24 Before 24: Have a Picnic Somewhere Stunning


I’m doing 24 fun or new things before I turn 24. You can see the rest of my list here.

For the month of August, I have a different work schedule – I’m working 9-6 instead of 1-9. I’m not much of a morning person, so last week I was really tired as I tried to adjust to the change. Even still, I have to admit that having my evenings free was totally wonderful. Finally I’m on a similar schedule to my friends, leaving us open to exploring the beautiful city we are lucky enough to live in. That means that in the evenings last week alone, we had a gorgeous dinner sitting on a patio, explored some awesome English bookstores in the university area, and of course, had this picnic at one of the most scenic spots in Busan.


Igidae Park offers one of my favourite views that I’ve seen in Korea. The park itself is made up of fingers of land that jut out at various intervals, parallel to the far shore, which means that no matter how far you walk along the coast, you get stunning views of the city – the Diamond bridge on the left with Gwangalli beach behind, Marine City in the middle, Haeundae beach and Dongbaek Island further right, and of course Dalmaji Hill. None of those names will mean anything to you if you’ve never been to Busan, but the pictures speak for themselves. It’s beautiful.


After work last Thursday, we took the metro 11 stops, then hopped in a 5-minute cab ride and ended up in Igidae. We were met with gorgeous views, beautiful clouds, and the prettiest blues and pinks of the sunset. I’d been once before, in the Spring, but I absolutely loved it at dusk.


Our picnic fare was random (as the best picnic food is!) but perfect. We had kimbap (kind of like Korean sushi), chips, pastries, crackers, wine and cookies.


We sat on the rocks overlooking the water as the sun went down, and for as long as we could after it was dark, until the ceaseless mosquito bites made us flee the scene. We talked about how lucky we felt to be able to experience such a beautiful place on a weeknight, after work, a short half hour trip from where we lived. It felt like freedom, and summer, and I was so grateful to be living so close to the water, to have made such great friends here, and to be eating Ritter Sport chocolate. It made me feel excited and inspired to make the most of the rest of my summer evenings as much as I possibly can. Life is grand.

Lately | June

Lately JuneExcited I was able to see a stunning coastal temple this morning before I had to go to work.

Resolving to get out more in the mornings instead of always saving my excursions for the weekend.

Becoming a regular at a few great restaurants + bars in my neighbourhood (for Busanites: Artista and Thursday Party).

Planning my summer vacation – I’m thinking Japan!

Eating a lot of homemade summer rolls for dinner (I’ll share my recipe on the blog next week), scrambled egg wraps for lunch, and a lot of raw veggies in between.

Drinking the delicious-but-potent Long Island Iced Teas at our local watering hole, and lots of water the rest of the time.

Excited about trying cheesy pajeon, our upcoming trip to Jeju island, all the books I’ve been adding to my to-read list, and getting to teach cute little kids starting from next week.

Running at the local track and slowly increasing my distance – yay!

Brainstorming for a new creative (ad)venture. Stay tuned!

Watching Masterchef and Masterchef Australia because they’re both back on, hallelujah! My favourite time of year.

Daydreaming out loud about plans for after my year in Korea.

Listening to my favourite podcasts most of the time instead of music. Any song recommendations?

Relieved that most of the stress involved with switching schools seems to have passed so that now I can just focus on enjoying my long summer days and nights.

Making use of the open rooftop terraces on nearby buildings for gatherings and late night yoga alike.

Wondering how it’s already Wednesday, and how it’s already the last week of June.

Grateful for emails from family, long talks with good friends, and the fact that I’m back to feeling positive and excited about the rest of my year in Korea after a brief period of negativity and stress.

Tokyo, Japan


What a whirlwind weekend! Our time in Tokyo was vibrant and magic, wild and crazy, and full of hilarious stories. At the time, there were some stressful moments, but looking back on it now a few days later, I can see how funny our adventures really were. You're only young once, right? Might as well stay out until 4AM dancing in Tokyo while you can.

We were all in agreement that we loved the atmosphere in Tokyo. It felt fresh and fun, so full to the brim with interesting things to do and see. In our experience, Japanese people were so friendly and kind, always ready to smile back at us tourists and give us a hand if we needed help. We had universally positive experiences with all the locals we met, which was refreshing and made us feel comfortable right away. In Busan, I find that the locals don't go out of their way to be friendly – though many are, definitely! And as there are relatively few foreigners in Korea, you can sometimes feel like an anomaly or an outsider. Tokyo is obviously an enormous, buzzing, metropolitan hub so it was great to feel like we fit right in.

The energy of the city was amazing. Throughout our time there, we just kept gushing about the atmosphere and the magic we found there. We stumbled onto a rooftop terrace decked out with fairy lights and playing nonstop Disney princess songs through the loudspeakers. We wandered the busy streets of Harajuku that were crazy, yes, but also beautiful and fun. We befriended a worker at the fish market who invited us to hop on the back of his cart and he drove us to a great lunch spot by weaving through the crowds of tourists. We admired the way people dressed in Tokyo: gorgeous, simple, and classic. I loved the ivy-covered buildings everywhere you looked. I loved the abundance of neon lights, and the endless number of restaurants, cafes and convenience stores. We adored the enormous trees everywhere, but especially in the gorgeous Yoyogi park where they make a beautiful canopy overhead. We saw beautiful temples and some lovely traditional weddings taking place at them. We drank Japanese beer while people-watching at the busy Shibuya crossing. We discovered an Earth Day festival filled with stalls selling beautiful handmade, natural goods. We bought multicoloured things at Daiso. And we just walked up and down streets just taking it all in.

We barely even scratched Tokyo's surface, and yet I felt like we saw so much in our two days there. It just goes to show how big and beautiful of a city it really is, and how much more there is to discover. I hope to return and visit again, for longer. I think it would be so amazing to live there for a time, just working and exploring the city one adorable restaurant at a time. Maybe for a summer? The more I explore the world, the more time I want to spend exploring and enjoying it. I saw this quote the other day: “If I were really wealthy, I wouldn't buy a mansion, just tiny apartments in every city that I love.” I absolutely agree! The only problem is that list of cities is getting longer and longer. I feel so blessed and grateful to have had these travel experiences so young – what a wonderful “problem” to have!

What We Did:

  • Ate lunch at a sushi restaurant in Tsukiji Fish Market. It was excellent – Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield had once eaten there, as well as the CEO of Amazon! It's a little off the beaten track and has bright orange awnings.
  • Explored Yoyogi Park and visited the Meji Jingu shrine.
  • Wandered around Harajuku on Takeshita Dori street and Ometesando street.
  • Crossed at the Shibuya crossing about ten times!
  • Saw the view from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. It's free, and offers great views of Tokyo.
  • Explored Asakusa and saw the Senso-ji temple.