I know, funny. I had to. I love traveling. I crave the experience and the unfamiliarity. No matter how many times I visit a city, the possibilities seem endless. But since I started my first job, two days after I graduated college, I haven’t taken off more than two days at a time. If I was taking any sort of vacation, I was running off to Vegas and NYC for a long weekend or to Chicago for a less-than-24-hours travel fix. But now, that was going to change. This time I was taking off 2 weeks and heading west!
Even if everything would have gone horribly, I can still say that Business Class was well worth the flight. After examining the goodie-bag provided by Delta and informing the flight attendant to keep the mimosas coming, I put the K-Pop hits on full blast and relaxed. Thirteen hours on a plane and 6,000 miles later, I landed in Seoul, South Korea. I went there to visit my friend Brittany who was teaching English in Gumi, a city just a 2.5 hour train ride south of Seoul. I also went to Hong Kong to visit a friend and coworker, Anna, who was visiting our company’s Hong Kong office for the week.
Upon my arrival in Seoul, and my ensuing 4 hours of wandering, I finally reached the place where I would call home for the next week. My time there took me to a café where I could eat gelato every morning for breakfast, to the N Seoul Tower, the tallest point in Seoul where I could see over the entire city, and to every shopping market where I could have spent every dime I had.
Normally when I go to different cities I like to submerge myself in the culture and live as if it is my home. So I did just that. Brittany and I ate everything in sight and drank Soju until the wee hours of the morning.
Clubbing was also a must! Now typically I refuse to pay any sort of cover here in Minneapolis, or anywhere in the states for that matter, but we were told club M2 was worth the ₩20,000 [ ≈$20 USD]. It felt like a Korean version of Jersey Shore – vodka Redbulls and fist pumping to house music all night long. I mean, I do love me some house and don’t mind vodka, so all in all it was a successful night.
From Seoul I headed to Hong Kong. A 40 degree increase in temperature and English speaking folk everywhere made my transition nice and easy. When I arrived in Hong Kong I had to stop at the Burger King inside the airport before I did anything. I was craving it for some reason. I blame it on the advertising in Korea. They made the Whopper look like a million bucks and for some reason I just wanted to have it my way.
During my connecting flight to Hong Kong I was delayed in Shanghai for five hours. While waiting around, I ran into the Marketing Director of Converse – Asia Pacific.
Now I have been obsessed with Converse for the last three years and even started a blog about all things Converse. He informed me that there was a Converse store in Seoul that I could go to and get any picture of my choosing printed on my shoes. Once back in Seoul I headed to the store, where I discovered they no longer offered that service. Instead I found myself purchasing three pairs of shoes… Lucky for me, my feet are considered large in Korea; therefore, 2 of the pairs I bought were on clearance.
I plan on going back to Asia in the near future. I loved the time I spent in both Seoul and Hong Kong. I am very thankful to all of my friends who helped make this trip possible and grateful for the time I got to have alone for self-reflection, as in this busy day and age we tend to forget to spend some time with ourselves.
Tags: Converse, Hong Kong, Ian Stewart, N Seoul Tower, Seoul, vacation