Hello! I’m Charlotte. I’m currently living as an expat abroad in South Korea, where I have spent the last two years.Coming from a humble upbringing in England, UK, to South East Asia was quite a leap – but in doing so, I gained access to a diverse array of cultures within arm’s reach.
At present, I work as a Native English teacher in the Gyeongsangnam-do province teaching both Middle and High school students. When I first arrived in South Korea, I found the culture fascinating and this feeling has continued, if not grown, since then. The town I live in is quite rural, and so I live further away from places frequented by tourists such as Seoul, Busan, and Daegu. Living abroad forces me to continually push through my percieved boundaries and comfort zone. I am constantly being challenged by what I THINK I know, what I THINK I can do. It has made me appreciate the gift that is travel, and the wonders it can do for our self-esteem, our confidence, our empathy, our wordly views – travel makes me a better person.
When I consider a average day in England to an average day in Korea, the two are in stark contrast to each other – as if I’m living in a completely different world. It is this sensation, felt through small inconsequential experiences daily, that furthers my passion for travelling.
“Culture is the widening of the mind and of the spirit” – Jawaharlal Nehru.
As Nehru says, being immersed in culture is a reward in and of itself. It opens up new ways of thinking and of visualising the world. My mind is filled with new customs, enticing smells, awe-inspiring views, and wonderfully-confusing sounds!
As well as being a traveller, I am an enthusiastic foodie! I love to follow my stomach when choosing a place to visit – the more new foods to try, the better!
During my travels, I tend to research places of interest beforehand, creating a check-list compiled of essential visits and additional activities. Once I’ve completed my list, I begin searching for recommended eateries and delicacies nearby those locations.
I enjoy visiting the local food markets, letting my eyes and nose choose which morsel to try next. You get a good idea of what’s popular and unique for that area by the size of the queues. I get a childish joy from joining the line, being the bearer of curious gazes overlooking the queue makes me feel like I’m in on a secret privy only to locals and those adventurous of heart and stomach.
There’s a certain level of satisfaction and ease wandering through labyrinthine streets in the hopes of uncovering cultural sites, hidden restaurants, or hip cafes. Upon discovering a location, taking the first few steps feels like Alice entering Wonderland, or stepping into Narnia – it’s overwhelming yet exciting. It’s entirely new.
Another joy of mine is finding quirky themed cafes: animal cafes, anime cafes, character cafes, monster cafes, poop (yes, you read it correctly) cafes…the list is endless and diverse!
The more I travel, the more I realise I don’t want to stop. Ever. I have no time limit or end goal other than this: explore as many countries as I can, for however long I can!
See you on the other side ~