f Six Hundred & Seventy Seven; Travel Made Different - Seoul, Korea.


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Six Hundred & Seventy Seven; Travel Made Different - Seoul, Korea.

November 29, 2014 / ,

Stay tuned to the end to find out how to win $100 vouchers
just by sharing your different travel experiences!

I am currently in U.K and it is my Day 2 here :)
While the 8-hour time difference is not an issue to me 
(because I sleep at 3-5am on normal days hahah),
I am still getting used to the cold......
The opportunity cost of this decision to go away for the next 1.5 months of adventure 
is the acting roles and other opportunities which I could have taken up if I stayed instead.. 
But I knew that I needed this getaway.
Travel is never a bad investment, indeed.

Sometimes in our travels, 
the littlest of things can make our holiday much more interesting and memorable. 
It’s funny how even if we may have visited a country for the umpteenth time, 
there could be a specific trip that just beats the rest!

I visited Korea earlier this year, 
it was pretty memorable for me for a couple of reasons. 
It was my first (and definitely not last time there) 
and I thought I’d just share a little sneak peek into what made the trip so different for me!

I actually almost wanted to skip blogging about the Seoul part of this trip,
(which happened from 26 March - 7 April this year)
Blogged about the Jeju part: HERE.

So for this trip, we decided to do things a little differently. 
If you’re planning your future travels, here are a couple of things you could try!

1.     Be Impromptu
Not sure if I mentioned about it before, 
but we did not have an itinerary for this trip.
On some days, we planned our activities the night before,
and on most days, we decided on the day itself where we wanted to visit.
We wanted it to be this way, so that we could slow down our pace,
and do whatever we felt like doing on that day.
In a way, things are quite unexpected too!
E.g. Coming across hidden gems like indie, cosy cafes etc.
This was different from many of my other trips that were planned from head to toe. 
Many times I would go on those city tours 
but I now know being in control of your own time and itinerary 
gives you freedom to explore more things 
and plan your itinerary according to how you feel that very morning! 
Things worked out well (thankfully) 
and I’m glad we decided to be more impromptu on this trip.

2.    Home Stay with Locals
@Big John’s Place

 615-11 Yeoksam-dong, Gangnam-guSeoul, Korea 135-907

I’ve heard of more and more people staying in local’s homes on their trips abroad 
and I’ve always been pretty interested to try. 
So I was happy when we decided to go with that for this trip; it was my first time!
Staying with the locals completely enhanced the whole experience.
It's somehow just different from staying in the hotels. 
There’s this air of hominess and we were very lucky to get such a friendly and welcoming host!

So here’s our host, John and his wife!

Fortunately, John could speak English fluently so there was no language barrier there. 
The thing about staying with a local is there 
is that personal relationship that forms between the host and the guest. 
John and his wife were absolutely sweet; 
they took us out to their favourite restaurants, 
cooked local food for us 
and gave us many good recommendations on what to do/see/eat. 
In that way, he became our personal tour guide!

We got really close in those few days, having chats over breakfast, lunch and dinners. 
We even had a BBQ together with all the guests from different countries, staying there!

The experiences we had because of our stay at Big John's were priceless!
If I visit Korea again, I will definitely head back to find this loving couple. 
We were extremely grateful for their hospitality :) 
Homely, was an understatement.  
It was such an amazing and heartwarming experience that
made me so convinced that I want the experience of staying with the locals 
for my future trips, whenever possible.
& I did, for my Taiwan trip months later. 
I did again for my current Europe trip! :)

3. Trying all the local food

So we settled our itinerary and lodging, now it’s on to the food!
As it was my first time in Korea, 
I figured we would be eating a lot of kimchi and Korean bbq etc. 
But when we got there, I realized there was a lot of great local street food!

I normally try and eat as healthy as I can (when I can ;P) 
but I told myself it wouldn’t be a full experience if I didn’t try all the local food here! 
So three of us went on quite a rampage and ate whatever we thought looked good. 
What made the experience especially great was eating both hot and cold food in the cold. 
You can literally feel the hot food warming your tummy in the cold!

4. Live in the moment

In this digital age, all of us get very caught up with our little smart gadgets. 
Even when we’re overseas, 
we are still trying our best to stay connected 
to whatever’s going on back home for fear of losing out (guilty as charged).
But in this trip and in many of my trips, I try my best to live in the moment.

This trip was very special as I had two very great people with me 
and we became so much tighter after the trip! 
We shared many laughs and many heart-to-heart chats. 
And in that foreign environment, 
it was nice to share and gain such experiences and memories with people you know.

Talking about moments, 
we really captured a lot of moments thanks to Multifolds! 
It was so fun dressing up and taking pictures with beautiful backgrounds. 
What better, we even stripped down to dresses in 10 degree weather!

Photos by Multifolds and me.

I have been stalking the @Travelmadedifferent account on Instagram,
and also looking through the photos with #travelmadedifferent hashtag,
to gather information about the countries that I want to visit during this travel.
Still in the process of planning for my current Europe trip. 
Yes, I am not done planning yet..
Impromptu once again!
In addition, we will be staying with the locals as well. (Point 1 & 2, checked!)

Currently, there are close to 10,000 photos depicting the various travel memories,
from many different parts of the world.
Some photos come with very detailed captions,
which I find interesting and very useful.
Coincidentally, my friend Amelia, was the winner of their last contest,
and she won herself a full expense paid trip to Istanbul to fulfil her bucket list!
So I have been reading about the bits and pieces of her experiences,
coupled with the amazing visuals. 

In fact, right now....... I have something awesome to share.


From now till 31st December 2014, 
Travel Made Different will be giving away 
$100 shopping vouchers to 40 followers with the most amazing 
'Same Same But Different' (aka #SSBD) travel experiences. 
Simply share a unique experience on your travels which made your trip turn out differently 
and you could walk away with a $100 voucher!

How to take part?
1. Follow 'Travel Made Different' on Instagram --> @TravelMadeDifferent 

2. Post a photo/video on Instagram of your 'Same Same But Different' travel experiences

3. Write an awesome caption about your photo/video and include these hashtags: 
#TravelMadeDifferent #SSBD #
(Do make sure that your Instagram is set to 'public' for your entry to be seen.)

I have been given the luxury to select one winner out of all your entries soon,
so.. keep your entries coming in!
I will be checking on the hashtag regularly,
because I really love looking at travel photos 
and reading about the interesting experiences from all around the world.
In any case, since I am still planning for my own travel
(I will most probably be going to Rome, Venice, Florence, Paris, London and Switzerland),
it will be awesomeeeeee if you can share your Europe experiences with me too!

Travel Made Different

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