Last Updated on September 21, 2010 by Christine Kaaloa
Boesang, South Korea
Raining. I waited the summer to see Boseong Tea Fields‘ tea-inspired glory, rode 5+ hours by bus (and 3 transfers) and what happened when I finally got there?… It rained. Not saying this didn’t lend to magical moments but it did put a damper on my plans to spend an entire afternoon exploring the fields or at a tea cafe with some prime grade nokcha (aka Korean green tea). Still, I’m glad I got to see it and I didn’t walk away completely empty-handed. I rattled off some quick shots before the downpour of rain, snuck in some quality green tea-bathing time and came up with 4 great nokcha– inspired travel reflections, which I will list here!
Boseong bus sign
1. The Art of Imperfect Perfections
So you miss your shot at opportunity– that’s life. Whether we plan things or not, the universe is all about timing, luck and a bit of destiny. A missed opportunity is destiny, as well. Things can’t always be perfect, but what you’re given is. As a traveler, these are bittersweet concepts to lend yourself too. You can strive for perfection, the best travel itinerary, the ideal shot …and then there’s the actual reality of the universe gives you to work with. Like rain. Such is the real perfection you’re destined for. You realize, maybe it’s not so bad. As travelers and artists, we can’t always change our environment but we can work with/shape our present moment and its defining reality. Life is pretty malleable and it can suck if you let it. Or you can learn to love a flawed beauty and accept that each moment has makeover potential.
2. Kissing Frog Princes
Uneasy situations are like frog princes awaiting a kiss. They force you to look at different approaches and opportunities you may not initially consider.
…So I’m sitting in a seat with a dirty bus window, marred by graffiti; other passengers have a clean view of the passing landscape. Do I change seats for an upgrade? Stick in my iPod ear buds, open my Korean language book and study for my upcoming class? Should I take in a nap so I can jam when I arrive at my destination? Or do I spend the rest of the bus ride wishing I could spit on all the clean windows, so I won’t envy what I’m missing? Each lame situation presents a handful of opportunities and choices for either, greatness or demise. What will you create? Will you kiss the frog?…
3. Changing safety seats
Being adventurists, sometimes we love the unpredictability in travel; however, in travel habits we’re pretty predictable and safe. For instance, when I roam with my travel buddy, Chance each weekend, we have a tendency to sit in the same seat. I didn’t know this until she pointed it out– I sit on the left window side of the bus, she sits on the right and we’re usually 2nd or 3rd from the back. Something as simple as this, creates habit and stuck-ness.
So we switched safety seats. No bras and panties flew off, no asses mooning passing ajummas- Chance was still Chance, Christine was still Christine. But energetically, the switch opened a new energy valve. A rush of different inspiration surged as we changed places, and I thought– Ooh, no wonder she likes this side of the bus… Changing habits even in the subtlest ways, frees serendipitous events to happen, allowing us to see, create and experience inspiration through new perspectives.
4. An indirect path can lead to greater rewards
You heard the saying, “It’s not about the destination; it’s about the journey”. Taking direct routes (via bus, train or path) are convenient for saving time, but they’re not always great ways to see a country. Meanwhile, indirect routes offer a lot of eye-opening character along the way which only broadens our experience of places. Taking the express bus from Daegu to the Boseong local bus, we had to make connecting transfers and use different types of transportation. I discovered that Gwangju’s U-Turn bus terminal is one impressively cool mall/station with mellow funk and fashion; quiet Suncheon has a wealth of city attractions that would take at least its own weekend to explore and Boseong’s bus station (and its buses) serves an old-fashioned feeling of a life with rustic (or rusty) and brooding charm. Each city or town has its own special nuances and vibe; indirect routes give you a chance to understand the broader scope of expressions that a country offers.
– Photos: Boseong Tea Plantations on a Rainy Day
– Getting to Boseong from Daegu
– Naked Relief in a Yulpo’s Seawater Green Tea Spa