Towards the end of July, I went on a trip with my program to Nami Island. It’s a beautiful island, surrounded by trees and mountains, with rich historical background. However, it’s most famously known for “Winter Sonata” a Korean drama that was filmed on the island. When I went, we traveled by bus which took about two hours from Yonsei University’s campus, and then we had to take a ferry to travel the rest of the way.
During the ride, my friends and I looked over the map of Nami Island, and made plans of where we wanted to go. There are so many shops and museums on the tiny island, we didn’t have enough time to see everything. So, since we only had a few hours, we made sure to try some of the foods and visit the historical sites first. We ate Pat-bingsu, a traditional Korean shaved ice of type of dessert topped with red beans and ice cream, and Hotteok, a sweet pancake filled with brown-sugar. Afterwards, we walked around the island and took pictures of the beautiful scenery. There were waterfalls, ponds, and beautiful statues all around. At one point, we passed by a large stage, and someone started to play some K-Pop, so my friends and I went on stage and performed a few dances. I was having such a great time, and it became even more meaningful when I noticed that Korean families had walked over to see us dance and cheer us on. I have always loved performing and this is the first time I had the opportunity to since I had arrived in Korea.
Our next stop was a souvenir shop. Inside, they had a lot of jewelry and cute knick-knacks. I bought a couple of handmade postcards that were really beautiful. At the cash register, the clerk was really surprised by my Korean abilities, and asked a lot of questions about where we were from and what brought us to Nami Island. I told her we were here studying abroad, and she was really happy that we were enjoying our time in Korea. She told me that most people come to Nami Island for getaways or a short vacation with their families. Some people even rent cabins on the island and stay for a whole season. She showed me some pictures of Nami Island during the different seasons, and it was so incredible to see how beautiful the island looked in the winter, fall, and even in the spring with rain pouring through the trees. I decided that somehow, I will come back to Nami Island during the fall or winter to experience the different seasons. I was also told that with each season, there is a new theme on the island. For example during the winter, they make Snowmen Hotteok (sweet Korean pancakes) and they have special performances to celebrate the holidays.
Sadly, our time on the island came to an end and we had to go back on the ferry to catch our bus back to campus. On the ride back I looked over all of the photos I took and every picture was truly beautiful because of the breathtaking nature that surrounded the island. It was one of my favorite trips, and I cannot wait to go back.