Stefanie Michova X Hyundai SONATA Hybrid: #Microtravel from Seoul
4 minute read
How do you like to travel? Perhaps you have a checklist of places you’d love to visit on your trip, and you enjoy checking them off as you go. Or perhaps you don’t like any plans at all – the beauty is just doing what you want, when you want.
“When it comes to traveling, I prefer a mixture of planning ahead and unplanned discovery,” says Stefanie Michova, a model and photographer from Germany, who is now based in Seoul, South Korea. “We might be surprised by the hidden treasures we find when we keep our eyes open and just go with the flow.”
With this in mind, we asked Stefanie (@StefanieMichova) to take on the third and final Microtravel Challenge – to set out and explore the beauty of South Korea, all while traveling up to 200km from her home in the buzzy metropolis of Seoul. With the world landscape changing ever so quickly, there is a new trend when it comes to traveling-micro travel and micro-cations. Using the Hyundai SONATA Hybrid to get them around, Stefanie decided to take on the challenge with her travel buddy – the rapper Beenzino – and their little dog, Ggomi.
“We were really excited to take a vacation out of the busy city of Seoul for two days and a night for a weekend getaway. It was a chance to enjoy some fresh air, nature, and the Korean countryside, with lush mountain landscapes and the East Sea, which are all in our backyard!” She says.
“All we needed was one tank of gas and the open road.”
We might be surprised by the hidden treasures we find when we keep our eyes open and just go with the flow. STEFANIE MICHOVA
Driving east out of Seoul along the Han River the landscape changes, with high-rise apartment buildings disappearing to reveal beautiful greenery. Stefanie notices a sign to a small succulent farm – of course they have to stop. It’s filled with hundreds of different colors and types of cacti, so with space in the trunk they stock up on plants.
“A good tip is to ask your friends for some recommendations,” Stefanie says. “We made a quick stop to look around this art museum, where galleries are interpreted as rooms in
a house. It definitely gave me lots of inspiration for future home decor.”
Roadside SnacksHopping back in the car, they head towards the mountains, spotting farmers with stalls on the side of the road with just-picked vegetables and fruit to buy. They stock up on corn, peaches, plums and cherries – perfect snacks for the rest of their journey.
PyeongchangThis area may mostly be known for the 2018 Winter Olympics, but it’s equally breathtaking in the summer. “It’s truly amazing how completely different scenery can exist so close to home,” she says. Ggomi the dog makes the most of it, looking out of the car window and enjoying all the different scents in the fresh air.
“This was a highlight of our trip. Together we watched the sun set over the hills, and the mist was caught between the mountain tops. Living in the city has meant I haven’t seen animals like sheep and cows in so long. It transported me back to growing up in Germany. It was a truly romantic experience that we will cherish for a long time.”
After a day of exploring, some food was needed. The duo feasted on kimchi pancakes, dotorimuk muchim (acorn jelly seasoned with green onions, soy sauce, sesame seeds, onion and an assortment of greens), and traditional Korean rice wine Makkoli (for the passenger, of course). The calming sound of a nearby river was a relaxing end to the day.
“We spent the night at a dog-friendly hotel, and for the first time since we adopted our dog Ggomi we were able to go on a walk with her off leash. She truly enjoyed roaming free and getting to meet all the other doggie friends!”
Puppy Guest House
This was the perfect place to grab some fried chicken and drinks to enjoy at the beach – Ggomi was also a big fan.
It may have been a slightly rainy day, but that didn’t ruin the fun. Wrapped up in sweaters, they went to feel the sand, and the Pacific Ocean, on their toes and paws. “YangYang is known for its surfer community and we are definitely planning to come back for a surf trip,” Stefanie tells us.
One ‘must try’ on a trip to the East Sea is fresh seafood from the seafood market. Luckily, Stefanie’s travel buddy is a seafood expert, and they tucked into king crab and raw squid.
“At first it was a little intimidating, but I’m always up for trying new things, and it tasted delicious.”
The adventurous weekend had to come to an end at some point. With some store roasted beans for the coffee maker, and a cup for the road, Stefanie, Beenzino and Ggomi set off for home.
Micro travel Playlist
Rascal Flats - Life is a highway
Remi Wolf - Disco Man
Koffee - W
Lucky Daye - Buying time
빛과 소금 - 샴푸의 요정
“On the drive back we let all our memories from the weekend sink in. We are already thinking about where to travel to next in South Korea. This trip has proven to be an inspiring adventure, all by just driving 200km away from home.”
Craving your own micro travel adventure? There’s no time like now.