One of my new year resolutions for 2019 was to clean out my social media accounts. Things that no longer represent me or make me feel connected to the world? Unfollow. Delete. Remove self from group. No reason or need to be mean or crass about it. I’m simply choosing to respect myself and what occupies my time.
Except it turned out to be more work than I anticipated. On top of that, April and May were emotionally intense for me both because I took the time to learn about the various memorials and mourn for the lives lost. My heart went out to these families.
In our fast paced culture we don’t always take the time to reflect and honor our dead. We find it uncomfortable to think about what it means to us. If we don’t mention it, maybe it will go away. That doesn’t help us become better humans. So every now and then I purposefully try to take the time to do just that. This time it was a bit much. Maybe it had been a while, but when I resurfaced, I needed the space to process it all.
I pulled up AirBnB, plugged in a couple of dates and checked out what was available for a family of 6. That’s how I came across the humble and tranquil Mul Sori Pension in Gapyeong. The promise of a nearby stream sold me and it wasn’t long before we packed our bags and were on the road.
Reasons to visit Gapyeong 가평군
There are primarily two reasons people head to Gapyeong, but I can sum it up in word. Nature. For one type of tourist, there are a variety of water sports, prime camping spots, and plenty of hiking trails. For the other type of tourist, there are famous gardens and beautiful locations where romantic K dramas were filmed. Perfect for a day trip but checkout the many beautiful pensions and hotels surround each area to enjoy the area a little longer. I’m told there is a Gapyeong tour bus route that will take you to Nami Island, Petite France, and the Garden of Morning Calm all on the same day. The purpose of our trip was to take things slow and be flexible, so we chose to travel up with our car on this trip. That way we could decide each day what we would do.
My purpose for this trip was to simply enjoy being in the moment! To ignore the constant availability and normalization of content being shoved in our faces. It worked! The experience restored me and when we came back home, I didn’t feel overwhelmed or triggered. Basically I could handle more BS without getting emotional about it. This was what I was missing. Going forward I need to respect this part of me and make more time or space for these moments.
In case you are wondering, so you can try it for yourself, here is what I did to naturally reset myself.
3 tips for a Natural Reset
1. Detach from Tech.
Shoot to disconnect for 3-5 days. Our phones are part of lives but it wasn’t always this way. How much of that is absolutely necessary? Do we really need it every moment of the day? Occasionally taking a break from our devices and screens allows us to see things more clearly. Here are five benefits of a media fast to inspire you: https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/five_reasons_to_take_a_break_from_screens
2. Explore the Healing sounds of Silence.
I love sitting still and listening to the world around me. Recently I saw in the Becoming Unbusy Facebook group a link to a Life Hack article talking about a study where exposing ourselves to silence grows brain cells. I know. Our schedules may not always allow us to spend a week in the woods but whenever possible I turn off the phone for a couple hours each day. Place the phone in a different room or remove/hide distracting apps for the same amount of time. Too long of a stretch? Well it turns out even a few minutes of silence is beneficial. Go ahead. Make room for silence to combat noise pollution: http://nautil.us/issue/16/nothingness/this-is-your-brain-on-silence
3. Make Art or Music, even if you are bad at it.
I grew up with concerned parents and a generation that preached against art being a worthless endeavor. As I am getting older, I’m finding ways to make time for art. I have no special claims to fame but I find when I sit down to doodle, paint, or craft, whether at home or in a class I signed up for, I come away relaxed and feeling whole. Try making your own art and see what it does for you. https://www.lifehack.org/429885/study-says-art-makes-you-mentally-healthier-even-if-youre-not-good-at-it
Where We Stayed on the Trip
Naver: Mul Sori Pension in Gapyeong, Homyeongsan mountain area
Phone number: 010-5033-1306
Meeting the owners was a pleasure. They had a chill vibe that I could appreciate. Talking with them (via a translation app) I learned they built their home and their pension themselves! How impressive is that! One of the owners takes classes at a local art studio around the corner. I really enjoyed her work and would like to come back here just to chill and paint with a couple of friends. Oh yes. I could easily see this location being rented by a couple of families or friends for a nice weekend together.
In front of the pension we found a ping pong table. Everything was nice and clean upon our arrival. Our place came with amenities like a refrigerator, microwave, rice cooker, pots, dishes, and air conditioning to make our stay comfortable. There was a bed in the loft that was suitable for 2, possibly 3. If you are not accustomed to sleeping on Korean bed mats, I’ve learned the value of bringing an inflatable queen mattress.
There are several full-service resorts in the area and hotels in the area but for us, this pension was budget friendly and suited our purposes nicely. Absolutely recommend.
Where to Eat
For this trip we brought our own groceries. If you come and find you have forgotten a couple of things, raising my hand as I say this, you will want to head down the road 500 meters to the CU convenience store. The next closest facilities is about 10-15 minutes away in Cheongpyeong, at Naru Mart. Small, but it had a nice coffee place next door. The other supermarket, 365 Mart is across the river and a little bit off the main road.
If you are looking for Western style fast food you will find a Lotteria and a pizza place in the Cheongpyeong area. During our stay, I did see several nice looking restaurants and cafes around the lake that looked promising. I would like to keep Lago Kitchen and Alice Cafe in mind the next time we are up this way.
Things to Do Nearby
- Garden of Morning Calm
- Petite France
- Cheongpyeong Lake is a popular summer spot for water-skiing, wind surfing, and bungee jumping. Supposedly when things calm down on the lake, night fishing is where it is at.
- Mongolian Culture Town
- In winter there are several ski resorts in the area and the Gapyeong Sledding Hill to check out.
Things to Do a Little Farther Out
About an hour to the west you can visit Nami Island and Alpaca World. About 45 minutes north is Pocheon, which affords an opportunity to see the DMZ from a mountain point, Pocheon Herb Island (and daily light festival), Pocheon Art Valley, and Soyosan Mountain known for Azaleas.
- Namiseom Island
- Pocheon Herb Island
- Korean Dessert and Culture Museum
- Sansawon Home Brewing Culture Gallery
- Alpaca World