South Korea [대한민국]: the land where every Hallyu fangirl’s dream comes to life.

We’ve all had many restless nights thinking about the possibility of setting foot in Korea. Most importantly, we’ve all planned exactly how it will happen.

The levels vary from one fangirl to another: some of us would plan every single detail up to airport fashion, while others would simply pack a backpack and hit the road … or the sky.

Personally, I come in-between. I am usually an avid planner, and it goes without saying that checklists are a necessity for me in such a situation. However, as I went through the whole planning process, I realized that I may turn into a mood killer if I think about it too much.

Today, I’m going to share with you the process I followed to include a little bit of everything in my trip.

Create a bucket list

It’s easier said than done, right? Well, you should know that there is absolutely no way you’re going to cross everything off your list, especially on your first visit … Unless you’re going on a year-round vacation; in that case, be my guest!

My advice to you is to come up with a short and efficient bucket list. Write down your priorities, your dreams, your hopes and wishes, and keep it simple.

Now, that was my advice to you. In my case, I had five items on my bucket list:

  1. Meet Kim Namjoon.
  2. Meet Tablo.
  3. Attend a BTS musical event.
  4. Attend an Epik High’s musical event.
  5. Enjoy my vacation to the fullest.

I know that I went a bit extra with the list, but that’s my specialty in life and I have no regrets. Eventually, I managed to cross three out of five items off the list, so if you haven’t guessed it by now, I have never been this proud of a list like I was of this one.

Set a flexible schedule

Of course, your vacation has a defined period, so you need to make the most out of it. Grab a pen and paper (or the memo on your phone), and jot down what you want to do the most in Korea. That includes sightseeing, festivals and concerts, Hallyu activities, shopping, traveling around the country … and the list goes on.

Make sure to look up musical events for which you can purchase tickets in advance, thus already securing a fixed schedule on a specific day. Other than that, just try to live in the moment and enjoy every single detail, because that’s all that matters once you’re there.

Go through tourism guides

This is not a general rule, and you can absolutely skip it, but it’s beneficial to read about what awaits you on the other side of the globe. There is a book guide for literally everything, you just need to take your pick … or not. Remember, you can always wing it and it will turn out just fine. I tried a little bit of both, and I was amply satisfied.

These are the websites I checked before and during my stay in Korea:

Korea Tourism Organization                       Imagine your Korea                      Yalla Korea

Download Korea-related apps

This step is, in my opinion, the most important one. Now, I’m not talking about Kakao and Snow (although you probably have been using them for a while now anyways). I’m talking about apps that are deemed practical during your stay. 

Here is a list of apps (and maps) that are a must-have on your phone before you land:

  1. Kakao Map
  2. Korea Tour
  3. Subway Korea
  4. Kakao Bus
  5. T-Money Balance Check

Lower your expectations

Or terminate them, if you can. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t look forward to whatever’s going to happen during your stay, but in my case, I enjoyed my vacation a lot better because I had no idea what each day would bring me. Eventually, it brought me nothing but eternal bliss, literally. In fact, a blissful Esmee wrote the piece you’re reading right now.

That’s all for today! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, and stay tuned for more Hallyu gems. Until I see you next time, thank you for reading me.