Friday, November 20, 2015

Experiences of a Lifetime

In exactly 31 days I will be back in my small hometown of Callao, Missouri. I am overwhelmed with emotion at this thought. I have trouble conveying this to anyone who has not studied abroad. I miss my friends, family, and things in the U.S. that I can’t get over here (like crab rangoon). I miss experiences like lying under the stars at night with friends after a long day. However, Seoul has become another home. My stay here is temporary but a part of me will always remain in Korea. The lifestyle I have experienced is extremely different than in the states. Even though I have only spent a short time here, I am nervous about going back home. Studying abroad changes everyone, and I am no exception. I do not know how my family and friends will react to how I grown and changed.

I only have one month left in Korea. I will be busy two of these weeks with studying and finals. Therefore, I am traveling to a lot of places these next couple weeks. I am going to Lotte World (amusement park), Busan, Incheon, Mt. Yongmasan, Seodaemun Prison, and of course shopping for gifts to bring back to friends and family. Recently, I went to the DMZ, Nami Island, and Petite France. I keep trying to explain how I felt at the DMZ. However, there are no words to describe my emotions. The first part of the tour was going to the third tunnel. The third tunnel was discovered in South Korea during the 1970’s. This tunnel was built by North Korea (although they deny it) in order to invade Seoul. There are currently four known tunnels, however many more are expected to exist.

There are dynamite holes (yellow in the picture) all along the walls of the tunnel. There is a door leading to North Korea at the end of the tunnel (although you cannot go through it). Coming back up through the tunnel is no piece of cake. It is very steep! Additionally I saw North Korea (pictured below). 

The last stop on the tour was Freedom Bridge. Prisoners of war were exchanged on this bridge after the Korean War. The memorial to the POW's is located at the end of the bridge (pictured below). 

Nami Island or Naminara Republic is a beautiful island in Chuncheon. The trees were absolutely stunning, ranging from cherry, ginkgo, white birch, redwood, to white pine trees. There are multiple paths throughout the small island. The small island became more popular after a drama filmed there. 

Recycling is very popular on the island with a lot of the statues involving recycled goods in some way. These are two of the sculptures I found most interesting.

Today I went to Lotte World which is an amusement park in Seoul. Traveling is always a great experience. However, the people you go with complete the experience. I went with these three lovely ladies. A friend invited to go with her and two other people. Although I did not know them before today, they truly made the experience perfect.


Until next time,

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