After week 3 at Yonsei, I, along with students from the University of California campuses, took a road trip to Kyeongju and Busan. We stopped at Kyeongju to eat a big and satisfying lunch and then visited the Bulguksa temple. Most of what I remembered from Kyeongju was that it was extremely hot there (but dry compared to humid Seoul) and the bus ride took forever (about 5-6 hours.) By the time we arrived at Busan, it was dinner time, and the whole crew (about 100 people) had barbeque at a very fancy restaurant. We were all exhausted and hungry from the bus ride, but that did not stop us from walking around Busan after arriving at our hostel.
Right away, my friends and I took the subway to Haeundae Beach, the famous beach of Busan. Although it was already 10 o’clock, the beach was still crowded with people, mostly young adults. Never before have I seen so many people still at the beach when the sun is already down. My friends and I LOVE Busan. In my opinion, Busan is like countryside plus beach plus city.
It has a little bit of everything. People in Busan have a different accent from people in Seoul and they seem to act slightly differently. It was fascinating to see a different and even more beautiful side of Korea.
Visiting Busan and wandering around Seoul have made me realize that being in another country is not hard to adjust to. I rarely have any obstacles or depressing memories. With a language barrier, I feel that I sometimes struggle or become confused, but overall, I have become more patient and open-minded to learning more about the language and how to communicate with people who do not speak the same language. I believe that having a group of friends one feels comfortable in is the key to having a great experience in another country. Although I did not know anyone in the group of friends I currently hang out with, I know that everyone else also felt awkward in the beginning. Once we opened up to each other and just acted like ourselves, we became very close very quickly. Trusting strangers, I believe, is not something to avoid. Friendships are products of trust, patience, and communication. I believe it is crucial for everyone to be more adventurous and patient when travelling abroad. Therefore, I think travelling is not a brutality, but a beauty. Foreigners are able to experience what they cannot at home while still keeping their character and past. We just open our arms to more memories while not neglecting what we have at home. I am very thankful to be able to learn more about myself and other cultures and hope that everyone has the chance to do the same by travelling abroad!