Ikigai Travelers

Ikigai Travelers

Upon landing at Incheon International Airport, I was filled with anticipation. The flight crew had been incredibly friendly throughout the journey, and the airport itself was aesthetically pleasing. They even had visual displays in English and Korean, making it easier to understand the characters. Our stay in Gangnam was a delightful experience, with delicious food and genuinely kind people. The locals’ kindness truly surprised me.


For instance, as someone with endometriosis, I started experiencing severe pain. When we asked someone for directions to find pain medication, they went out of their way to provide clear instructions in English. This was particularly meaningful to me, as I have been learning Japanese due to our current residence there, and I appreciated the effort made by the locals.


When we took a bus from the airport to our lodging, the bus driver, aware that we were foreigners, made sure to double-check that we knew our stop.


The food in Gangnam is truly amazing, and as someone who follows a plant-based diet, I highly recommend Seoul as a vegetarian-friendly city. Even if that’s not your interest, there is a wide variety of cuisines to explore. In fact, not far from Gangnam, in Itaewon, you can find Mediterranean, West African, Italian, Russian, French, and American restaurants (to name just a few). Seoul is a diverse city, and its food culture reflects this in a wonderful way.


The people here are very kind, and many Seoul residents have a strong command of the English language. If you are from an English-speaking country, communication is relatively easy.


During my trip to Seoul, I was captivated by its modern and fresh aesthetic, breathtaking views, and exciting nightlife. However, as I reflect on my journey, it is the people that left the most lasting impression on me. While I did receive a few stares and sideways glances, the majority of the people I encountered were incredibly kind. Their warmth and genuine hospitality surpassed mere surface-level politeness. It felt as though I was a cherished guest in the home of a close family friend while exploring South Korea. I was constantly shocked by the generosity and consideration I received from total strangers.


This unforgettable experience has left me longing to plan my next trip back to this remarkable country. I truly hope you get the opportunity to visit Seoul as well. Until then, safe travels! 🧳

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