Unlike most, I have never been bitten by the wanderlust bug, maybe because as a family, it is not something that we do, until recently. It started last year, in which we ended up travelling to Northern Luzon thrice in a year- we went to Baguio twice (one in May, and that trip is detailed in this post; and one in December), and we had one impromptu road trip up north to Pangasinan.
However, late last year, we caught wind of a wonderful AirAsia seat sale, and we decided to travel as a family to Seoul, South Korea from June 20 to 23, 2019. This would also mark our second trip abroad as a whole family, as the last time we traveled was to Hong Kong, two years ago, and that time, we also had extended family with us, unlike this time.
The trip was definitely an experience for all of us, especially as all of us kids are a little bit older, and my parents are older as well. Just like any normal family on a trip with each other, there were a lot of memorable moments, and some moments in which we clashed a lot as well. However, one thing is for sure, I definitely do want to go back to Hong Kong and to Seoul again in the future, with Seoul being more of a priority for me.
As I’m learning Korean, even though I’m a beginner, I was also quite proud that I was able to have a little conversation in broken Korean and English with one of the ladies that served us at an awesome and very homey samgyupsal place in Myeongdong, close to where our hotel was. In the future, I hope to be able to be able to speak better and more confidently, and I’d like to check out all the places and do the other things that we weren’t able to do this time around.
We actually only had two full days, as we were still kind of settling in when we arrived in the afternoon, and we had to leave for the airport early on Sunday morning.
So, during the very short time we had, we were able to successfully able to visit one area at the Bukchon Hanok Village, spend an afternoon at Gyeongbokgung Palace, go around Gwanghanmun Square (even if we didn’t get to enter the museums), and did a whole lot of shopping (clothes, jewelry, Kpop albums and merchandise for me!) in the various stores in Myeongdong and at the Myeongdong Underground Shopping Center.
I also managed to snag a picture with an ad featuring Jung Hae In, an actor I really like.
Our hotel was wonderful as well! We stayed at the Solaria Nishitetsu Hotel in Myeongdong, and it was right beside Artbox, and it front of Myeongdong Kyoja, where we had a lot of mandu and mandu soup.
We also indulged in a lot of street food around Myeongdong while going shopping during the night, had seollneongtang at Sinseon Seolleongtang, had samgyupsal at Woori Garden, and samgyupsal at a small but homey restaurant in Myeongdong. We also ate kimbap wity spicy octopus and pickled radish for breakfast on one day, cup ramen and egg on another day, and there was one day in which we just had kimbap on the go and got pizza from a stall at Gwanghanmun Square. I also had an ice cream rose from Milky Bee, which I really wanted to taste; and we visited the Innisfree Cafe, where I got a Jeju Tangerine Smoothie, which is probably one of the best fruit smoothies I have ever tasted. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to try the food at Arirang Toast, which was just right beside our hotel as we were always on the go.
Now, as mentioned earlier, there were a lot of memorable moments, but there were also some not so great moments as well. However, we still enjoyed the entire trip, and I was able to learn some things as well that I can apply in future trips.
Normally, I’m not really supposed to come up with the itinerary, but more often than not, I can’t help but take charge of it, as no one else will do it. I was too focused on making the most of the short time that we would be there as well as trying to make everyone happy that I didn’t take into consideration the actual pace my younger siblings and parents would have. I also forgot to give enough time allowance for us to get lost as well. For my family, especially with some of my siblings and my parents, their pace is around one or two times slower than what’s put as the recommended amount of time placed in websites such as TripAdvisor regarding some tourist attractions. So, now that we know this, we will probably adjust the number of days to allow for the fact that the first and last days should be really chill.
I actually broke down crying while walking during the afternoon of the first day as it looked like we wouldn’t be able to do what I put in the itinerary, and then half the time was eaten up by the fact that we got slightly lost. I just wanted things to be perfect, and I felt pressured that it should be perfect, forgetting that it’s okay if things don’t need to always be that perfect.
I also realized that everyone has a different way and style of enjoying while travelling. Some of us love taking in the culture, history, and food, with a bit shopping; while some just prefer to be more chill; and while others prefer to just shop and experience the nightlife. I was expecting all of us to be game for a little bit of everything, mostly because that’s my own expectation of what I want to do when I travel. However, knowing this now, I think that in the future, I’ll be able to respect the different ways that they prefer to travel, without getting annoyed at them when they don’t live up to my expectations. This also made me realize that in the future, aside from adjusting the number of days and the actual departure and arrival time, that our schedule cannot be too jam packed, and should be a bit more loose, to accommodate any changes that might happen to our schedule.
All in all, it was a short and sweet trip in which I learned a lot from about myself and my family when it comes to travelling abroad with them. I hope to return to Seoul soon, and I hope that I will be able to remember all of the things I learned from this trip so that I can apply them in our future trips!
consideration was the fact