of these cities, including the embarrassing fact that Agri and I somehow completely missed each other at the finish line of the Gyeongju Cherry Blossom marathon. Honestly, I think I might’ve been bent over changing a diaper.

*Sigh. Such is life with babies.

As usual, our little traveling baby handled the trip like a champ, taking in all the new experiences with excitement and curiosity. I will say though that road tripping with our little one was definitely a lot easier than flying to another country…mostly because our car was essentially a mini-home that we could escape to whenever we needed to.

Not that it mattered much, because Naia just fell asleep wherever she was. Oh to be a baby and have that luxury.

 
We’ve seen a fair bit of South Korea now, and while Seoul is undoubtedly the crown jewel of the country – all sparkling, new and bright – a visit to other areas is not only worth it, I’d say it’s almost necessary to get a true sense of Korea. Because in truth, most of the rest of Korea is nothing like Seoul.

EXPAT LIFE
Springtime always makes me want to sit on a patio, drink coffee and relax. Unfortunately, in Seoul, this is easier said than done. Cafes in Seoul, at least the ones with prime locations and outdoor space, are more like clubs with super loud music and people talking at ear shattering decibels. Not really the vibe I’m looking for on a mellow, spring afternoon.

But after sitting at countless coffee shops with my headphones stuffed deep into my ears for my own sanity, I finally found exactly what I’ve been looking for. At the CoffeeSmith sorta near my house, there are huge open windows, blazing fast free wifi, big lattes in mugs and no loud music, or groups of ajummas screaming at each other. Let’s just call it my idea of heaven.

And so what if I just found it last week, and the staff already recognize me? πŸ˜‰

Also in April, my sister flew into Seoul to meet her niece for the first time and fell madly in love with her (of course). I think Naia, on the other hand, may have felt a little confused, because all of a sudden, there were 2 mommies, instead of 1.

We did all kinds of sister things, like shopping, getting Korean facials (which are amazing) and pigging out to our heart’s content.

And no, my sister and I are NOT twins.

RECOMMENDED POST
Way back before we became stodgy, old, boring parents, we did crazy things like experiment with the Amazonian medicine plant, ayahuasca, on the outskirts of Bogota, Colombia. Agri and I had experiences so markedly different, I find it extremely difficult to reduce it down to a simple “drug,” as some tend to do.

Bogota, Colombia

The morning after ayahuasca

Agri’s experience and my experience, if you’re interested.

What about you? Would you ever try something like ayahuasca?

INSTAGRAM
One thing I’m really enjoying about IG, is the capacity to post and share 15 second videos. In a past life, I edited video professionally and while words will always be my favourite medium to express an experience, sometimes video just does it better…especially since I’m not too interested in paying for a video upgrade on wordpress. :p

Our most popular video this month, with 246 views and 40 likes was of Agri eating some sannakji or raw octopus that’s so fresh, it’s still moving, at a Korean Hanjeongsik in Yeosu.

 
Our most popular pic this month, with 91 likes, was a sunset shot through the windshield of our car, somewhere in the Jeollanam-do region of Korea.

 
COMING UP IN MAY
We’ve got another busy month coming up! My dad flew into town at the beginning of the month, and my mom is joining him mid-month.

We haven’t made any solid plans yet, but another meal at Lab XXIV to celebrate their 44th wedding anniversary is in the cards, and perhaps we’ll take another little jaunt around Korea. Who knows?

In Seoul, the blooming of the cherry blossoms always signal the beginning of spring. Is there a definite sign of spring where you live? What do you have planned for May?

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8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Looks like you had a wonderful April! The spring in Korea looks magical! ❀

    May 6, 2016
    • This spring has been particularly gorgeous, with not too much of the dreaded yellow dust pollution. We’ve been lucky this year! Has spring hit you yet, there in Minneapolis?

      May 6, 2016
  2. The cherry blossoms are beautiful!! Is it hard travelling with a baby??

    May 6, 2016
    • One of the best parts of spring for sure! πŸ™‚ Honestly, I think it depends on the baby…we lucked out with the calmest, easygoing baby on earth. She hardly ever cries and eats and sleeps easily…so traveling with her is not hard, but definitely more tiring. I think if I had a difficult baby, I’d probably hide in my house and not leave until she was going to university. πŸ˜‰

      May 6, 2016
  3. Wow – your spring blossoms are simply amazing! I’m off to read the ayahuasca post now … and yes, I would try it! (Maybe I’ll change my mind after I read the post …?)

    May 6, 2016
    • Yes, the spring flowers here are incredible! I’d never seen anything like it while I was living in Canada, so it was a really pleasant surprise. πŸ™‚ Lol…maybe not my post, but definitely Agri’s. Hahaha.

      May 6, 2016
  4. The spring flowers are breathtaking! It’s amazing that baby Naia (so adorable!) is such a travel champ already… wish you guys many more awesome road trips with her πŸ™‚ Enjoy May!

    May 6, 2016
    • They are really gorgeous here! We got so lucky with her personality…such a chilled out baby. I’d definitely worry about traveling with her otherwise (which would really suck!) Happy spring!! πŸ˜€

      May 8, 2016

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