Jeju, South Korea | Port Call
Last weekend I spent what was hopefully our last port stop this year in Jeju, South Korea. It was without a doubt our best port so far. Jeju is a volcanic island off of South Korea and the coastline reminded me a lot of Kona, Hawaii. There is black rock, clear water and tons of trees and cliff sides. It was a really beautiful place that I would actually go back to outside of a port call.
The base was completed in 2016 against the wishes of many South Koreans living on Jeju and there were a lot of people protesting us being there. I didn’t see them but Josh encountered them getting back to the ship and they had to be held back by the police. I know some Americans weren’t happy to see that but it’s good to be aware of how other countries view us and our actions around the world. Jeju has a dark history and many residents blame the Americans along with the South Korean government for the killing of 10% of the islands population during an uprising around the time of the Korean war.
Our first day together I didn’t take pictures. We went to this amazing market called the Seogwipo Maeill Olle Market that had tons of fruit, vegetables, fish and prepared foods. I wish I could share some pictures but I don’t usually take any on the first day I spend with Josh after a time apart. I just want to be present with him and I usually have no desire to document what we are doing. It was a cool place though and we bought a ton of fruit and it all tasted amazing.
We only had a few days together but we visited some waterfalls and did a lot of walking along the coast. Some good restaurants to check out for vegan options are Bottle and Bowl and Plante. We also had really good coffee at Yudong Coffee. And of course our hotel restaurant was fantastic. We stayed at Bayhill Pool and Villa and had some great meals at their restaurant Narnia.
These trips are always worth the stress of travelling (I took 3 trains, a plane and an hour-long taxi to get to my hotel) and the money. It’s worth it to just be together and spend time in a new place. The memories I leave with are so strong and so happy and I am reminded that as low as things can feel while Josh is gone and we struggle through our own personal issues with people, the military, our squadron and living in a foreign country, the highs are just as high when we are together at last. Staying in the states instead of coming out to Japan would have been easier but it wouldn’t be as amazing or exciting either. I am glad we are here and when things feel difficult Josh reminds me that this is making us stronger and it’s not forever. Someday we will be left with just the memories of our time in Japan and mostly we will remember the good ones: port stops, Onomichi, Miyajima, all our adventures around Japan, walks around our neighborhood and snapshots of his return. I am lucky and grateful that I get to be here. I hope you enjoy the pictures of some of our exploring!