New Year’s Eve in Korea

I had planned on ringing in the New Year in some exotic destination.  First it was Boracay (where my bestie McBesterson is currently hangin’ – jealous, what?), then it was Hong Kong (flights were about $200 Canadian, but hotels were another story), and finally I had dreams of Tokyo.  By the time mid-December rolled around all I wanted to do was have a relatively chill evening with my best gals in Busan.


The day was spent relaxing, cooking (meal prep for the New Year!), working out (Pop Sugar Fitness – look it up!), and getting ready to head out with one circle of friends to see another perform.  It was perfectly convenient to spend the evening at Eva’s Ticket for their grand finale party.  It seems the Kyungsung-dae (Kyungsung University) area of Busan is winding down for good.  I find it terribly sad that the first expat bar I ventured into and the site of so many good times with great people has closed its doors.  It seems only fitting that a month and a week from now I’ll be heading up to Seoul to start all over, yet again.

Reflecting on New Year’s Eve is so incredibly bittersweet.  Most of my good friends ‘come family were there.  Some of the most important people were abroad (throughout North America and Asia) and still kept in touch.  One of the people I thought was most important just really hasn’t been there at all since September, so it makes sense that she would be absent from NYE.  I think the majority of the people (literally save 2 or 3) who have shaped my life over the past year were in that room, and there was no place I’d rather be.

Olivia, Leah, and Jarry (yes – real names, people…they’re the Dudettes and if you’ve been lucky enough to rock out with them then you’ll know the soundtrack to my 2016) were on point from the moment we entered the bar through the epic countdown.  Over the break I was lucky enough to have stepped into a movie “role” (hah – not quite, but also a super cool thing you won’t hear much about up on the blog), and my co-star gave me a big ol’ kiss on the cheek at midnight.

Ringing in the New Year without the man (another thing you won’t be reading about on the blog – at least intentionally) wasn’t ideal, but we did talk at midnight and it was wonderful.  I mean, it was entirely upsetting, but with my girlsquad in tow, I ran back to Monster Pizza where we had spent much of our first meeting and am pretty sure A and I bought pizza for everyone (still bitter about the Meat Lover’s Pizza….all you have to do is take the pizza, put all the meat on it, and we’ll love it…geez!).

I woke up in another girl’s bed.  Well, not quite…I woke up in a remarkably comfortable makeshift bed made up of a futon/ mattress topper, some comfy pillows, and tons of blankets on B’s floor.  Thanks, B! New Year’s Day was spent with some of the most wonderful people who are unfortunately leaving the ROK pretty soon.  I’m beyond excited that the worlds that collided on New Year’s Eve will connect once again in Seoul for the Lunar New Year.  Ladies – what is with us and the New Year, #amirite?

A couple of days later I was fortunate enough to meet up with these wonderful people again.  Since the lights in Nampo-dong were still illuminated, we planned a day out with a hike to Seokbulsa Temple (spoiler alert: we failed…hard) then headed down to Nampo-town to see all of the lights.

It was an entirely different experience seeing the Christmas lights with a couple of gal pals and one fiance than it is…being in Seoul 😉.  We laughed a ton, ate our weight in Indian food.  If you haven’t been to Bombay Brau then go immediately.  Try the Lamb Saag, the Butter Chicken, the Peshwari Naan, and Basmati rice (don’t cheap out and get Korean sticky rice – you’ll regret it, I promise).  Avoid any attempt at Korma – it will not do it for you, but the aforementioned items are all extremely tasty!

 I had a hint at the lights on the way in, but the real treat was the huge tree in the center.  We tried to selfie, but then a Korean family stepped in, took some rad pictures of the gals, then wanted their own waygookin shot (thanks, Korean fam jam!).  I can’t think of a more perfect way to have rung in the new year.  Friends, good tunes, nostalgia, exercise, Indian food, all of the lights, chocolate chip cookies, family, and sleep – what more could a girl living halfway around the world from home ever want?

Thank you & I love you.  Near and far, you know who you are!

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