Are You a Runaway Or Just Brave?

It pains me to admit that it still surprises me just how many foreigners I come across in South Korea who are exposed to one of three stereotypes about why we’re here. The pigeonholing usually comes from well-meaning friends and family still in their home country. They are either asked what they are running away from, put on a pedestal of bravery that they could never muster up, or that they’ve consumed too much K-pop and K-dramas and have culturally lost their mind. Why does this happen?

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“I want to go to Seoul.”

When I first learned about South Korea roughly 6 years ago, it was certainly through its entertainment industry. All I could recall about the peninsula was what I’d learned through many years ago in high school (North Korea is the Hermit Kingdom and there was a longstanding war between the two Koreas), so the entertainment…

Why to Avoid Love at all Cost While Traveling

  It’s late July, the stagnant air reeks of hot, decomposing garbage and streets are dotted with rat filled cages. A child can be seen defecating next to a stall selling steamed buns. The buns are cheap so I buy enough to share. You know what stinks more than the residential slums in the heart…

Tao Expeditions: Kill What You Eat

Between El Nido and Coron:  Tao Expeditions Chapter Six:  Killing Pigs   The method for killing what you eat, at least on this island, was to pierce the throat with a long spike and thrust it downwards to the heart. I wanted to do it. They brought the pig to the outdoor kitchen at the…

The Cheonggyecheon: The Underground River of Seoul’s Future and Past

  Seoul: Repetitive Concrete or Emerging Visual Wonder? There tends to be confusion when people write or think about Seoul.  Is Seoul one of the new great and must-see cities of Asia; or is it a city plagued by pollution, overpopulation, traffic and stale, archaic architecture?  After perusing the Internet, an individual could draw different conclusions. …

Biking Ventures on the Geum River Bike Path in South Korea

By CHASE A. CHISHOLM with JOIN CHASE Travel Journal Two days. Mostly overcast skies. Rain. Lots of low clouds and fog blanketed the surrounding mountains with calmness. Smell of watermelon. Beckoned. Fresh cobwebs. Entangled. Fishermen hid under umbrellas during the battle between rain and sun. Garlic. And onions. Hung to dry. Peppers growing. Puddles to splash in while…

Date a Girl Who Stays at Home

If you ever listen to advice on dating, never accept advice by someone telling you whom you should date. Recently, I read an article suggesting girls should date a boy who travels. This post was well written and romantically inspired, but outrageously dumb. Yet, it struck a worldwide chord of nostalgia with any girl who…

Photos of Gwanghwamun Square: Your First Stop When Visiting Seoul

Gwanghwamun should be the start of any visit or travel itinerary in Seoul.  While not as vivid as Time Square in New York City, or as overwhelming as downtown Osaka or Tokyo in Japan, Gwanghwamun maintains its own cultural charm that is both vibrant and uniquely Korean.  Gwanghwamun features two statues: King Sejong the Great,…

Photos of Gwanghwamun Square: Your First Stop When Visiting Seoul

Gwanghwamun should be the start of any visit or travel itinerary in Seoul.  While not as vivid as Time Square in New York City, or as overwhelming as downtown Osaka or Tokyo in Japan, Gwanghwamun maintains its own cultural charm that is both vibrant and uniquely Korean.  Gwanghwamun features two statues: King Sejong the Great,…