So. I am currently in Seoul, South freaking Korea. I still kind of cannot believe it. From the moment I knew for sure that I would spend 3 months in the capital of South Korea, which was around December, till the moment I left, it felt surreal that I would go.
I have to say, South Korea was definitely not my first choice of countries where I wanted to live. I have a very long bucket list of places I want to go (believe me, the list is endless) but this was not one of them. Certainly not one where I wanted to do my bachelor thesis. However, it was one of these things that just come on your path. It is not logical, but it makes sense to do it anyways. And boy, was it the right choice.
It has almost been a week since I arrived here and I have to say I have a crush on this amazing city. It is so alive, every moment of the day. There is never a moment that the streets are not crowded with people and full of life, but the city feels so relaxed and calm at the same time.
And the food. Oh wow. The food is something I cannot stop talking about. Koreans know how to eat well. The traditional food I have been able to taste so far is absolutely delicious. Super spicy, but it is worth it. Even though eating is difficult for me still; they use iron chopsticks instead of wooden ones here and IT IS HARD TO EAT WITH THOSE I TELL YOU.
And even if you are bored with the Korean fried chicken or ramen or bibimbap, they have so many other cuisines to pick from. You would think that they only have fantastic Korean food but noooo. Today we had Italian pizza for dinner (for some variation) and it was surprisingly good. And they have a Shake Shack here and the burgers are the best I have ever had. I’m gonna get so fat here.
The people are lovely. Super kind and friendly. Everyone makes you feel welcome, even though most Koreans don’t speak English much.
They have the weirdest things here, from shops only for coloured lenses to cat cafes (and racoon cafes wow) and lots of rules where to walk and where to stand wherever you are. Everything is structured and effective.
So far I have been trying to do the tourist things as well, but just walking around and seeing things is already an adventure here. We did already visit a palace in the middle of the city and it was so impressive (see pictures below).
My sweet, amazing, fantastic grandma is turning 75 this year, and to celebrate that my whole family and I went to beautiful Lagos, Algarve, Portugal again. Exactly 5 years ago we went for the same reason: back then my gran turned 70 and the trip was so memorable that we were all in for a do-over. Besides, the whole family kept bringing it up to gran about returning so it was also to just shut us up for a few more years.
As mentioned, this time we went to Lagos, which is about 1,5 hour from the Faro Airport. We only stayed in the Albufeira area last time so it was great to discover the more Western part of the Algarve. Gran wanted to go here specifically because then we could easily go to the most South Western part of Europe: Cabo da Roca.
Our trip was basically eating Pastel de Nata every singe day (seriously no exceptions), going to the gorgeous beach Porto de Mos and play in the huge waves (and getting sand EVERYWHERE), hiking either to see the sunrise or though the wild bushes in the burning sun and eating at our new favorite restaurant in Lagos called ‘the Garden’. Seriously recommend that one if you ever go there.
Oh, and playing card games every evening. That can get aggressive in our family, I tell you. We are all too competitive. Must be a family thing.
We had a great time. The weather was exceptional, we only had bad weather 2 days: when we arrived, so that was not too bad, and (of course) when we went to the waterpark in Portmao. That was very bad; never been so cold in my life. But we got through it and had a blast anyways.
I did not make too many pictures because I tried to just see the amazing views with my own eyes instead of through the lens of a camera for once. But here are some photos I randomly took.
Today we drove to Öland, an island about 2 hours away from Växjö, where we are staying right now with friends.
Öland is the place where all the Swedish citizens go to have their holidays. The island has lots of beaches, but we only visited a castle called the Borgholm slott and we drove to the most Northen lighthouse of Öland.
When my friend and I decided to visit our two other friends in Sweden, the idea came to live to do a roadtrip. Both of us deeply infected by wanderlust, in no time at all we planned to also visit Sweden’s neighbour country: Denmark. Neither one of us visited the capital before so we booked our ticket to Copenhagen, to travel from there on to Sweden.
I have never before been to Scandinavia, so for me this was an exciting, new adventure. Traditionally, at the Amsterdam airport I searched for a book to bring on the trip. I do this so I have a book that reminds me of my travels. As I was searching through the many books, trying to make a choice, I found the perfect one: The Little Book of Lykke; The Danish Search for the World’s Happiest People. The book is written by the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, who researches the happiest people on earth by turning happiness into something you can measure. I haven’t read it all yet, just the first 50 pages, but it is so interesting and I recommend everyone to read it as it is just a book of positive, humerous energy even though the writer always stays biased and critical toward the subject.
Anyhow, we arrived very late in Copenhagen and the only thing we did was eat, drink a big Danish beer and sleep. The day after we got up semi-early (we are both not morning people AT ALL) and strolled around the beautiful city.
I did not take pictures of everything, since I wanted to enjoy the moment of just being there too. I have to say: our day spend in Copenhagen was a happy day. One with sunshine, food, and gorgeous building and statues.
Now we are already on our next location: Malmö, Sweden. Excited for the rest of this roadtrip! God kväll!