Let’s catch-up a bit and Vasquez Rocks pt 2
Hello my dear little neglected space in this abyss called the internet. It’s been a while, and I’m so sorry for neglecting you! (Kinda…)
I started off this personal blog with somewhat a vague vision to share my travel experiences with you. But in a world where everyone is pretty much doing the same thing, I didn’t want to just create for the sake of creating. And to create without a purpose would also bother me…
But just to keep you guys up to speed of what’s happened to me this past nine months since coming back home from South Korea:
- I’ve started, quit, and started a new job.
- Traveled to Cebu, Philippines for two weeks while a war broke in the southernmost island (Marawi, Mindanao).
- Hit up Napa Valley, California for a weekender.
- Began MBA school. #CLASSOF2019
- Made new friends through my friend, JR, and had a ton of fun taking them to new places.
Although I do my best to keep everyday interesting, the weekend adventures are what I look most forward to.
Take for example, this past weekend…
If you’re not familiar with the place already, let me introduce you to a place out of this world: Vasquez Rocks. Located about an hour from Los Angeles, you’ll find yourself wanting to sing the Lion King theme song (or is it just me…?).
To give it more of an added effect, you can climb to the highest tip and pretend you’re Rafiki holding up baby Simba… just an idea…
Personally, I would suggest coming here late in the afternoon, close to closing time. Based on the times I’ve been there, there tends to be less people and it’s just amazing when you and your friends just own the place for more uninterrupted photo shoots. Plus, getting there for golden hour is an extra win.We tend to associate SoCal to Disneyland, LA, and Hollywood. Even I, myself, have fallen into this trap. It isn’t until you allow your curiosities to take you to meet new friends who would open wide your world and introduce you to new places and spaces that would make you realize: there’s more to SoCal than what meets the generic storyline we’ve constantly watched on screen.
It’s either that, or I missed the memo that we’re supposed to keep these beautiful spots a secret.
Last weekend, on our way to Seoul, my friend Melissa and I met a young man who was heading to Seoul for the very first time. It was hard to believe that it was his first time heading to the capital. After having some small talk, we both asked him again, “Is this really your first time? Did you really never have the chance to visit Seoul before?” Which he then confirmed that this trip really was his first time.
After talking about basic English grammar and some conversational cues and it’s meanings (we shared with him that we were English teachers), he then reveals to us his purpose for heading to Seoul. He, along with many others, are on their way to the capital to participate in the protest against the current president (story here). He hopes that the people gathered together would speak to the current president’s heart and move her to resign from her position. He then invited us to go to the protest.
Out of curiosity and with my friend, Matt, in tow – I went.
Being in the midst of the protest was very powerful. There was a moment where I had to quell the emotions I had deep inside of me. Just think, a few days ago the results of America’s presidential elections were announced and it was very disheartening to see that hours after it’s announcement, people struck to the streets and were sharing on Social Media the aftermath of it’s results!
Although the purpose of this protest isn’t related to the American elections, it showed the power of the people gathering together. And that alone was amazing in itself.
Sometimes, I questioned whether or not I was actually in a protest. There were bands performing live and people dancing. And there were many volunteers helping with the clean-up. But as I shifted towards another part of the protest, I found myself in the midst of the “real chaos.” Loud chanting and banners flying high about the people’s sentiment against the president. Policemen atop of police busses to ensure that the crowd didn’t push through to get to the Blue Palace (where the president lives).
As you browse through the photos I’ve taken, please note that I hold no political stance in this issue. Out of curiosity and through that young man’s invitation, I have decided to attend the protest. I wanted to witness what Korea’s democracy looks like. Please also note that there is strong language in the photos.
A photo journal of my trip to Jinju Namgang Yudeung Festival.
Someone once asked me why I like to travel alone. Am I not lonely? My immediate response was that I just enjoyed it. But after thinking more about it, I think I also like the solitude of being alone as I observe my new surroundings. To listen. This is usually the case especially after several days of being surrounded by people and constantly speaking. Don’t misunderstand, I like people a lot. And the fact that I only have a few good friends here in South Korea kills. But after being surrounded by people for work, I just need to be alone for a day and a half at most, THEN I crave to be back with company.
So for my alone time, I chose to travel to Sokcho. Going there on Chuseok Holiday may be the least recommended time to travel. Actually, traveling during Chuseok, from what I’ve been told, isn’t that recommended. Traffic was insane and I was riding the bus for over six hours. But it was all worth it once I arrived in my hotel room. I chose to stay in HJ House, which is about 5 minutes walk to the beach. However, had a little opsie when I was trying to enter my room… watch the room tour video below…
Sokcho has recently become more popular, thanks to Pokemon Go. It was one of the first things I noticed upon arriving at the beach. Most of the people were on their phones playing the game. I nearly jumped on the bandwagon to play, but decided against it as I didn’t want my phone battery dying quickly and didn’t want to use up my data… Otherwise, the town seem’s very idyllic and it made me wish a tiny bit that I was camping on the beach instead.
Anyways, here’s how my stay in Sokcho looked like 🙂
Places I visited:
The plan was: graduate, get a job, and live in NorCal. And then life happened.
I’m being cliche here – but I know we all could agree that in life, change happens a lot. Two things I’ve learned about change is that it is ugly and beautiful. It is ugly as it stops the routine of what you’re comfortable and used to. And, sadly, could lead to broken hearts. However, it is also beautiful as it enables you to make new discoveries about yourself – about your own strengths, talents, and personal beauty.
It’s imperative to have a plan. As the saying goes, “One who fails to plan plans to fail.” With that in mind, always be ready for change to happen every now and then. Yeah, maybe cry and gripe a little, but prod on and accept the new adventure in front of you.
Speaking of change (as my original plan is having a huge detour) I’m currently preparing myself to leave for South Korea to teach English in one of the institutes. This, to me, is an adventure that would only come once my way, so I’m taking advantage of it AND looking forward to the adventure of it.
With that, documenting my new adventure begins now.