Workaway is a very trust based platform, where even someone with best preparations could not fully understand, what to experience from their new Workaway, until the actual arrival. So, when I had arrived in Gochang, a place far South of South Korea, in the country side, I had the privileg and honor of meeting a couple, being such great hosts, I am feeling blessed until the end of my life for meeting them and showing me the country in a way, that I could not do alone.
- Working as: Carpenter
- Place: Gochang, South Korea
- Time I’ve spent there: 16.05.17 – 27.05.17
After my one month Workaway in a hostel in Seoul, I decided to depart from the busy city for two weeks, in order to discover the other side of the Korean culture, the true rural life in South Korea. I met Mrs. Lee in Seoul, as well as a volunteer from USA called Rory. We left with the bus to Gochang, where Mr. Choi awaited us.
Sometimes during traveling, you need that little simple luck in life, in order to gain the best of the best on your journeys. Rory and I had that one. Everyday, we had our alarm set on 08:00, marched into the kitchen and found ourselves overwhelmed with a breakfast, that usually only appears in TV. Pancakes, homemade jam, fresh fruit platters, grinded coffee, yoghurt- I began to understand, that this was like a reward for my previous achievements on this Journey (ten months, that time). At 09:00 we started our morning shift until 11:30 and started to paste some clayish material onto the inner walls and the ceiling of the room.
Around 12:15, lunch had been ready to be served, which was again cooked by Mrs. Lee, while Mr. Choi was culturally not cooking, but more focusing on the surrounding work of his home. They grew their own vegetables in the gardens and if they were in need of other goods, many neighbors were bringing goods like alcohol, fruits, and meals. Most of the meals we ate, got freshly plucked from the gardens. 14:00, we continued our second shift until 16:30, showered and as I had been finished at 17:00, I layed down the bed and realized; my day had already ended!
Sometimes, we only worked the morning shift and went for a little excursion around Gochang. We had a car, which had been absolutely necessary, in order to explore this region, as public transport as a foreigner would have been no option. We did daytrips to the mountains and to the coast, visited a Spa, with some rare Germanium minerals in the springs. Genders got seperated and everyone was naked, going for saunas and little pools with different temperatures. And the BBQ’s we did all the time.. an absolute delight. Mrs. Lee had already been giving us so much access to delicious local food, but we still had more than that. Every evening, we were drinking Soju, some other wines or beer with Mr. Choi, talking about traveling, his Workaway and previous volunteers.
They themselves had experienced marvelous hospitality during their previous travelings with their bicycles in Australia, America or Europe. That’s the way they had explained their actions; To give the good, we receive in life. Rory & I definitely received more than we gave in physical work to them, but that is not what matters. It’s about cultural exchange, and this one was not only an exchange, but a friendship of a kind, so special, I would always recommend to anyone, to experience such emotions, when traveling in South Korea at the house of Mr. Choi & Mrs. Lee.
If you are having an interest in the Workaway Host, you can visit his Workaway profile by clicking here.