Ayla Travels the World, Part 9: South Korea

From Beijing to Busan, Ayla went from one Asian city to the next. Same continent, but very distinct settings. Plus, in BusanIMG_20160402_222118 Ayla excitedly stayed with a fellow Norwegian family!

For this reason, Ayla considers her eight days in South Korea as a break from the normal backpacking life she knew throughout the rest of the three months she traveled the world. 

From the beaches to the barbecue to it being her birthday, here are Ayla’s words, photos, and another signature video about her time in and around Busan, South Korea.


Korea is such a different country. There is a lot of those small things so different from home. Like the fact that they bow to you everywhere–for me that’s so unnatural! South Korea is really beautiful and the people are so friendly (until you start speaking English to them, then they panic). Everything in Korea is so well-made, like hiking tracks and parks! Ah, and the fashion. It’s so amazing! Even the boys make a real effort over here! And the girls just look awesome. Why in the world are there no Korean BBQ places in Norway?!? I think I have to start one. Like right now.

My mom’s friend Heidi Terje and her husband Kjell Terje moved to Busan a year ago. They invited me to visit for some relaxing, exploring, and Norwegian!

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That lovely feeling of stepping out of the airport and being greated by a familiar face who says hi in Norwegian–can’t describe it, really. It just feels so good to speak your mother tongue again after only English for so long. And then of course: Norwegian food!!

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Homemade bread with Norwegian goatcheese.

Also, I got a room with the most amazing view! You have no idea how good it feels to be in a comfy bed by yourself after traveling for a while!

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This is the moment you just sit back and say: I love life.

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Heidi and Kjell Terje showed me Busan and the area surrounding it. The markets were amazing:

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Fashion markets and fish markets!

How this works: You go and buy fish/shrimp/octupus/whatever. Then you go upstairs, where there is a resturant. They prepare whatever you bought and give you loads of sidedishes!
How this works: You go and buy fish/shrimp/octupus/whatever. Then you go upstairs where there is a resturant. They prepare whatever you bought and give you loads of side dishes!
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Not all the food was so good. (What in the world is the deal with boiled beetles in South Korea?!)

We relaxed at the beach:

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We sat down and ate some chips, when a seagull came and took the chips right out of my hand!

A odd thing about South Korean culture is how afraid they are of the sun. They never wear short sleeves. They even swim in full outfit at the beach! Leatherjacket and all! Also, all the creams say “whitening.” We pale Norwegians don’t really feel the need to get even more white!

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At the beach they have these ‘busking zones’ where anyone can play, dance, paint, or whatever and make money from the people walking by!

We walked the streets:

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The women are putting out seaweed to dry. They sell a lot of seaweed and other things from the sea here.

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Here’s my video about my time in South Korea:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvKLN-0GXhE?rel=0&w=640&h=480]

Thank you so much for having me, Heidi and Kjell Terje!

And I’ll see you all next week from my next destination: the United States Midwest.


Ayla is a 20-year-old Norwegian who loves to learn new things and study new cultures. She’s Christian, and in her more normal life (when not eating donkey sandwiches in China and taking trains across Italy), she does dancing and karate. For any questions for Ayla or about travels, please comment below. 

And if you’d like to share your story on The Periphery, please email me at Brandon@ThePeriphery.com. We’d love to hear all about your adventure.