Sometimes we think that climbing mountains is best left to those who are younger, fitter, weigh less…or at least I do. But during my trip to Korea I managed to explore two mountains, one near Sokcho ( Mount Seoraksan) and the other in Seoul (Namsan Mountain) and learned a little about life and myself in the process. But first some pictures of Mount Seoraksan!
The climb was a reminder of some important realities in life:
- It is possible to balance more than one thing in your life, but the most important things need to come first – they are the base for everything else. The trail is lined with balanced rock piles, made by others who have passed this way.
- When challenges come there are ways across. Not all of them as convenient as a bridge, but we don’t have to be stuck. We can find a way forward, even if that sometimes means going back.
- People come along side us as we journey, just like these folks who offered me a cup of coffee. It was fun to be a part of their journey as well. We don’t travel alone.
- There are also signposts letting us how far we’ve come and where the next spot is. Sometimes there are many, sometimes only a few. But they are there!
- And then there is the thing we came to find – the purpose of our journey. I made it to the first rock.
- There is another rock, and a beautiful view only one more kilometer away from this point. But I knew I could NOT climb so high. The path was icy and I was shaky. A fall in this place, a broken ankle (again perhaps?)…there was no way I was going to risk that. So I turned back, grateful for the climb I had made and able to enjoy the scenery going down. We need to know our limits!
Namsan Mountain is in the middle of Seoul, South Korea and a popular destination. I spent some time exploring Hanook Village, which was very interesting – especially the baskets! The climb reaffirmed the lessons, but I felt much safer as I climbed to the top. My destination was a geocache in the middle of all those locks – the most favourited cache in South Korea. The terrain was much easier, and less slippery. Just before Valentine’s Day it was a busy place as people put their love-locks wherever they could find room, or came looking for the lock they had placed in the past.
The bonus for me was being in time to catch the sunset over Seoul. It was beautiful. I was also relieved to discover that there was a bus that I could take back to the subway station. It’s a long way down again!
Here’s to the next mountain…wherever it might be!