Things I Will Miss About Korea

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Welp. June is finally [FINALLYYYYYYY!!!!!] here.

Photo: Wiki

This chapter of my life will come to a close this month. It seems that just as I was getting super comfy with Korea, it's time to go. I wanted to pay homage to a few things that have made life in Korea easier:

The immaculate transportation system

My goodness. I have not come across a better, cleaner, more efficient public transportation system in all of my travels. I can go anywhere in the area for less than the equivalent of $1, $2 at the most. I can visit the other side of the country very cheaply. I can get to the airport in record speed by bus or train (or both). Not having a car payment or car insurance has been one of the best things ever. I'm going to miss the transit system most.

Paris Baguette

Paris Baguette has been my favorite place to eat. It's where I discovered green tea popsicles, literally the best thing ever.

The best thing since sliced breeead shawty!
The hand rolled cranberry chicken salad mini croissants for lunch, the ricotta salad or chicken casserole for dinner and the fresh bread for breakfast on SAT mornings will always have a special place in my heart!

Actual seasons

Fall in South Korea is beautiful.

This one is iffy: the winters in Seoul are brutal, but I'll be damned if there isn't an actual Spring (we know nothing of the sort down south) and Spring in South Korea is stunning! Aside from the yellow dust, which surprisingly wasn't that bad compared to last year, the weather is pleasant here until just before monsoon season (late June-late July). A hot and humid summer similar to that of the American South precedes an equally stunning Fall season. Considering where I'm headed next, the change in seasons will indeed be missed.


Lightning fast WiFi connectivity

Granted, you do need to be connected to one of Korea's existing networks to get the best use of the WiFi here, and if you are, you should be able to connect literally everywhere. I once downloaded a movie in Netflix while waiting for my train to come. If you're connected, it's fast, none of that 3G, ration it out stuff. WiFi is readily and openly available just about everywhere here. If it's not open where you are, you can easily get access by asking for the passcode.

Cheap medical and dental care when needed

I recently paid 150,000KRW (or $130) for a dental cleaning, xrays, doctor's fee, ceramic filling (damn popsicles) and a whitening kit. I don't even want to think about what this would have cost back home. Medical care is significantly cheaper here, too, granted there are some differences in the general approach to healthcare. Thankfully I did not need to visit with doctors often here, but when I did, I didn't pay an arm and a leg.


I know I said I'd miss the transportation the most but you can't put a price on safety. This is literally the only place in the world where I feel comfortable leaving my valuables out in the open without any worries. I remember when I first got here, I was going home from Seoul late at night and saw little kids riding their scooters and running around playing. One kid even walked with me and practiced her English. Her mom wasn't too far behind but she never flinched and clearly didn't think that I'd kidnap her. I have heard of people leaving their belongings somewhere on accident and having them returned as is. Many renowned aggregators have ranked Korea as one of the safest places to live in the world.

Now, I will definitely not miss the staring that took a while to get used to, the intricate and annoying trash disposal system, the smell of sewage at any given moment, the dust pollution, the staring, the limited dining options outside of Seoul (I'm picky), the staring and the obsession with competing and perfection.

The things that I will miss are the things that I will reflect on when I think of Korea. It's been a quick and interesting two years and the journey has by far been memorable. On to another adventure!

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  1. Loved this post! I got all kinds of feels when you were describing how safe it is. Are those Green Tea popsicles really THAT good?

    1. Yes they ARE *cry* I hope I can find a replacement for them. Love me some green tea.

  2. This post was great and timely! I'm moving there next month for a 2-year stint. I'll be working in Daegu.

    1. Best of luck to you, Nellie! Daegu has a very large number of expats. There are a couple of military bases there, too. You won't be too far from Busan, my favorite city in Korea.