My long awaited trip to Jeju. Ah I’m so happy and thankful I was able to get away from the busy, crowded, overwhelming city of Seoul and find myself in the nooks of an island. I originally planned this trip with a friend of mine earlier this summer, but when time came to make the decisions, she sadly told me she did not budget enough for travel costs.. Which automatically made me very upset and try to find some way to lower costs (which weren’t that much to begin with, but you know, us college students be broke) but long story short, I ended up going on this trip alone. And I’m very happy I did so. I was going to leave no matter what, haha, it’s just something I must do before the start of an academic semester at school.
So, this documents my trip. Of course, you can’t fully document everything, especially incredibly crucial and funny or perspective-changing moments, but I did the best of my ability to document the 4 days that I had on the Korean island. To be honest, it wasn’t half as beautiful or jaw-dropping as I would have liked or imagined (same goes for Oahu, Hawaii) but I realized travel is what you make it to be: you have to look for beauty. Traveling alone is freeing because you’re able to do what you realllly want to do, without trying to cater to five other people and make sure everyone is having a good time when you really want to do something else. Or do all the tourist things your friends want to do when you could care less about teddy-bear museums. Or feel like you have to be a social butterfly when you really just want some down time. But you can also meet a ton of cool kats on the road and socialize with tons of people from all over the world and who have had different travel experiences with really cool stories. Either way, travel buddies must be selected very carefully if you want to share your heart, desires, adventures, and findings together.
Anyway, here are some of my best photos from this trip. I met three other buddies (Daniel, Marlose, and SuHoon) at the guesthouse I stayed at. Guests come in and out, but you’re lucky when you meet a few travelers that share your same ideals and travel destinations/desires.
This was Day 2, hitting up all the waterfalls on the south side of the island! It took the entire day and a lot of walking and busing, but some were quite lovely. Here’s the beginning of our journey.
After, we hopped onto a bus and worked our way about an hour away to another area to find more waterfalls! Some really beautiful greens I saw along the way. If you know photographers.. they usually take longer than the average person. I, especially, enjoy travels alone or with a patient buddy because I need that extra time to get the perfect shot of flowers, leaves, all sorts of greenery. I start to trail behind the group cus I stop to get these shots. But I’m glad to do so : )
This waterfall was the favorite part of my journey (it’s actually in front of me). You can see the glow in my face because it was the one I’ve been waiting for. The other three waterfalls were soooo packed with tourists and they were quite disappointing in size. But here, the absence of Chinese tourists, the waterfall dumping its remains into the ocean, and the waves breaking onto the huge rocks nearby made this the perfect place. The waterfall was splashing little specks of its glorious refreshing minerals onto my face and feet as I stood next to it. Gah, the feels. I just wanted to feel alive and in the endless works of nature that make me feel so small yet so alive. That’s what I wanted and that’s what I got, though it was brief, I was so happily tingly inside in that moment.
Some iPhone photos because my 50mm lens did not got a wide-angle shot of the whole waterfall
After this glorious moment, we went onto our 5th and 6th waterfall. The 5th one had a ton of tourists, as pictured below, but it was a pretty large fall. We got some epic photos from this one. And the last waterfall experience overall was really cool and distinct, I really enjoyed the way they set it up and how historic it felt walking through the rivers and trees.
We finished the day with a little nice group photo. And managed to get little bit lost trying to find our way back home. But we made it and I was quite tired… And needed some time to recuperate. It was a full house in the hostel, I did some retreating and journaled and read a bit while many people gathered together in the living room. Processed my day with God and went to bed.
Day 4: It rained a bit during the night, got some good greenery to photograph.
Morning walk/hike on the Olle Road 10.
I had to head back early to get some time for myself before going on a surfing adventure. I was recommended a place to get lessons and a couple hours of surfing time, and it was great! The teacher was so funny and really well versed in his explanations. And when we headed into the water, I fell in love with surfing again. It wasn’t my first time like most of the others, so it was super fun for me and I got up 10+ times! It was so fun, the waters weren’t too crazy, and one of the teachers was so sweet and funny and cute in his own way, haha. I could tell I was improving and getting better at my form and timing. I know I won’t be able to be really good unless I work on it daily and get out on the waters consistently, but perhaps when I retire I can live on the coast and surf as a hobby : ) It’s such a refreshing awakening time, as frustrating as it is in the beginning. I love love love it.
(iPhone pics, not much documentation)
I wish I had more DSLR quality photos on the water, it’s such a shame that surfing is not as documented cus it really is an incredible experience. I wish someone would follow me around and take some epic photos for me, just cus I either gotta make them happen.. Or I gotta make them happen. And I always end up asking strangers to take my photos. I wish there was a 3rd party waiting to take epic shots that I happen to be in too. The struggles of a photographer (no one really takes good photos of you that you want).
And finally, after I got back from surfing and had dinner and had some chill time, all the guests in the guesthouse realized how tiny of a group it was for a Friday night, and we celebrated the empty corridors. We ended up hanging out and sharing stories and parts of our lives and musings with one another, and it was wonderful.