Jeju Sister Van Life

I was craving some sister time so I flew over to see my mèimei (that’s youngest sister in Mandarin). I hadn’t seen her since summer and Pickles was headed back to Oregon for a work related trip. Since I can do my freelance design work anywhere it seemed like a no-brainer.

Jeju Sister Happiness

Tati planned a great sister weekend which included the great outdoors and camping in their super cute, customized camper they affectionately call ‘The Toaster’. We started the trip with an afternoon hike to the SaraOreum Lake in Hallasan National Park and ate lunch in the clouds. The weather was perfecto.

The locals are van curious!
Van curious locals everywhere we stopped

Then we headed to our primo New Zealand-esque camp spot.

We spent two nights sleeping at this spot with the back door open all night. It was peaceful and cozy and exactly what we both were craving.

Udo Island

The second day we took a short ferry ride for a day exploration of a smaller island named Udo (aka cow island) which is only 2.39 sq miles. It’s known for peanut farming and cute bug-like three-wheeled electric cars zipping around.

We met a couple haneyeo (female free divers) bringing in and cleaning their catch of the day. They kindly offered us a fresh sea snail to eat. It would have been impolite to decline so we gnawed away at this nugget…

The sea snail nugget was not that filling
We much prefer to WEAR sea snails
One more cute van and sis shot. I can’t help myself. Look at that beautiful hanyeo sculpture in the back! It’s a highly revered profession on the island.
Freshly harvested Udo peanuts drying in the sun

Smitten with jeju

My Jeju inspired sketches

Our second night was just as lovely and just as quiet. And I want you all to know that the only thing in my sister’s portable emergency medical kit is Rolaids. So, a Rolaid is what I took when in the middle of the night my lip and throat puffed up in some bizarre first-time allergic reaction to something. Rolaids save!

Our last day of the road trip we hiked in the peaceful Saryeoni Forest which is becoming a regular favorite. Nothing strenuous. Perfect for catching up! Then, my sister tried to check me in to the Asylum for the aged. I mean… it was my birthday week, but really? Honestly, the place looked pretty nice so maybe some day.

Tati took me to her local day market. I met her adorable fresh bean lady. And let me tell you, my sister made the the best chili with these fresh beans! I would return just for this dish. I wish I had taken a photo of the beans because they’re an assortment of beauties.

Farming on Jeju is hopping this time of year! Cabbage, radish, peanuts are all growing at an insanely fast pace. Onion starters are being planted by hand, one at a time, which is back-breaking work. From what I saw it’s all done by women too. Not surprised.

Watching the hard-working onion harvesters makes my lumbar ache
Cabbage rows forever

A few persimmon still hanging on….

Scrambled up a steep mound which had Montana-eque views!

The magical jeju water with a side of prickly pear cactus. I love watching the bottle nose dolphin off the coastline unfortunately they never photograph well.

And all the found pretty things …

Operculum Optics

Having fun with the sea snail’s operculum! These shell parts can be found all along the coastline. They act like trapdoors on the shell which close the opening of the shell when the soft parts of the animal are retracted.

They make great googly eyes too! Disclaimer: there may have been some wine involved.

Wabi & Sabi

We can never recall who is who, but we wish you all acceptance of transience and imperfection! Until the next time and there will be a next time because I LOVE JEJU and my mèimei! 🐬

Wabi (or Sabi), but always jiějiě 姐姐 the eldest sister


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4 thoughts on “Jeju Sister Van Life

  1. You sure do know how to have fun! Love seeing you girls: happy, healthy, active, adventurers. Sabi, your sketches capture the moment and are very sensitive to weight and balance in your figures studies. Wabi, I’d like to taste that chili you made and also to see those dolphins for myself someday. And… packing Rolaids….channelling Gramma Flo… how totally sweet! You both look so glowing and over-flowing with fun!❤️

  2. What an adventure! Love the van graphics!! If you polish the operculum, they are exceptionally pretty. In the Marshalls, the locals fashion shell necklaces with them as center pieces.

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