Hello from Seoul, South Korea (Part 2)

The second part of my visit to Korea was also exceptional. After I finished with my workshops at the KATH Association symposium held at the Korean Racing Authority, I decided to step out and see some of the amazing historical sights of Seoul.  I joined a group tour and visited Palaces and Temples as well as the famous North Tower.  I wished I had gone to the North Tower with a partner as it would have been real fun and probably very romantic to have left a love lock. Seoul has several central locations, each with a different feel. Some reminded me of Manhattan, New York. When I was in Myeongdong district it reminded me of Soho, and then in the Gangnam district it felt more like the Upper East Side. Standing high up on the North Tower, Seoul was a sprawling city with many suburbs, traffic jammed highways and hard working people. Still, it was special for me to walk in the cold Autumn air around the city and go into Coffee and Cake Cafes where I saw young people enjoying conversation and experiencing Seoul city life.

After my sightseeing tour, I was invited  to the countryside around the city of  Incheon and spent time with Dr. Park and her son. Dr Park, an amazing lady with her many academic accolades, and her son, a therapist, let me have a peep at some traditional Korean culture. From a typical Korean lunch, to driving and walking next to farmland as well as visiting a riding center, I saw the best rice fields of Korea and how traditional Kimchi is made, and what was the spirit of therapeutic riding in Korea. 

Then I met Sarah and Bobby Shechner-Mcknight who had invited me to stay at their home while I gave a workshop at the US Humphreys Armed Forces Base in Korea.  Sarah had organized the workshop and live demonstration that I presented for soldiers and their families on the Base and at her stables, Grace Stables.  Military families were interested in knowing more about EAA/T and how it could help those suffering from symptoms of post traumatic stress (PTS). The workshop, discussions and demonstration were very successful. All the events were filmed and recorded. Our demonstration afternoon finished in the freezing cold, minus 10 celsius and with a generous barbeque. Sarah’s support for her event was sponsored by private donations, the American Red Cross and the Wounded Warriors Foundation.

With Sarah, I experienced only Korean food. She took me to local restaurants, and an open market where we bought delicious fish and vegetables for our evening meals. Life in smaller towns is different to Seoul, more old fashioned, contained and still content with past practices and established conventions of living. 

We went by car to the town of Jeonju where we stayed the night in the remarkable ancient village.  Sarah introduced me to Jeonju’s best local food, and the experience of walking around the old town in traditional clothing. I slept on a futon on the floor and woke up creaking like an old door, but that soon wore off as I enjoyed my outdoor breakfast in the ancient village. My experience in Jeonju, dressing up and sleeping in an ancient village hundreds of years old made me feel for a moment that I was actually living in the Joseon period. 

My trip to the Republic of Korea was more than memorable. The good wishes and good will of all the people I met at the KATH symposium and at the Humphrey US Army Base was a gift that will last for a lifetime and I look forward to returning there soon.

Hello from Seoul, South Korea (Part 1)


You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *