I'm afraid of water, but somehow I've learned to enjoy water-related activities. So, after going to Okinawa and experiencing tandem diving there, I decided to pursue my "Scuba Diving Certification" (which is on my bucket list) in Jeju Island. There's an option to obtain a certification in Southeast Asia, when I'll travel there in future, but for me, who was a bit afraid of water, I was free to speak my native language, Korean, in Jeju Island. Besides, I could have a very relaxing time there.
Day 1: Theory and training at the swimming pool
Day 2: Going to the open water (sea)
Day 3: Open Water, more theory and test
After three days of half-day or full-day intensive training, you can get a qualification after passing the theory test. Your capability to move from the pool to the ocean is worked on after a few more scuba practicing exercises in the pool and a terrifying, in my opinion, exercise of clearing the respirator and goggles under the water and then putting them on again.
On the boat, when I think about it now, I thought that I couldn't do it. I would like to express my gratitude to the scuba dive instructor who coached and waited for me. (Oh yeah!! I can scuba dive now!! And you can do fun diving too! :)
* New Haven Dive (Hyodon Circulation Road 19, Seogwipo City, Jeju)
Lessons and Diving Inquiries: 010 2627 7265
Even though I've had a broad interest and could play some water sports, I was always afraid of open water activities. So this challenge made me include surfing on my bucket list too. I wanted to take up surfing after several experiences in Yangyang, and while I was in Jeju Island, I faced surfing to get the maximum advantage of the sea options.
Of course, back then I decided to dismiss my dreams, so my level was total beginner at the start of this adventure in Jeju.
I was attracted to their introduction that sounded like very welcoming for newbies, to choose the surf school. Yeah, let's book my surf introductory class!
During the three-day course, the instructors try to teach us how to paddle and how to feel the waves under us, when they are about to form. Thanks to the patience and strength of the instructor, when I stood up on the surfboard, I felt like I was going to slip through the waves with my whole body, and the taste of the water was exhilarating.
To be able to enjoy it properly, I needed to learn how to feel the waves yet, I was still struggling. In the beginning of the whole process, you fall from the board more often than you actually ride a wave. If you drag the board and go back to the surf zone, your arm may fall. But you can always start again with a surfer pose!
It was quite a different experience from what I’d pictured. When the course was done, luckily I still had time to run from my Jeju home to the sea and put in practice what I learned in my lessons!
* Vigorsurf (43 road south of Seogwipo City, Andeok-myeon)
Reservation inquiries: http://vigorsurf.com/surf
I also commenced an activity that had been postponed, because I made excuses to myself: that I was always 'busy', or that I could dedicate myself to it after I was done with work: yoga.
It seems that the desire to do all the things that have not been accomplished in the past are pushed out till it is big enough again and fills your heart. So I contacted a yoga centre in a quiet neighborhood and applied for an introductory yoga course and started practicing twice a week.
It was a small class with a quiet atmosphere. Everything was good enough to fascinate me. It was time to gaze at myself, and solely concentrate on inhaling and exhaling.
In the busy city life, there was certainly some sort of calmness that I wasn’t able to find.
When I was learning yoga in Jeju Island, my friend asked me if I was Hyori, the singer. She continued: if you can live like Hyori it won't be too bad. I told my friend that, "there is nothing but life".
Anyway, why don’t you come over to checkout the beautiful nature of Jeju Island?
A real resting moment in our busy living: that is what a week in Jeju means to me, a pause in life.
* Mind.B Pilates & Yoga (838 Sinpungi, Seongsan-eup, Seogwipo City)
One month training or one-day casual pass
Contact us: 010 6880 5054
Instagram ID pilates_mindb
There are so many young artists in Jeju. They create and sell their own products, such as paintings and cute little Jeju souvenirs on the local markets. You can book a one-day class to learn on how to craft an item. There are classes to learn hand calligraphy, wax candles, soaps, jewelry.
I thought to myself: why don’t I learn on how to make a souvenir to remember this experience of living one month in here? I usually search souvenir shops in my social media account to check out their options of classes offered for beginners. Also, if you search “markets near me” and set the location in Jeju Island, a lot of souvenir shops and markets appear in the results.