The Art of Getting Lost

My first bus ride in Seoul, South Korea

We live in a world where we know where we need to go, what we need to do, and how we can get to our destination in the quickest way possible. As a result, I was not used to and have never had fun getting lost in my home city of Philadelphia. However, I learned on my first week in Seoul, South Korea, that in order for me to fully enjoy the experience of adapting to a foreign environment, I had to embrace the fact that I will get lost and no matter what happens, there will always be a solution to obstacles in my way.

After exploring a small area in Seoul, my new international friends and I were in search of a good local restaurant to appease our hunger. On our way to the location, our navigation map began to act up which caused us to completely lose the location of the place we wanted to go to. Our maps did not work in the meantime due to issues with the slow data and wifi, so instead of using our phones, we searched in a nearby area for our dinner. We did not see any restaurants nearby, except for one that was packed to the brink and did not have room for us. However, we asked for a restaurant recommendation, and the restaurant owner helped us search for a nearby food place. When we arrived to the suggested location, the menu was in Korean and the translation app did not correctly translate the menu. As a result, we had trouble ordering from the menu. After a few minutes of struggling, a kind lady sitting at the table next to us helped us with our order and began explaining to us what each of the dishes were and which one she recommended for us. She even went as far as teaching us how to grill the meat and eat it the Korean way when she saw that we didn’t cook the meat correctly. She conversed with us the entire time we were there. She told us stories about her travel experiences, gave us food recommendations to try in Seoul, and even took pictures with us! Her generosity and friendliness really touched my heart and definitely ingrained into a valuable memory. I believe that everything happens for a reason. If our maps didn’t act up, and we didn’t get lost on our search for a local restaurant, we wouldn’t have stumbled across this Korean bbq location, and we would not have met such a kind lady! An epiphany rose from this experience: things happen for a reason, go with the flow and you will encounter delightful experiences.

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