Today I woke up with an alarm to not miss the breakfast. I guess the mountain climbing and the soju was effective. I went down to have breakfast. The hosts were there too and a girl who later turned out was from Hungary. The host shared with us his story why he quited a corporate job with high salary in exchange of being an owner of the hostel.
He said in his 20s he earned a lot of money but he didn’t feel alright. He was worried because he was just a simple part of the company who can be replaced anytime. He didn’t want to live a stressful life. He liked travelling, he also backpacked in different countries including Hungary. Later he decided to open this hostel. That way he can meet many people from all around the world and that makes him travel. He earns just enough to finance his next travelling. In terms of money it’s not better but in terms of freedom and fulfilling one’s wish it was worth it for him.
I could see myself in his story. When I worked in the USA for 3 months inthe summer, I worked very hard and I did earn a lot of money. People kept asking me if I would go back there and I wanted to go due to the money. But there was a point I realized I was rather wasting time instead of earning a lot. I had a lot of money, but I couldn’t spend the summer the way I wanted. I wanted to see Asia. I wanted to travel to Vietnam. But I couldn’t. I had to choose whether to keep working hard and earning or find some other field. I chose the latest one as I didn’t feel happy with a lot of money anymore. I felt like money couldn’t buy my happiness even if I like it. That’s why I’m in Asia for a 2-month trip.
Gyeongju National Museum
Later I talked with the Hungarian as well. She was leaving today. After we separated I prepared myself to go to the Gyeongju National Museum. On the way I passed through many places. I ended up in Silla Palace where they I could see a short animated film about Silla and the sites they built and left that now are the tourist attractions.
Then I went to the museum. Everything was related to Silla and its jewels as well as to Wolji pond and the temples. There was a lot of thing that could be found in the museum. So if you are interested in Silla dynasty this museum is a must.
After the museum I walked around the field and the traditional looked houses. I ended up at Woljeonggyo bridge and I visited the Gyochon village. There was a short film about this village too. The story was about Choe family who was noblesse family but always made sure his surroundings weren’t hungry. Due to his humanitarian work Korea could go handle the difficult period of Japanese invasion. Instead of getting into politics he woved to educate people as he believed the future is based on the education. That’s why the village is named Gyochon where Gyo means study. There were many hanok style house here. It was like travelling back to the time.
Royal tombs (Daereungwon)
I crossed the flower road. There was a flower garden with many different kind including the lotus. I loved the lotus. The royal tomb was nearby as well. The tomb looked like a hill as the grass grew on it, but no. It’s a tomb of the kings. Going in there cost 2000 won but my leg hurt so I didn’t want to go in. Moreover I was hungry. On the way I passed the Gyerim forest but to me it was like a park.
I bought a Gyeongju bread which is a simply pastry with a red bean filling. Tasted good. Then I ended up eating Bibimudong noodle. I walked home and I realized how much my leg hurt. On the way I met the halmeoni again so was working hard to gather the cartoon papers. I helped her a little bit then she told me to go. I couldn’t give her anything just a little help by lifting a cartoon box for her.
Jungnang night market + night talk
My roommate invited me to go to the night market at Jungnang market, so I did. I had a coconut fried shrimp then ended with a freshly turmixed kiwi juice. I didn’t stay out for long as I was so tired, therefore I went back to the hostel soon.
Arriving back the host and few people were at the lobby and talked. They invited me to join so I did. I found out an inspiring story. The owners of the hostel are a couple who each travelled around the world before decided to open this hostel.
The man speaks English well, but the woman not. She only knows some. Still she has been travelling to South America, Africa, Southeast Asia and many other more places without speaking any foreign languages. She travelled ALONE.
Most of the people don’t travel either because of money or because of the language barriers.
This woman shows clearly that there is no barriers when it comes to travelling. If she needed to ask for something she could use gestures to express it. Like this she has been to almost all over the world.
Since both of them travelled they decided to open the hostel here in order to pay back the kindness, the help they got during their journeys and they want to gather foreigners from different country to talk and connect with each other. Every night there is a gathering, they make food, drink something, talk and share stories.
I find their story and their reason are very meaningful.
If you really have passion about something, you will find a way to achieve it, not an excuse why it can’t happen. This woman and her boyfriend have shown me, there is always a way to connect to people, achieve your goals and live a joyful life. The secret is simply the sincerity, the kindness that a human originally has. The question is: Do we dare to show our human side?
Usually I don’t stay in hostels but after my experience in Jeju and here in Gyeongju I realized if I can find a hostel where the owners do their work by heart I will get to know the locals in the best way.
I have two more full days here. I’m planning to go to the sea side and then I don’t know yet. Maybe gonna start shopping too.