Seoul 서울


Things were different this time around. This was my first time to travel completely without any plans.. none at all. It turns out that this kind of planning (or the lack of planning to be more precise) works best for me! My first solo travel and I have decided to spend all the days at just one location, one city: Seoul 서울.

It is because of Seoul I appreciated the charm and the freedom solo travelling offers. This time around I control my own time, I decide if I want to walk for kilometers or take the metro for a few hundred meters. I have slept for 3 hours at the royal gardens of Gyeongbokgung Palace without a care for anyone in the world and I can stare at something for hours without remorse. It doesn’t even feel weird to talk to yourself out loud LOL. Okay I was practicing Spanish, usually I don’t talk to myself out loud.

“I have slept for 3 hours at the royal gardens of Gyeongbokgung Palace without a care for anyone in the world”


I stayed at a friend’s place in Hongdae area, which was the hippest district in Seoul!! Think of Clark Quay in Singapore or BGC in Manila. The energy of that place at night is electrifying! I can say the best night life scene I have experienced in the world so far!!!

The best surprise for me was that I ended up in a bar with so many Spanish speakers.

The best surprise for me was that I ended up in a bar with so many Spanish speakers.

Chicken & Beer yo!

Chicken & Beer yo!

Okay.. I’m going to stop writing about Seoul now, I want to write about my experience staying with my Korean friend and her sister and how amazing it was. Specifically, I want to share about the people I have met along the road, whom I have shared a roof with and broke bread with.

I just want to say this was all possible thanks to CouchSurfing. My preferred method of traveling is still CouchSurfing and I still actively hosts surfers. Through this community, it has allowed me to meet so many amazing people, some of them now are my treasured friends. Also, these kindred people are the source of my inspiration… what they went through helps me remind myself that I have to be brave, that I have to be determined and drop the bullshit and start doing what actually makes me happy at the end of the day.

“Also these kindred people are the source of my inspiration… what they went through helps me remind myself that I have to be brave, that I have to be determined and drop the bullshit and start doing what actually makes me happy at the end of the day.”


Describing what I feel is such a difficult thing to do, for me it’s like a mix of fleeting nostalgia, of something sentimental and romantic…. because our paths may never cross again. Such is the life of a traveler.

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I was supposed to write about my experience in Seoul but this article ended up all over the place. I can’t write right now as there are a lot of things rushing through my head.

A piece of advice, if you are able to, stay with a local when travelling to a foreign city.. use CouchSurfing.org, HelpX.net or BeWelcome! It’s really makes the difference for me.. yes, yes CouchSurfing is all commercialized, its now for profit but at the end of the day blah blah. BUT it will still connect you with amazing best friends from the other side of the world you have never even met yet.

A few things random things that are going on with me right now:

‌•I am starting to hate myself because most of the time when I read something, I try to translate it in Spanish in my head.. and most of the time I get it completely wrong and I get frustrated.

‌•I am starting to get tired listening to Spanish songs, Justin Bieber is actually pretty good right now. What do you meaaaaaan?

‌•My English is actually getting worse and I fumble my words now during client meeting at work? Is ok noh? Is ok.

‌•I am starting to plan and visualize what to do after Latin America. I should stop doing that. What the actual fuck, am I really excited to go home to the Philippines? What happened to VIVIR DIA POR DIA? Interesting.

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The miracle of Han river! Locals say that’s why South Korea is so successful. From a country receiving relief goods to the one sending out relief to other countries in just 50 years! Google the Miracle of Han river… I think its more because of their work ethic.. They don’t fuck around aren’t lazy. Now if only we had the miracle of Pasig river.. but first we need to get our shit together and clean that river. Then clean our politics and our work ethic as individuals.

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This is guy is a legit Spanish guitar player. Spent 30 minutes and maybe 3 cigarettes hanging out to listen to him. Threw all my loose change after that.

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People usually spend maybe an hour around the palace. I spent close to 3 hours because I fell asleep on a patch of grass near the outskirts of the palace.

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I didn’t really enjoy this place but the view is beautiful. It could be a sort of surrealistic feeling to see the contrast between the skyscrapers and the traditional hanoks but that was not the case. I blame the dozens of selfie sticks flying around everywhere. I’m happy they banned selfie sticks in Paris!

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Sunset spent in a stream in the middle of Seoul. Pretty cool, I walked to whole 10 KM… During that time I freaked out a catholic nun. Maybe she was thinking im some mugger. All I said was Good afternoon sister, Godbless you. I guess she doesn’t speak English lol.

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U F O in Seoul

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Beautiful Korean advertisement girls everywhere. Obviously uncle is tired of all the shit and just wants to head home.

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Hongdae!! Cheap food, cheap beer, cheap clubs! I love this place!

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Live your life? or live theirs?

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North Korea over there with the third tallest free standing flag pole in the world!

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It says this is North Korean Soju… It’s possible that is is just a tourist trap could be very well the same Soju made in South Korea just with a different lab.e

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Peace ribbons on a fence in the DMZ. I’ve been told most locals don’t really care as much as the older generation anymore. For me, as an outsider I want to witness the reunification of the two Koreas in my lifetime. After all, they were one for 3000 years and they have been seperated for 50+ years only.

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Something my host prepared… of course I forgot the name. I could barely remember any Korean names of things and food.

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Some random band in the streets of Hongdae. I stayed for the sexy girl jumping around on stage.

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Katrina’s request! I got a tattoo symbolizing our bond as siblings. its a Lord of the Rings tattoo on my wrist.

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Okay Sangah you get half the screen because the both of us have the just-woke-up-look.

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So that’s it. Its almost Christmas here and I can’t wait for my favorite season of the year. I’ll be spending it with my family for the first time in 3 years. It can’t get any better than that!

-Lean