Wandering Chungju-si

wander: to move about without a fixed course, aim, or goal

from Merriam-Webster

Every couple weekends when purse strings must be tightened, I find myself not traveling to the varied corners of South Korea, but rather wandering through Chungju.

I will leave home for a few hours with no intention other than to get a sense of where things are in the city. I’ll wander and wander until I’m half-tired then head for home. I’ve wandered so much I feel a bit like “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

“Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire,
I do wander everywhere.”

from William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

Although I serve no fairy queen, I’ve certainly wandered Chungju to my heart’s happiness. So it’s with some amazement, I still find myself surprised by what’s around some corners. It’s a trick of Korea to constantly surprise me with delightful beauty in the most unlikely places.

Some time ago, I was wandering my way through town on a golden Sunday afternoon. When I happened upon a lotus garden. It rests casually near the agricultural high school. Strewn through the garden are plaques of quotable quotes, but perhaps most impressive are the sheer number of lotus plants vying for sunshine through the small ponds and streams.

The garden is definitely a couple spot. I was the only single person at the park as far as I could tell. Happy couples walked by hand in hand perfectly content to stroll this lovely patch of land.

The garden was so lovely I couldn’t even bring myself to secretly hate the happy couples. They were just so darn cute and the garden so pretty, I couldn’t possibly blame any romantic for hanging out here.

I haven’t always been so happy to wander–to move about without a goal as Merriam-Webster’s reminded us at the beginning of this post. I’ve suddenly become quite happy to move at times without purpose. There’s something relaxing in simply moving with no goal other than to enjoy the pleasure of movement and sight.


About kristamaesmith

I'm a writer living with my boyfriend in Salt Lake City, Utah where I cheer for the Jazz, walk my dog, and spend too much money in local restaurants. I work in marketing for higher education and blog about food, travel, television, and whatever shiny moment catches my fancy.
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