Exploring Your Own City
Whenever I’m in a new setting, I try to explore and get to know it as much as I can. It’s a balance between ‘living like a local’ and falling into tourist traps—often, locals keep to their comfort zones as they can always visit [that site] or try [that new brunch spot] someday, but I also prefer local hidden gems to ‘must’ lists (must-see, must-do...)—so A and I do a lot of loose itineraries and aimless wandering.
We took this weekend at a leisurely pace, perfect for an anxious person like me in a city as busy as Seoul. Rather than hop on a bus or subway after lunch, we walked the two stops to Gangnam-daero and, in doing so, finally figured out why that man in the catsuit is always on the steps outside Hana Bank. We walked through the day, admiring the homes in the maeul (마을, or town), peeking in the windows of local shops and cafes before choosing one to stop in for a drink, and finding new routes home.
On Sunday, we forewent our usual app search of highly rated restaurants in favor of a brunch spot we had walked by plenty of times that had no reviews or photos. It ended up being the best meal we’ve had in Seoul (post to come)! We spent our afternoon at Seoul Station, enjoying the view on the Overpass Walking Path and stumbling upon local events such as a Hanbok (한복, traditional Korean dress) exhibit, and our evening walking through Itaewon and Sinsa.
In short, exploring your own city without a plan or expectation can lead to the best discoveries and feel like an escape without the need to leave or even spend much money. This weekend, we will actually be escaping the city, which I am so looking forward to, but I’m equally looking forward to the weekends when we can continue to explore the pockets of Seoul.