Jeju is famous for many things, earning itself the title of one of the new seven wonders of the world as well as holding multiple UNESCO heritage sites. Hallabongs, lava rock formations, beautiful scenery, black pig and loads of other foods and snacks, are a few notable aspects, but a highlight no one should miss are the Olle trails. I often heard people talk about Jeju Olle trails, but I honestly never spent much time looking into them, that is until last week. After a few months of traveling, eating and drinking too much, I was ready for a few solid days of exercise, and lucky for me Jeju is the perfect place for this, along the Olle trails.
When I told my (Korean) friends that I’d be visiting Jeju again, this being my third trip, I received a lot of jealous and envious feedback. I guess it’s true that you don’t travel much in your home country because despite being a 1 hour plane ride away some of my friends have never been. I actually felt kinda bad because I wasn’t all that excited about my trip, in fact as I waited to board the plane part of me wished I were on a bus to my friends apartment in Mokpo. I get carried away sometimes and it usually involved buying airplane tickets, but then when the day comes I begin to think “Who signed me up for this?” sounds weird, I know. Nevertheless I was on my way to Jeju, first to meet a friend and then hang out and explore on my own for an unknown period of time.
A few weeks ago I got a Facebook invite from an old La Crosse friend Mitch who I recently discovered is currently teaching in Seoul. He's been here since August and since then has spent a few weekends exploring and hiking throughout Korea, this time he was trying to get a group together to tackle Jirisan, the second highest peak in Korea (the first, Hallasan is on Jeju island, so this is actually the highest on the mainland). I'm a fairly active person, but since being in Korea I haven't had many major athletic challenges or tests of my endurance, none the less this invite spiked my interest. Two weeks later, along with my friends Sara and Amanda who I talked into coming headed towards Jinju. Friday night we all met in Jinju, found a budget motel and went to bed early, before starting our adventure Saturday morning.
Where to start. After living in this country for three years I have memories, experiences and stories galore. I'll now always be a bit partial to the Land of the Morning Calm. Filled with delicious foods, beautiful nature and friendly people, I'm always happy to return.