After booking our tickets to South Korea to visit my special friend Palesa, I didn't plan much else. Knowing she was there and had explored much of the country, I left most of the planning and site seeing to her. I made a brief list of a few spots the night before we left. My lack of research left me with no expectation of what South Korea would be like. Boy, did it blow my mind! I have this expectation of what Japan is like and basically South Korea is right there with it. Trend central, people in the coolest clothes, sipping on coffee in designer cafes, a consciousness of design every step you take. Japan has been on our bucket list for ages, seeing South Korea has only made us more excited to go there.
Walking around Itaewon on our first morning, I kept thinking back to my trip to Sweden. Maybe it was the crisp -18°C air but mostly it was the inclusive design everywhere we went. There's an awareness of pregnant women and frail people on all levels of public transportation and recycling bins everywhere you go.
With design that good at a public level, the general population seems to embrace good design. From clothing to home-ware to skin products, the coolest hotels and beautiful interiors on almost every street. Excuse the design geek in me. Seeing all the theory I learned in college actually be practiced is flipping exciting. In South Africa and in Vietnam it's mostly impossible to design this way as our countries are still developing and have so many people living below the bread line.
Aside from the design, our trip was so special because of P! Seeing her after 2 years was the greatest gift of all. When I say 2 years, I don't count the time she flew to South Africa for a weekend and I got to say all of 3 sentences to her. She went to every effort to make our trip special, she even bought us tickets to Jeju island as a belated wedding gift.
Jeju island is most Korean's choice honeymoon destination. It's a volcanic island that we have to return to one day for hiking in the summer time. We were lucky enough to see snow while we were there. It was Chris' first time seeing snow. He instantly returned to child, it was the best watching him so full of excitement!
P-dog, thanks again for making our trip so special. I'll be sharing some more on South Korea soon.