Desiree Jang shares memories from her summer vacation in South Korea
A big dilemma on [James’ (MSII) and my] minds was how to spend the summer between MSI and MSII - the first summer of medical school and the last real summer break for the rest of our lives. We ended up spending a month in Seoul, South Korea.
It was a return journey for me – James is Korean, and five summers ago we traveled there together before our wedding so I could “meet the parents”. This trip included our 16-month-old son, Alex.
Seoul, a city of 20 million, is like another world. I love the public transportation – they have one of the best and most extensive subway systems in the world. I adore the food – it is absolutely delicious, and not everything is spicy or made with kimchi as people usually imagine. Smoked duck with honey mustard sauce was my favorite meal there, and sweet potato pizza was a close second. Finally, I love the scenery – Korean terrain is 70% mountains, so you can imagine the breathtaking beauty. It is also a peninsula, so it is nearly surrounded by beaches and coastline.
My favorite part of our trip was visiting Jeju Do, an island off the southern coast. It was a magical place of natural beauty. We ate the local cuisine, climbed mountains, waterfalls, and spent time at the beach.
We also spent plenty of time visiting relatives and friends – Koreans are known for hospitality and we were extremely fortunate to know and meet so many great people there. It was a fun and relaxing way to end the summer, and now we are back to reality in Tulsa.
A month of traveling may not be realistic for everyone, and is unlikely in our future also, but taking breaks – even short ones - from the constant grind of med school was a great way for us to spend time together.