Since I started this blog I’ve written about places all over Korea. I’ve even written about a few places outside of Korea. So it’s funny that I’ve never thought to write about the place where I’ve actually lived for the past 2 years- the place where I spend the majority of my time and that’s shaped my experience the most significantly.
It’s become second nature for us to only share the highlights of our lives on social media, and it’s something I’m guilty of too. While I’ll happily post photos of hidden temples and mountain tops on instagram, I hardly feel inclined to share a photo of my cramped daily bus ride or my boring packed lunch. The same thing goes for my city too. I’ll share all the places that I escape to on the weekend, but I don’t really feel like the streets that I walk through every day deserve their place on my Instagram feed. I might live here, but it’s not a highlight.
Changwon City, where I live, is a city of 1.5 million people. That is A LOT by Scottish city standards. Quick fact for you- only 5 million people live in Scotland and our biggest city, Glasgow, is only home to around 600,000 people. While Changwon City definitely trumps Glasgow in numbers, there are a few things that it’s definitely lacking. Creativity and diversity being the most obvious things that spring to mind.
To state the obvious, Korea isn’t a country well known for its creativity. In my first year that bothered me a lot- I didn’t like seeing everyone driving the same silver Hyundai car, I didn’t like the fact that every street had the exact same shops and that every building looked the same. That’s why I was so excited to hear about Changdong Art Village.
Changdong art village is a maze of tiny alleyways filled with murals, independent restaurants and coffee shops, and little art shops selling intricately made handcrafts. It’s a complete contrast to the grey concrete streets that surround it.
The place is a rose among the thorns. A nice little remnant of my past city life. My own little “Byre’s Road” in the heart of Asia.
I usually feel the need to travel out of my city to find and capture the beauty of Korea and sometimes forget to focus on what’s within my reach. So today, for the first time, I’m going to show a little bit of my stomping grounds to the internet. But staying true to form, I’m just going to show you one of the highlights and one of the things I love about my life here. My little safe haven. Changdong Art Village.
What do you think? Is this the kind of place that you’d like to wander around? Do you have a place that you like to escape to? Leave me a comment and let me know!