“What was your favorite place?”

by Sharon -- October 29, 2010

One of the first questions people have been asking us upon our return home has been “what was your favorite place?”  If you have been on a longer-than-one-month trip overseas, then you know this dreaded question and are so familiar with answering it that you use the same cookie-cutter reply every time because every place was great.  For me, however, I really do have a favorite place.

No matter how biased my opinion may be (due to the fact that I’ve wanted to go to this country since I was little) we both think that South Korea was our favorite country of our trip.  There are a number of reasons why Korea is our pick, but here are a few of them consolidated for your ease of reading:

  • This was my first trip abroad; I think it’s safe to say that I went into this whole traveling thing “cold turkey”.  After a little over four months of some hardcore backpacking, it was nice to semi settle down into an apartment that we could call home rather than hopping from room to room.
  • South Korea reminded us of home.  We had experienced some intense culture shock in China, Cambodia, Vietnam, etc.  So coming to a place where technology was as advanced, if not more advanced than the US, and where sky scrapers were common, was like being back at home.
  • Two words: THE. FOOD.  I already knew I loved Korean food since I had grown up with it, but even Jason came to absolutely love it.  There are more “mom and pop” restaurants than you can imagine, which means old Korean ladies cook you some authentic home-made Korean food.  I even perfected my own version of Tteokbokki, which is honestly the best I’ve ever tasted.
  • Because people party and drink all day, every day, tons of restaurants and stores are open 24 hours.  The subways stop running at around midnight, and then they start back up again at 5am.  Since clubs don’t have a “last call”, most people just party until 5am when they can take the subway back home again after hitting one of the many 24 hour restaurants for an early breakfast.  Partying until 5 or 6am is just logical in Korea, and we’re very logical people, so why not party until breakfast?
  • Korean grandmas are quite interesting… and awesome.  They can be the cutest, tiniest, sweetest old ladies with perms you’ve ever met and they’ll ask you (in Korean) to sit down in the empty seat next to them or they’ll offer you some extra food at their restaurant.  On the other hand, they can push you out of the way in order to get on the bus before you, or snap at you to get you to hurry up.  They all have the same hairstyle too- short and permed.  It must be an unwritten social rule that when you pass the age of 60 you must have the same hairstyle.
  • Cost of living is significantly cheaper than the US.  It’s not the same caliber as Southeast Asia, but you can find amazing meals on street food carts for $2 per person or $4 at a restaurant.  Rent is not cheap in Seoul, however we were able to find a two bedroom apartment that is considered large in Seoul for about $400 a month.  Granted, it wasn’t the best location but it also wasn’t a bad one.  Who can beat that??

All of this being said, our number two favorite place on our trip was Vietnam.  Talk about CHEAP!  Perhaps I’ll write another post on our number two favorite Asian country.  Until then, you can think about how much you want to visit us if we end up back in Korea next year!

Be awesome and help us share:

5 Responses to ““What was your favorite place?””

  1. Even though I’m an adventurous eater and pride myself on trying unique food, I can honestly say that I’ve never had the chance to eat Korean food. I might have to make a special trip up to Chicago to try some : )

    I really enjoyed this article and hope that you decide to write a similar one about Vietnam.

    Take care!

  2. Write about the engagement!

  3. Congratulations!!!!!!!!! (I had “coffee” with Diane today)

  4. Korea is also my favourite country so far, for all of those reasons and more. One additional reason, off the top of my head, is that Koreans (other than the occasional ajuma) are the some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Oh, and Korea is also the safest place I’ve ever been.

  5. Korean food is amazing, but some of it, like kimchi, might take some getting used to!

    Jayme: Maybe we will, wait and see!

    Carmen: Thank you very much!!! What does “coffee” mean? Booze?? :)

    Britt: Will you be going back to Korea soon? We miss ya!

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