A Simple Pleasure





Two Worlds in Harmony

When I begin to stop and look.

What’s different between where I’ve been most of my life (Oakland, CA and Middlebury, VT) and Seoul is that it’s a bit of the things I like the most from the two. My neighborhood in Oakland has blocks of houses and apartments right next to each other, with pockets of stores along the streets. 

My college, though, is in Middlebury, a town located in rural Vermont. Although it’s a bit different from Oakland, I quite like it. It’s easier to clear my mind at Middlebury, because there are so many trails close by and lots of nature around the campus. And I really like snow, so you lose some points there, Oakland. 

Seoul has the best of the two places. Although some areas are very residential, there are many mom and pop restaurants tucked in the alleys and corners, which makes it very convenient to feed yourself. There’s also an endless amount of things to do and places to go in the area I live in in Seoul, and I love finding new and cool places that are just minutes away. It’s really a great place to be at and I’m so glad I’m getting the chance to live there. 

Of course, Seoul is very urban. But there are many exceptions to that statement. Just like Middlebury, if you ever come to Seoul, I really recommend you to hit up a hiking trail. 

Hiking in Seoul

One of the many trail head of Bukhan Mountain.

Hiking has to be my favorite thing to do in Seoul. It’s a simple pleasure, but not for someone who lived in, say, Oakland for 99% of her life. This particular trail was near the Suyu subway station, which made it super convenient to get to. Just walk a few minutes; maybe follow some grandmas and grandpas in hiking gear, and the destination will just come to you.

The trail me and my friend walked at the Bukhan Mountain was extremely easy. The level of difficulty of this trail was beginner, so there weren’t many uphills or stairs. It’s also a semi-historical trail, because I got to see many monuments and read some history of the place on information tables (in English! So even more of a reason to go). Also, like I hinted, many grandmas and grandpas go hiking in Korea, and it’s nice to see them exercising in the morning and taking good care of their bodies. Time to learn from them, Tierra! 

A temple that we found while hiking.

How can I express how much I love going out and just walking in Seoul. The freedom to do that is not easy granted in Oakland, because there are virtually no mountains around where I live. I am grateful for simply this. What’s also special about this activity is the appetite that builds up as you keep going. I guarantee that there are many restaurants that exits at the end of the trail, and they all taste amazing.