Recently, I was able to visit Nami Island. This island is known for various things that make it so unique to itself. For example, around the island you will notice the “eco-friendly” materials and designs like using recycled trash to build attractions. This was a day of jam-packed fun and I’m excited to live through it in this blog and talk about its rich ability to promote the significance of appreciating the environment around us.
The trek to the island was a long one from the Seongbuk-gu neighborhood that consisted of three train rides, a taxi ride, and then finally a quick ferry ride to the actual island. This is the furthest I’ve been from Korea University so far. On the last train, we began to see continuous mountains out of the subway windows and I also felt my ears begin to pop due to the pressure differences. Even the area around the island had a different vibe compared to the norm in the area around campus. The ferry ride was awesome, albeit short, and it was fun being on a boat after not having been on one in a very long time.
Once on the island, time just seemed to cease to exist! My friends and I had such a good time, visiting the gift shops, taking pictures of the greenery, spotting the animals (there were four ostriches on the island, along with squirrels, bunnies, and peacocks who had no issue running around freely), reading about the different architecture and sculptures, and eating snowman-shaped 호떡 (Hotteok). We spent hours on the island simply roaming and soaking up the peace of being in the forest after spending so much time in the city.
Some of the most impressive points of the island that I’ve found to have stuck with me are the following: Throughout the island you will find countless art sculptures depicting mothers and children. While many laughed at the faces and style of the art, I found it to be very beautiful. They clearly showcased the importance of Mother Earth and appreciating the beauty that the Earth naturally gives us. Additionally, I loved the small Recycling Garden (Morning Dew Garden) located on the island. While small, it was impressive to see the recycled materials being repurposed as a zen pitstop area.
We ended up staying so long at Nami Island that we missed the final bus to get back to the station and miraculously found two taxis to lug our group back. The ride back to school was almost longer than it was actually getting there and I found myself falling asleep on the train. Nami Island was an extremely fun experience and I’m very thankful that my program, TEAN, made the cultural experience possible. It is trips such as this one that will make me miss Korea the most. The “out-of-the-way” trips seem to be the best ones; I hope to continue making memories like the ones I made at Nami Island.