I’m here! 15 years and 2 divorces later, I’m back visiting what I call the motherland. The last time I was here, my brother was getting married to a “real” Korean girl and I had just left my first husband. I spent a month getting fat on delicious breads and pastries from Shinsegae department store bakery and getting my nerve together to go back to NY as a single mom of two young children under 3 years of age. At least now, my idea of a foodie treat is BBQ and kimchi! #grainfree #perfectrecoverynutrition
Driving around with my dad yesterday, I recalled many of the places I visited on my own, taking cabs and drinking in as much culture as I could. I sought out the only salsa night club in Itaewon (okay, maybe not Korean culture) and went against the advice of my mother who basically told me that women who go out alone at night are hookers. LOL. I visited historical sites and caught a fantastic drumming performance at the Seoul Arts Center. I even found a dance studio and took some classes…all with my limited language skills and troubled heart. I wasn’t running any ultras back then, but I realize I’ve always been adventurous and unafraid of enjoying life alone.
I arrived here near Seoul just two days ago. Immediately after haphazardly unpacking, I went for a run along the Tancheon River despite jet lag and an exhausting 72 hours prior to arrival. What strikes me most about the Seoul landscape is the not-so-distant view of the mountains (or super large hills, perhaps!), and I absolutely love the river system trails…perfect for runners and cyclists!
It’s hilarious and shameful when I realize how pathetic my Korean language skills are but I’m committed to getting over my shyness of butchering my mother tongue. I’m confident by the time I leave I’ll at least know how to successfully order precisely what I want to eat and be able to ask where the bathroom is! LOLOL.
This trip is not merely a vacation for me. As I close another chapter in my life and begin anew, I’m seeking a bit of healing, of love, of empowerment, and enlightenment. Attempting this epic ultra adventure of running through my birthland will push me to my physical limits….