The tickets I booked to Seoul were nonrefundable/nontransferable so after my stay in the hospital, my mama and I jet to the airport and headed to Korea (and I’m glad we did since we very nearly cancelled. Once the antibiotics kicked in the difference in how I felt was day & night!). My friend Jackie spent her childhood in Seoul and sent me a great list of recommendations. We visited Gyeongbokgung Palace, Insadong crafts street, Bukchon Hanok Village, Seoul Tower, Han River, Samcheong-dong neighborhood, and the Namdaemun, Dongdaemun, and Myeongdong markets. Our hotel was in Gangnam, across the river from most of the tourist attractions, so we spent some time strolling along the massive avenues there as well.
I loved unlimited self-serve kimchi, spicy noodles, super helpful Koreans on the street, coffee shops on every corner, beautiful architecture, Korean skincare (this stuff is legit), affordable shopping, and saying 감사합니다 (kamsahamnida, thank you). I hope to return someday when it’s not so freezing and smoggy…
an ode to mama:
I am so grateful I’ve been able to spend so much quality time with my love, my light, my first vibration, my new year’s eve seoulmate, who I don’t get to see very often. I adore her and who better to welcome my lucky number seven year with than the woman who gave me life? I love that my mom is absolutely fearless. She makes friends everywhere she goes, and is never too proud to ask for help or to ask the important questions. She has hustled her entire life, whether working three jobs as a student, running a hospital, or raising five kids as a single mom; she will accomplish any goal she puts her mind towards. She has seen both her parents, husband, older sister, and younger brother pass before her in addition to facing numerous other hardships, and still she is incredibly resilient and positive. At her core she is a kind and generous human. Seriously, my role model for life.
In total, we will have spent 5 weeks together, which is the longest amount of time together, just the two of us, since I was 4 years old and we lived in snowy Vancouver. Back then, she took me to the library every week.
Being able to relate to my mother now as an adult is for me, a special and unexpected gift. The kind you never could imagine as a child or adolescent, and now it’s in the palm of your hand. I can better understand the sacrifices she has made and the woman I have become because of her. We take care of each other, and I feel lucky to have the sort of relationship with her now that I was not able to have growing up.
age 21 college graduate // age 38 with 3 kids
wish I had a digital version of her wedding photo at age 27 as well…she is radiant
age 70 waiting for the bus…to take us to gyeongbokgung
super fly lady // super short people in the olden days
dedicated toilet cafe at the top of Ssamzigil shopping complex in Insadongmyeongdong street candy // bukchon village‘My Own Garden’ mural by Park Jin Youp in acrylic and water paint“I find my own garden made of thoughts and emotions every time I recognize the world outside. This can not be shared with anyone. This place makes me feel lonely and free.”better than a boyfriendmom says, let’s ask the good looking policeman for directions
public art // korean starbucksthis strikes me as woeful…you, so preciousold x new
dongdaemun design plazamy mama ❤
what I want to do in 2017:
- run my first marathon
- apply to law school
- go on a mid distance bike & camping trip
- get scuba certified
- learn to pull espresso
- string together some legit japanese sentences
xo your friend alice
Location: Seoul, Korea