One of the items on my Korean bucket list was a trip to Jeju-do for some beach time. Last summer, I found out about a charity beach volleyball tournament held there twice a year. I figured this would be a perfect reason to head back to the island for friends, beach, and volleyball for a good cause.
The tournament was the weekend of May 25th-26th and booking flights seemed a bit troublesome. Many Koreans head to Jeju once the weather is nice and flights were selling out fast. Unfortunately, the latest flight I found on Sunday was about 11:00a.m. so I was not able to join a team officially. Lucky for me, I found two teams (including one team of fellow Fulbrighters) who needed a girl sub for a game here or there. Overall, I was able to play in about 4 or 5 games which felt awesome! In the meantime, I hung with my friends, went swimming in the crystal blue waters, and enjoyed the sunshine.
Saturday evening, the tournament hosted a big dance party on the beach for all of the participants. My friend Julia, visiting from Gwangju, and I grabbed dinner right on the water before meeting up with our crew at the hostel. We all hung out there for awhile, chatting and comparing sunburns from the beach day. The rest of the night was spent dancing to our hearts’ content and belting out some of our favorite 90’s hits. It ended with all of us sitting by the water and relaxing as we enjoyed our mini vacation in paradise.
I was so thrilled to get this weekend in before my time in Korea is up. The trip was well worth it and definitely made its way into my top memories of my time here. Thank you to everyone who let me play with them and reminded me how much I miss playing volleyball!