So much has happened in the past month!  For one, my mom visited me here in Korea.  She arrived on Mother’s Day and left on the day after her birthday.  It was nice that I could take some days off to spend more time with her.

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Mom’s room at the traditional guesthouse; I had to decorate it for Mother’s Day!

Mom saw various parts of Seoul.  For the first 5 nights, she stayed at a traditional Korean guesthouse, which was a new experience for her.  She had her own bathroom attached to her room, which made her feel much more comfortable.  The guesthouse was right in the middle of Seoul’s attractions, so places like (right-click to open in new window) InsadongGwangwhamun, Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung were all within walking distance.  She saw N. Seoul Tower and did a tour of the DMZ as well.  We were taken out for a traditional Korean dinner 3 times – by Jaeyoung, my co-teachers, and my landlady.

Our big trip out of Seoul was to Jeju island, which is described as “the Hawaii of Korea.”  It is beautiful, but I think Hawaii must be warmer. 😉  We stayed in the same “love motel” the first and fourth nights, a hostel our second night, and a pension the third night.  These places were all new experiences for my mom, who preferred the cheap and clean love motel!

On our first night in Jeju, we stayed in a motel, also called a love motel because people can rent a room by the hour. This place – Namsan Motel in Jeju City – was only 30,000won (about $28USD) for the night! It was extremely clean, and it was my mom’s favorite place we stayed at. We actually stayed here on our 4th/last night in Jeju as well.

Mom and Me at Seopjikoji

We rented scooters and toured around the island for 3 days. We pretty much made a big circle around the island, seeing all the places of interest to us. My boyfriend, Jaeyoung, led us the entire way, having made the trip on motorcycle 6 years ago.

On her birthday, I treated Mom to a visit at a jimjilbang, or a Korean sauna.  We went to differently heated saunas and pools, and she got scrubbed from neck to toe by an “ajumma” (old Korean woman).  At every sauna, they have these women who scrub the dead skin off you and wash your hair.  At the end, our skin felt so soft!

Mom left on May 24th, and I think she’s still talking about the trip. 😉  I felt really lucky to have shown her so much of Korea.  Korea usually isn’t on top of people’s list of places to travel.  My mom said she wouldn’t have come here if it weren’t for me!  But she kept saying, “Now I really know why you love this country.  I understand you much more.”  It is comforting to know she will understand my reverse culture shock when I return to Ohio in the fall.

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About caitlininkorea1011

An American living in Seoul, South Korea: teaching, learning, and traveling.
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