During the long months of quarantine the one constant was family. Every week I saw my family, my lifesaver in a sea of isolation, restlessness and fear. I didn’t tell many because it was a personal decision and judgements were being dealt swiftly and fiercely. But just as important as our physical health is our mental health and when our minds have nothing to do but wonder, wander and overthink seeing family was our sanity. We told the same stories, shared the same opinions and laughed at the same jokes week after week; it was wonderfully predictable and comforting. So after months of quarantine we took our routine on the road. For one week our jokes had new air to breathe, we had new scenery for our stories and the foundation of family remained solid in the sand.
Sayulita is a surf town. Surfers and surf boards dot the coastline and the beach. There is a vibrant, contagious energy; the thrill of the surfers and wanna-be surfers waiting to catch a wave. But for swimming, for relaxing on the beach, this is not the place to be. Head a bit further south and you’ll find Playa de los Muertos, a little nook of a cove tucked behind Punta Sayulita, creating a calm, swimmable beach.
Andong, Peaceful East, is the home of traditional Korean culture. Founded around 1 BC, Andong became a center of Confucianism after the ascent of the Joseon Dynasty to the throne. The Nakdong River flows through this capital city of North Gyeongsang Province.
The most compelling, relatable, language-barrier-crosser of any culture is its food. Ask someone if they speak Spanish and they may answer no. But ask them if they’d like an enchilada and they will most likely reply “chicken or beef?” People are multi-lingual without realizing it; linguini, croissant, schnitzel, ramen, kimchi.
As I walked this city’s streets I saw food vendor after food stall after restaurant of foods I love, foods my mom cooks, foods my mom used to cook when I was little, foods I can only find quite like this in this city’s streets. Memories recent and old were all stirred up in each sentimental, delicious bite.