Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Cornucopia of Updates

There has been a lot going on as of late, although my blog activity doesn't reflect it. I'll be honest, I got lazy and didn't want to write. My dedication goes in ebbs and flows, I have found. But now I'm back and ready to tell the world (or a few people reading) just what is going on.

Alix and I went to Jeju in the beginning of June. We had a 3-day weekend so we decided to take advantage of our time and the island's close proximity. We didn't get to see much since it rained on our last day, but we made the most of our trip.

On our first full day, we visited Hallim Park. This isn't really a must-see attraction in Jeju but it was literally next to our hostel so we thought why not. It was nice to walk through and we enjoyed ourselves, but nothing too out of the ordinary.

We made our way to Loveland in the northern part of the island. We had a long bus ride there, but we couldn't go to Jeju without visiting this one-of-a-kind park.

I don't know for certain, but I believe it was created in order to stifle the sex taboo that remains in Korea til this day. Korea, as advanced and cutting edge a culture as it is, still remains quite archaic in some ways. Jeju is a popular honeymoon destination, so maybe it would help those first timers get over the initial, maybe somewhat awkward, experience. Maybe it would help adolescents learn about male and female anatomy. Maybe it would just provide a few good laughs and endless photo opportunities. Whatever the case, Alix and I had fun walking through the exhibits and seeing everyone laugh and pose with the giant naked statues. I won't post the pictures, but if you'd like to see them for yourself (and trust me, they're worth seeing) I would be more than happy to send some your way.

Here is one of the more tasteful pieces.

The next day, Alix and I went on a tour of the eastern part of the island with a group of students that were staying at our hostel. There were some trails we wanted to take, some lava tubes we wanted explore, and some coasts we wanted to admire. We got to do the majority of things on our list, but unfortunately it started to rain and we had to call it an early day.

I didn't get to see nearly everything that I wanted to, so I'm going back to Jeju for my long vacation in August. I considered going to another country, but I thought it wise not to since my contract is finished a few weeks later...

And then it's off to Thailand I go! Which brings me to my next update.

Melissa, Liana and I have been making preparations and plans for our travels throughout Southeast Asia. We plan to (roughly) go from northern Thailand to Laos to Vietnam to Cambodia and back to southern Thailand. We'll travel for a little less than two months before we make our way to the south of Thailand to relax on a beach with nothing but our memories and our thoughts. I thought that I would go straight home after Southeast Asia, but had a change of heart after watching a television program (in Korea) dedicated to the one place I've always felt was my home away from home, a city I fell in love with so hard it hurts.

Florence, of course! Alix called me into her room so I could watch it and at that time I decided that I'm going to make a stop in Italy before flying home. I can pay for a trip with my own money and I don't have to ask permission; if I want to go I can. So I am!

I don't mind traveling solo, but Italy is a painfully beautiful country and best, I believe, when experienced with someone you love; I knew that I had to convince my mother to go. I came up with this, a petition to show my mom how loved she is, how hard she works, and how deserving she is of an Italian vacation. With a little persuasion and some encouragement from friends and family, she booked a flight to Rome! We're meeting for a week before I return home to the states for a long while (I promise).

Other than vacation and trip updates, I wrote another small piece for The Travel Belles, a website for women who have a hard time sitting still (sound like anyone you know?) Click here if you'd like to read it.

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