It’s been about 7 weeks since I arrived in Busan and it’s been a whirlwind.
I had great plans of hiking, sightseeing, and exploring the city but so far all I have accomplished is lying on three beaches and getting to know the nightlife areas.
The expat community in Busan is a lot smaller than Seoul; somehow everyone knows each other no matter what part of Busan or greater Busan you live in. It makes for a more intimate community in a city setting. Busan is definitely more laid back and that promotes a chilled out vibe for the foreigners and the locals. Koreans here are the nicest I have encountered, always trying to help you and speak to you.
To make a comparison between Seoul and Busan, it would be easy to say that Seoul is east coast mentality (think New York city, high rises and men in suits always on the go, busy busy!) while Busan is west coast (beaches, mountains, relaxation is key!). So to choose a favorite is easy, especially because I live in Haeundae – the tourist beach resort type area of South Korea.
This easy going mentality can also be felt at my workplace which lets me lead a very stress free and simple life which I really am enjoying. It’s refreshing and emotionally healthy and I can easily see myself never wanting to leave. If life was comfortable in Seoul, then I need a new word for comfortable in Busan!
Living in Haeundae means you don’t really need to get on the subway. It’s a walk to everything including work. The few times I have ventured into the downtown type area I am always amazed at how different everything is outside of Hauendae. This is because Haeundae is one of the newest extensions to the city and it looks and feels uber modern, while the rest of Busan is still somewhat stuck in postwar Korea.
When I visited Busan a few times last year I remember being amazed at how different the vibe was instantly, and this was even before I ventured into Haeundae.
Koreans tanning at Songjeong Beach
I’m very happy with the choices I have made thus far. Good things happen to those who wait and positive energy will always attract positive things. Living here with the friends I have met so far makes this statement very true!
Sometimes I can’t believe how comfortable I am here, it really does feel like home.