Sometimes You Gotta Stop Looking So Hard to Find What You’re Looking For.

Jeonju Hanok Village

Have you ever wanted something so badly, but the harder you try to get it, harder it is to get! So frustrating right? That happened to us over the New Year weekend.

We’ve all had these moments, whether we desperately want to get something out of a trip or experience. Whether it’s wanting everything to go exactly as we plan, or just having extremely specific expectations about our plans, thoughts, and ideas. It’s not that planning and having expectations are bad. They’re great and important parts of life. But sometimes it’s important to not get so attached to the the outcome and be willing for plans to change allowing for new experiences. Or in our case that weekend, to stop looking so damn hard.

We travelled to Jeonju to meet up with our amazingly awesome new friends. The dynamic duo of Ryan & Stephanie Hedger, a.k.a The Hedgers Abroad. (You should do yourself a favor and check them out on facebook and instagram.)

All four of us had been to Jeonju before separately, so naturally there were some things we both excited to redo. For us it was to re-visit a makgeolli house. Not just any makgeolli house, one where you just order a bowl of Mak, and then get banchan (plates of side dishes) for days. We remembered this spot as being ridiculously good food for super cheap. A backpackers dream.

For the Hedgers it was divine food spots that they wanted to show us since we had never eaten these local dishes. It started with these inexplicably delicious egg tarts.

So much Deliciousness

So much Deliciousness

Our mission was to find this delicacy in Jeonju known only as egg-tarts. We set off on a mission just kinda winging it to the best of our ability.

On the hunt for egg-tarts

On the hunt for egg-tarts

We get lost, so we text some friends for directions. Get even more lost so we look on google maps. Then naver maps. Then all the maps. 40 minutes goes by, we get hungrier.

Determined more than ever we try harder! We’re lost, hungry, and unsure of what to do. It’s our first day so we decide to go get food at the next restaurant we see and figure we will stumble upon the egg tarts somewhere along the line of our trip.

Low and behold, we turn the corner and what do we see. A huge sign with egg-tarts. We find it almost instantly after we decide to stop looking for it. Like, BOOM there it is. This would be the major theme for the rest of the trip. We got the egg-tarts every day we were in Jeonju.

Happiness is randomly finding egg-tarts

Happiness is randomly finding egg-tarts

Next it was our turn to try and relive a travel memory. It was getting close to dinner and we weren’t too hungry at this point so we thought the perfect way to end the night was for some Makgeolli and banchan. The problem is Megan and I only had the slightest idea of where it was. Regardless, we were pretty hellbent on trying to find the place and wanted to impress the Hedgers after they showed us two delicious foods.

Like the egg-tarts we took a bunch of wrong turns. Looked online found a restaurant we thought was it and it was wrong. Found another one and it was closed. This trend continued for quite some time. Then remembering the egg-tart situation we laughed and said lets stop looking for it and go to the next Makgeolli place we see to have some Mak and see what we get.

We walked into what must have been the most hilariously awful Makgeolli house any of us have ever seen. The seating area was in the owners living room, each chair was completely different and it just felt odd. We order some mak and got a bottle and some crazy mysterious banchan. She kept bringing us plate after plate. First some fish fin, then fish guts, then other things we’ve never seen, then silk worms. We didn’t want her to bring any more so we paid up and left.

As soon as we walked out and were just kinda laughing at how that went down, then without looking, WE FOUND OUR MAKGEOLLI HOUSE! We polished off around 10 bottles of makgeolli and got an all you can eat smorgasboard of goodness for around $30. Everyone was happy, impressed, and again the motto of the trip was becoming we just gotta stop looking so hard.

Photo Jan 01, 8 18 38 PM

Look at all that free banchan

I could tell you more stories from this trip with the Hedgers where after awhile we would remind ourselves to stop looking for something and then like clockwork, it would present itself to us.

It really resonated with me because the new year is upon us and both Megan and I have big plans for 2016. From wanting to ween ourselves off of the dependency on teaching english in order to travel, me starting an online hyperlapse photography course, and figuring out the scariest questions of all – what the hell are we going to do next? While we have plans, have goals, and ideas. This weekend has reminded me more than anything to not get so hung up on finding the exact answer or knowing exactly how it will all go. By being so fixated on the end goal we can lose sight of all the other opportunities that might be right in front of eyes.

I believe we can all relate to this. Whether you are a blogger or traveler like us, or whether you just have your own personal goals and amibitions, I truly feel like it is incredibly important liberating to let go of your expectations and just start doing whatever the hell it is that you are trying to do.

Again I am reminded of my favorite quote.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

Go take that first step and don’t focus on finding that end goal right away. Enjoy the journey, enjoy the failures and the successes. Here’s to an awesome 2016. Wish you all the best.

Have you ever had any moments like these. If so please share them in the comments below.


If you liked this post or know someone who could benefit from reading this than do us all a favor and please share it with them. It would make our day and only take a second.

Sharing - It's a rule now. - IASIP