For our winter holiday this year (in February), we went to Cebu! Cebu is an island in Visayas which is a group of islands south of Luzon which is the main island of the Philippines. While I am fluent in ‘Filipino’ (Tagalog), they speak a different dialect here in Visayas but they know English or tried to talk to me in Tagalog. Anyway, getting off topic here.
Talk about a jump back in time. I went to Hokkaido a year and some months ago and now that it’s getting colder, I’m coming around to writing about it. Better late than never right??
Summer in Seoul was dreadful. It was hot and sticky and I was sweating nonstop. This made me not want to leave the haven of my apartment where I had the AC on all day. But alas, it was summer vacation and I had one week to try to do something. Emphasis on try because leaving my apartment was torture.
I managed to go Incheon for a day. The train ride is a little over an hour and you bet I found all the air vents in the subway stations while waiting for it to come. I had the misfortune of sitting between three older people who had horrible breath and were constantly talking to each other and I moved to different car to escape from them.
So it was Chuseok six weeks ago and I am now coming around to writing about it. But let’s be real, my last post was a while ago. Good news is, I quit my Korean class (also sad news). I said I would self study but I haven’t yet. Now, I have too much free time and not enough money so I will try to write about some adventures.
Chuseok is the Korean equivalent of Thanksgiving, basically a harvest festival. They make and eat all this food but I only know about songpyeon…maybe I’ll explore that in another post.
The flights to Japan were “cheap” but I think during Chuseok it was the normal price. We decided to go and just walk around and eat and that was literally what we did. We also decided to just stay around Dotonburi because it was just two days and I didn’t want to pack too many things in this trip when we can just go back again.
We had a three day weekend and went to Busan! Busan is the second largest city? I think? We traveled there via the “slow” train. It took about three hours but the view was nice.
In three days, I will be flying to Seoul where I will be spending a week training. Then if all goes well, and all will go well, I will be on a bus to Daejeon! This post will eventually become another page here on the blog–which will be updated periodically once I get my hands on a travel guide. I will add even more once I start planning on going to other countries. But for now, here’s a list of things for me to do and see in Daejeon. I won’t put a list of things to eat because I want to eat everything.
Wikipedia says Daejeon is the fifth largest city in Korea with a population of over 1.5 million. It’s about an hour south of Seoul via the KTX (Korea Train Express, high speed train). Comparing it to San Diego, it’s half the size with about the same amount of people. Yep. It’s also a tech hub and is basically the Silicon Valley of Korea. With that said, here’s my list!
- Mt. Expo Park
- Museums (Museum of Art, National Science Museum, Currency Museum)
- Yuseong Hot Springs
- Hiking! (Mt. Bomunsan, Mt. Gubongsan, Mt. Jangtaesan, Mt. Gyejoksan, Mt. Sikjangsan, Gyeryongsan National Park, Uam Historical Park)
Of course I’ll be walking everywhere and eating a bunch of food and shopping, but I will pace myself and I will be posting about my adventures here so stay tuned!
If you put your mind to it, it’s really easy to get around in the Philippines. You don’t need a car (but sometimes it would be nice to have one). There are plenty of ways to get around (mainly four to five here in Zambales, but it is similar all over Luzon).
The smallest vehicle, the tricycle, is mainly used for shorter distances within the villages and the towns. Not particularly fast but virtually no stops. The tricycle is a motorcycle (or now scooters) with an attached, modified side car. Depending on which part of Luzon you to go, the shapes of these vary and it’s actually quite interesting. The ones in Manila are larger and more boxy and I wish that the ones here in Zambales would catch on.
The train ride was 3ish hours long. I was running a little late and had to power walk to the train station at 5:30 in the morning and I was a little scared. Good news, I made it. Deciding to go to Vienna for a day was sort of last minute. I bought my ticket online a few days before, while I was already in Budapest. The train was nice, no one sat next to me and once we crossed the Austrian border there was free wifi.
I did a total of three things. A palace, a museum, and the Christmas Market. Navigating the metro in Vienna was also easy! Honestly, there’s no way you can’t figure it out. I bought a 24 hour unlimited rides ticket thing.
I didn’t take as many pictures as I wanted to….something I will change once I start traveling more because this feeling of regret is sooo heavy. I actually wasn’t allowed to take pictures in the museum (where most of Gustav Klimt’s works are). BUT THEY WERE GORGEOUS OMG I LOVED IT.
Story time! I went to Budapest, Hungary for 10 days. Well, eight days because the first and last days were dedicated to traveling. First, why did I randomly decide to go to Budapest in November of 2015?? As I mentioned in my last post, my relationship with my ex was stagnant and I was stupid dependent on him and after he ended it I was lost. I basically had to figure out who I was as an individual and just grow from there and oh boy did I grow! But my first step to reclaiming my identity was a solo trip to Europe to prove to myself that I can do whatever the hell I want.
So, I booked my ticket, informed my boss (much to her horror, but she did allow it), trained my coworker to do my duties, and off I went. This trip was an eye opener for me and it was like testing the waters to see how independent I was. It was also to see if I have what it takes to travel the world, alone essentially. I believe I do, I mean I am preparing to move to South Korea (more on this later, I’m finishing up some things then I’ll start interviewing!).
When I was looking at flights going to (and returning from) the Philippines, I knew I wanted to do a long layover somewhere. The question was, where. When I found out that Incheon International Airpot had free transit tours, that was it. I chose a flight that had a 15 hour layover, but our flight leaving the Philippines was delayed by 3 hours. Not a big deal though because we had plenty of time to get to the first transit tour. You have to reserve your spot on the tour in advance and sadly, the one that I wanted was completely full. Also, if you have enough time during your layover, you can book more than one which is what we did.
First stop is the transit tour desk to fill out a short form and then customs/immigration. They verify your name on the list and you go through customs and get a stamp in your passport.