Work in Progress

“In the best travel, disconnection is a necessity. Concentrate on where you are; do no back-home business; take no assignments; remain incommunicado; be scarce. It is a good thing that people don’t know where you are or how to find you. Keep in mind the country you are in. That’s the theory.”
–Paul Theroux

A human who loves the world, finds beauty in the unknown, and can't keep her feet on the ground. I like finding unique (and cheap) ways of making my way around the globe. Interacting with people while living, learning, and loving the culture I'm surrounded by.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


Lucked out and found people selling tickets to the Boryeong Mud Festival less than a week before the event. Buying those tickets may have well been one of the best decisions ever. That and my GoPro. Thanks Molly :)

We took a 6 hour bus ride from Ulsan to Boryeong on a "party bus". Cheesy lights flashed and norebang took place on the trip at the lovely hour of 9 am. Nothing like Korean karaoke and soju cocktails in the morning to really get me going. That's a recipe for a good time.

We stayed in a pension, which until this point I had never heard of. It's one GIANT step down from a hostel, where mass amount of people sleep on floors. They give you a big empty room with pillows and blankets. The rooms weren't clean when we arrived so 60 people ditched their things in one large room and changed into the clothes they intended to be doused in mud. We didn't have time to waste. 

Once we finally got to the festival my desire I be covered on mud from head to toe had reached an all time high. We walked into the mud pit and unfortunately we couldn't bring our glass soju bottles in. Or fortunately? I ditched shoes the second I had the chance and the last thing I wanted was a bloody mud foot.  I elicited he help of one of the cute little Korean security guards to watch over our drinks, and he did so diligently. While waiting in line for wrestling the girls and I took turns running back to him and taking soju shots. 

There were loads of mud things to do. Giant mud slides and games and even a mud prison for those people who, for some odd reason, were not covered from head to toe. The lines were quite long for everything and we figured a wrestling game was priority. We choose a numbers game where 20ish people stand in a mud pit and have to get into groups of people depending on the number the announcer calls. 

We got in line and immediately made friends with the people around us. There was a cute little Korean family who absolutely loved us. We chatted and they asked to take pictures with us. A lot of Koreans did that. You'd think we were famous. When we were chugging soju - there were Koreans with cameras snapping away. When we laid in the mud, snap snap snap. There was a thick group of Korean paparazzi stationed just above the mud pit, cameras protected with plastic and special casings. I'll be searching the internet for years trying to find out where all of these photos ended up :)

The game was a blast and ended way too quickly. The second round I was hurdled up with a group all hoping we had the correct number of people  - we were one over. So what happened? I was thrust from the group and left for dead. As I was pushed into the mud you could hear the, "ohhhh!"'s from the crowed of people watching. Anyone who loses and doesn't have a group when the times up gets put into the middle and everyone else showers them with mud. Fine by me. I took my mud bath like a champ.

I got mud in my eye, however. I think it happened at the very beginning in the mud sink when an Indian man tried to help me cover my face. And then during the game the problem intensified. After that I could have easily been a one eyed mud pirate. It was so bad I had to have my momma goose walk me to the medical tent where a woman syringed my eye out with some sort of eye wash concoction. I obviously wasn't the first.

We then decided to get beer and go to the beach to wash off and chill while listening to some live music. It was a challenge pulling my muddy money from my swim suit and paying the cashier. I can only imagine the cleaning up that has to be done after this festival is over. There is mud on every damn thing. 

We swam and played and had a grand old time. I made so many friends, a few of which I had to record on my GoPro spelling their names so I could remember to add them on Facebook.

The rest of the day/night is a giant blur. We got back to the pension and showered, and then there was dinner. Loads of meat grilling and ssamjang and rice. I ate and drank WAY too much. Then eventually the sun went down and we went back to the beach for more music and fun. Once we got back to the pension we relaxed on the patio area and chatted and drank the night away. I can barley remember most of their names, but I do remember trying to learn Korean and someone kept bringing me ice cream. I was happy. 

Then, at 2 in the morning I decided to round up all the people who were still awake and got them to go to norebang with me and my new best friend Samuel. He was the KING of norebang on the bus earlier that day. He inspired me. A group of 10 people staggered down the street to the first karaoke room we could find and started singing. And drinking, MORE DRINKING. I did a beautiful rendition of Baby Got Back... But mostly everyone just sung together. Even the Korean songs that I didn't understand and could barley read. 

Water. Sleep. WATER. By the time we got back to the pension, no one could find anywhere to sleep. Some people were pissed... I on the other hand found the first spot I could and passed out. I woke up on the floor pillow-less with no covers in between two people I have never seen before. 

Our group was a pathetic sight to see the next morning. Some people were taking shots, most people had a startling resemblance to zombies and were eating noodles for breakfast- myself included. Best hangover cure.  It's crazy how this group of people went from strangers on a bus to friends who shared some insane experiences together, and a lot of drinks. Foreigners or Koreans, didn't matter. Language barriers, PSSSH. There is such a thing as an universal language my friends - ALCOHOL.


I've put together a little video compilation with footage from my GoPro :) enjoy!

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