Does travel make you more creative? More compassionate?Yes, if you travel with those intentions.
In my efforts to find an alternative to United, which has a monopoly on direct flights from Guam to Hawaii and to the mainland, I went through Korea. There are several budget airlines flying between Korea and Guam, I took T'way. I left Guam about 1:00 in the morning, arrived in Korea at 4:45. I booked a hotel near the airport, and though I couldn't check in, I was able to keep my luggage in storage. Then I went back to the airport to catch the metro to Seoul.
Pretty smooth sailing (or subwaying). My plan was to take he Seoul City Tour, the hop on and hop off bus. It seemed like such a good plan, but for some reason I couldn't find the departure station (Gwanghwamun). I got lost looking for it, I think I may have not got off at the correct metro stop. I think I was walking for 2-3 hours trying to find it, stopping into 2 coffee shops to use wifi for google, but eventually I did find it. These are the stops you could get off on, but because I was now way behind schedule, I had to be selective. Though it seems like you can do this all in one day, it does take a while to get from place to place and of course you have to spend some time there.
As I was walking, I came across some nice sights, especially colorful flowers.
North Seoul Tower for the view and nice gardens.
Stopped at Dongdaemun Design Center and decided to have lunch here at one of the restaurants. Bibimbap, my favorite.
Changdeokgung Palace, one of 5 main palaces of Korea. The most important one was closed but this one was a good glimpse into Korean royalty.
Insadong, a very cute shopping street where I found the Korean candy maker, who stretches honey over and over again until there are 16,000 strings (they claim).
The next day, my plane didn't leave until 2 in the afternoon, so I had all morning. Incheon is not Seoul, and my hotel was in a quiet neighborhood, but I found this one just by walking around. Luckily, someone spoke English as I did not know what to order. She said Chicken soup is Korean favorite dish. Turns out it had no chicken, but I think she meant kim chee, because that's what it tasted like.Love that Korean food has all these side dishes.
That's pretty much my trip to Korea. Just a taste. I think I should give it another chance, do more research, and get to know it better. From Seoul, I flew to Osaka, changed airlines to Honolulu, on Air Asia, another budget airline. (Very strict on weight allowance, and absolutely no frills, but pretty comfortable.)
I have traveled quite a bit, and am using this page to record some memories. Travel is a wonderful education, expanding your view of the world, of other cultures, of the beauty of diversity.