Oh, the city is killing me! I’ve said this so many times over the last few months since moving to Seoul. South Korea has some beautiful surroundings (that I intend to explore when the temperature goes above freezing!) but I am based in Seoul, which is VERY much a city atmosphere. Growing up in South Africa, I definitely took my open surroundings for granted; I enjoyed them with little care for what it would be like if they weren’t there…
Fast-forward to my 28th trip around the sun and I am literally in the middle of a massive capital city. I came here for a month in March last year and I think the idea of it just being a month played with my mind a bit. The city’s limitations didn’t frustrate me and I welcomed the concrete change. This time around…
It’s just too loud. I can feel the energy of all the people rushing around me; it literally never stops. Even when I’m tucked up in bed on the 12th floor; my neighbour is rattling around next door, there’s traffic chaos on the road and there is no mute button. Writing this out is giving me anxiety and that’s whilst I have my nature sounds playing on repeat!
SIDE NOTE! I got asked a couple times on Instagram as to what I listen to – click here for the magic!
I am not someone who sits around and cries internally, I change my attitude or I change my situation. I decided to do a bit of both this time around…
How I survive in the city:
I maintain a consistent yoga practice
Anyone who has followed me for any length of time knows how important yoga is to me. I don’t post my practice online as often anymore because it has become a more personal journey for me. Also, more of an inward journey. Being in the city and continuing my practice has taught me that I don’t need to be in a holy space to find what I’m looking for. I can look internally and find that peace within myself. And to me, that’s been the greatest discovery since moving to the city.
I read EVEN more
I’ve said it before; your girl likes to read! My reading collection has grown a crazy amount since moving here and if you were looking for an English bookshop in Seoul, I would recommend “What The Book” in Itaewon. They also have a cool exchange policy where you gain store credit if you bring a book back to be put in their second-hand section. PLUS, they don’t use plastic bags – they give you epic reusable ones with your purchase and I find that an attractive quality in a bookstore.
I created a happy place at home
Staring at four uninspiring walls does nothing for your spirit. Create a space you’re proud of and want to be in. I’ve purchased two large world maps and even some picture quotes that inspire me. Books, yoga props, unicorns and other things that make my heart sing surround me. I’m serious about the unicorns…
I watch animals
Animals make me happier than humans. One day, my man is gonna be like “do I make you happy?” and I’m gonna be like “yeah, but you ain’t a cat though. So there are limitations on how happy you can make me.”
In all seriousness, I watch animals to make me happy – in real life. There isn’t a lot here in Seoul, but I’ve formed a new love of pigeons because they’ve been my feathered saviours whilst walking to work. Koreans also have a love of tiny dogs, so there’s been some love encounters there too! Watching animals just makes me happy… I feel like I receive some of their innocence when I watch them. My life feels simplified.
I eat as well as I can
Having digestive issues and disorders like I do usually hand you this revelation that it actually DOES MATTER what you put inside your body! When I eat GOOD, I feel GOOD. The human mind often likes to tell itself that it needs horrendous food when it feels down – shut it up. You know what to do. I mentioned I eat ‘as well as I can’ because living in a new place that doesn’t speak your language can lead to limitations so you sometimes have to try some sketchy food to get to some goodness. Be kind to yourself and allow the random slip-ups.
Please don’t think I’m bulletproof, I still have moments where I want to cry because I hate the city so much. However, I do feel like I’m meant to be here. I’m meant to learn and I’m meant to grow. Try focus on being present in times where you feel like you’re struggling… it all comes back to understanding yourself.
To my fellow nature girls, smell some grass for me today! Namaste x