Boseong Green Tea Fields in South Korea

Hello everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter Sunday. Hard to believe Tom & I are back at work today and it’s already Monday here in Korea. We had a lovely weekend that consisted of an awesome hike in Wolchusan National Park, said “see ya lata!” to friends who finished teaching in Korea, visited the Green Tea Fields, Easter service at church, and started moving! I realize it’s been awhile since I’ve done a “As of lately” post, and I promise I’ll update you this week on what we have been up to lately. For now, I want to share a pretty little piece of our Saturday afternoon.

The Boseong Green Tea Fields have been on our “to-do” list for quite sometime…and on the way home from the hike Tom suggested we stop there and check it out. With everything turning vibrant green lately we thought it would be the perfect time! Boseong Green Tea plantation is located in Boseong, Jeollanamdo Province, SK. About an hour from Yeosu (by car.) It’s known for it’s Green Tea and the tall Cedar trees. We made our way around the Tea Fields in a big loop, up a hill, and then weaved in and out of the rows of tea plants to take in the beauty. There are little shops selling all kinds of Green Tea- powder form, loose leaf, and Tea Bags. Tom enjoyed the Green Tea Ice Cream. It’s a perfect weekend activity to stroll around and enjoy the warm spring weather. If you do get the chance to go I would suggest early morning or later afternoon & for those who are interested the Green Tea Festival takes place here from May 2-6th this year. We arrived around 4 and stayed for a couple hours to take photos, and stroll around. I imagine during midday it can get busy with people especially now that the warmer weather has arrived & if you’re anything like Tom you like to avoid the crowds of people 😉  We combined Saturday with the bridge hike in Wolchusan National Park (just 30 minutes away) and that worked out perfectly for timing. More on that later! For now… Some of our favorite Tea Field Pictures.

Tom and his Green Tea Ice Cream.

Tom and his Green Tea Ice Cream.

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Do you like Tea? Did you know that it grew in bush form like this?!

6 Reasons we loved the Jindo Sea Parting Festival.

Happy Friday everyone! Can you believe another week has already gone by? I have to keep reminding myself that it’s already April?!?! When did that happen? We are in the midst of a beautiful spring here in Korea. In case you’re new around here spring in Korea= A LOT of festivals. The Jindo Sea Parting Festival takes place once a year on the island of Jindo here in South Korea. Jindo is about 2 hours (by car) to the west of Yeosu where we live. So last week, Tom and I hopped in our car to visit our friends who just so happen to call Jindo home! I had no idea what to expect except that once a year according the tides (and the moon?) the sea parts just so- that people can walk across the sea to an island way out in the distance. The tides move in a way that creates a path. Or as Tom calls it “The Moses Miracle.” …because that’s sorta what happens! This year the sea parted at 4am and 4pm. I was not about to get up at 3am and walk out into the OCEAN. in the dark. with a flashlight. So, we decided heading over to the beach for the 4pm Sea Parting.  We had such a blast at this festival & before I get ahead of myself. Let me show you why.

1. These boots: I meannnnnnn. AWESOME, yeah?

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2.Falling into holes. We went on the first day of the festival. This year it fell on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday. So, the sea didn’t 100% clear and leave a perfect sandy path.We heard from the “experts” that the best day to attend is the second day of the festival. If you want a perfect little sandy path across to the island. Well we work Monday- Friday so Sunday was our only option. The sea was very shallow the entire way to the island we were walking to, but there were parts I was definitely thigh deep in water. It wasn’t exactly the crystal clear tropical waters of Thailand, and the sand gets quite a stir from everyone walking. So, all of a sudden WHOOP! You’ve stepped into a hole. Or on a rock. Both happened to Tom and I. Although he got just a bitttt of water in his boots. Pictured here he is emptying them out after we’d walked across to the island and back!

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3.Finding starfish! Because you’re walking in what was just minutes ago deep sea water you find lots of little treasures along the way. Here are ours. Don’t worry, we didn’t eat ours. It was a catch and release kinda day for the Shepard’s.

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4.The mass of adjummas! (Korean grandmas)- This was a festival with LOTS of Korean grannys and gramps out searchin’ for dinner. How can you not love them?

Hey girl HEY!

Hey girl HEYYYYYYYYY!

He's got DINNER!!!!!

He’s got DINNER!!!!!

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5.Festival Spirit- Let’s talk about their coordinating outfits. Much like hiking here, Koreans do it right when it comes to apparel. Love the bright colors and matching outfits. Everyone was smiling and having a wonderful time!

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Few hours before the parting took place. Out lookin' for treasure.

Few hours before the parting took place. Out lookin’ for treasure.

 

 

6.Cute kids hunting for treasure! Nothin better than that.

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Here’s a few more favorite photos from the day:

Heading out

Heading out into the deep blue.

This is behind us! The land you see in this picture is where we started.

