Daily Journey Journal #70: lessons from Jeju

From August 4, 2014

Today, after weathering Typhoon Nakri and waiting out the inclement seas, we are finally homeward bound. I cannot begin to say how glad I am for that. It is time to be home, in our own space, on a normal schedule, unbound by the changing tides and winds. Home, home, home, my heart beats out. Home!

Our trip in Jeju was interesting, to say the least. The storm definitely added to that, but aside from learning how to stay busy during a typhoon, I gained a small understanding about life on the island and its past.

Things I learned:

  • It’s windy on the island in a way that it simply isn’t on the mainland.
  • Girls were historically more valued than boys because they became skilled divers and bread (mmm….seafood) winners for their families
  • Lava toes form when hot magma pours from the ceilings and spreads out in long strands before cooling
  • Mussels can reach the size of my head
  • Markets are best in the morning because people are friendlier and it is less crowded
  • Temples are not frequently visited attractions, especially in the rain, and are a great place to see to get away from the crowds

Learning all these things was a lot of fun, but I think the most important thing I learned on this trip is about me as a traveler. I am not a normal vacationer. Sitting on the beach for days, hoping from attraction to attraction and wandering through duty free shops are all well and good, but my spirit soars most when I am doing rather than observing. I need to interact with my environment, to touch, taste, feel, move through, breathe a place. Hiking, walking, climbing- those times are when I am happiest. Shuttling from site to site just doesn’t do that for me. Jeju showed me this and I am so thankful for that. It is knowledge that will go a long way on our upcoming voyage through Asia.

Now, for home and bed!

 

 

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