This is the view behind us! The land you see in this picture is where we started.

Made it back! Lots of laughs and a lot of water.

Made it back! Lots of laughs and a lot of water.

 

This one shows the beginning/end. We walked out to the island in the distance!! This shows the trail of people coming back in (as well as the tide coming back in!!!)

This one shows the beginning/end. We walked out to the island in the distance!! This shows the trail of people coming back in (as well as the tide coming back in!!!)

Have a wonderful weekend friends 🙂

I live in Korea & sometimes I wish I was Korean!

We are on the brink of our one year in Korea.

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That seems crazy to me (I know so cliche) BUT where does time go? Why does it slow down when you want it to pass quickly and speed up when you just want to savor the moment & soak it all in? Just 2 1/2 weeks shy of our exact arrival date in Korea almost a year ago I’ve been doing some thinking. (What’s new right?!?)

In some ways, I’ve learned to appreciate more of my own culture the place I come from. In other ways I’ve embraced aspects of the culture I now live in here in Korea.  I’ve always tried my hardest to keep this space positive, but also TRUTHFUL. Sometimes that’s hard. I want to be honest, but I don’t want to shed Korea (this place I have come to love) in a negative light. Being honest with you sometimes things aren’t easy here. Sometimes I disagree with things in Korea. I am not from here and ‘I’ll never fully be able to understand everything nor do I try. Then again, living here has not only taught me so much, but I love certain things so much that Tom and I will try our hardest to incorporate certain aspects of Korean culture in our own lives.

Ways I wish I was Korean:

1. The respect for elders, family, and teachers in this country is out of this world! It has been incredible to feel honored, loved, and extremely valued as a teacher. The elders here have immense respect from the rest of society.

2. Sharing without “thinking” in Korea. It’s very rare you see a child in Korea surrounded by friends eating his/her own candy or a treat. From a very young age children are taught and learn this amazing sense of community. You give very freely. You accept with a smile. If you have one cookie and 5 friends you break that cookie right into 5.  It just how they do!

3. The service is amazing. Korea is most certainly a “Bali Bali” society. What that translates into is: amazingly fast service done with a smile. I love how quickly the food comes. How if you need something done quickly usually it can be done MUCH faster than you ever imagine. Order something in Korea? If it takes a day to get to you my mail that’s slow. Food (and I mean all/any food) can be delivered within minutes. Car problems? Even if you are on an ISLAND insurance is there within minutes. Our car wouldn’t start a few weeks ago and within 8 minutes ( I kid you not) service guy was there, smile on his face, and jump started our car. 8 minutes PEOPLE!!!! Side note this is the exact opposite of the “Island Life” that I learned to love in Fiji 5 years ago.

4. Korean Kindness- Sharing a facebook status with you that I wrote  last May:

“Thought I would share because it simply can’t go unsaid. Today, while riding the bus home sans Tom (he was at a teacher dinner) I sat down next to an elderly korean lady. I said hello in Korean and smiled. She smiled back, and started speaking korean to me. I just continued to nod my head and smile (per usual.) She then took a bracelet off of her hand and put it on mine…and continued to smile. She was telling me that she had made it herself. I don’t know what I did to ever deserve so much kindness, but I am truly blessed. From the kids at my school giving me hugs to the random man on the street giving me a orange when I was sick last week… Make today special, and do something for someone that is out of the goodness of your heart! I hope you feel love today.”

5. Let’s talk about this awesome Korean Citron Tea: ( No explanation needed just pure AWESOME!)

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Ways I love the American Culture:

1. Individuality. We are taught to speak out. Stand up for what we believe in. That different is more than OK and often embraced.

2. Well rounded education and extra curricular activities. I love the importance placed on extra activities outside of school like music, dance, sports, theater, and art. I love that those clubs are fun for kids and an amazing outlet for those who need it. Which also brings me to point #3.

3. OPTIONS! The options for what type of education. What activities, what day, what cuisine of food you feel like eating. Just options. So many options in America.

4.Culture immersion- We have heard it at least one hundred times. America is a melting pot of cultures. It’s true. It really is. Sure, there are other places in the world with many cultures…but America really has so many different cultures. It’s truly a beautiful thing.

5. WATER. I mean it for this one. Water. I miss seeing lots of water bottles carried around, and seeing people really drink like a LOT of water. I am the awkward person who drinks a ridiculous amount of water. I miss BIG glasses of water or a beverage with my meal. Is it not a thing in Korea to drink like 4-5 water bottles a day? Aren’t they thirsty?!?!

– Anways, Like I said. In some ways I wish I was Korean & in other ways I love parts of the American culture that so deeply impacts who I am today!

What do you love about the culture you grew up with? What do you love about a culture you have lived in, are currently living in, or one you visited?

Leave me a comment below!

PS- I know people are reading this. I know I am not talking to myself over  here so leave me a comment and say hello 🙂

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