Top Tips for Travelling in South Korea

If you’ve been reading me recently, you’ll know that I went to South Korea! I had an absolutely incredible time, and definitely picked up some tips and tricks along the way. If you’re thinking of going, make sure you have a read!

Subway/public transport stops at midnight. We learnt this the hard way and had to get a cab home to our airbnb – we got there in the end but our taxi driver spoke zero English so it definitely was a mission! Although everything is open quite late, just be prepared that the subway stops at midnight. Speaking of, have your address screenshotted on a map on your phone – if I hadn’t done this who knows how we would have gotten home!

Get the subway app. This app is a lifesaver and will make your train trips so much smoother. Once you get the hang of the trains you get where you need to go a lot quicker!

Not everyone can speak English. There is some weird misconception that because everyone learns a bit of English at school, everyone can speak it. This. Is. Not. True. In touristy areas, sure, a lot of people can speak to you, but for the most part you end up communicating with pointing, looking at registers for prices, etc. A little politeness goes a long way, so learning the basics (hello, thank you, etc) really made our trip a lot better. You can see people’s eyes light up when you say thank you in their language!

You will get stared at. If you are coming from a Western country, you may not be used to this, but definitely as a couple of white girls speaking English, we had people stare at us all the time, especially in areas further out from Seoul. It’s not an issue at all as no one means any harm by it, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind when travelling!

The KTX at peak hour will not reserve seats for you and you will have to stand. When we caught the KTX to Busan, we thought we had seats both there and return, but when we went to board at 5.30pm to go back to Seoul, we were told we’d have to stand in the sections between carriages. We made it work by sitting on the floor (someone near us actually stood and slept the whole time – how???), but it’s 2 & 1/2 hours that would be better of sitting through. Moral – don’t expect a seat if you’re catching the KTX at peak hour.

WiFi is pretty much everywhere, so you don’t need an international simcard. The subways, most major shopping spots, starbucks, etc – everyone has WiFi. We got on just fine with screenshotted directions, our subway map and WiFi hot spots. Save your money!

Use blogs – there are blogs on directions from/to everywhere! Any time we wanted to go and see anything (especially places related to K-pop or K-drama, specific stores, etc) we just looked up someone’s blog and found exact directions with landmarks and everything. It worked a treat for us!

 

If you’re going to see DMZ, do the JSA too. The Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) is cool and all, but the really cool part is the Joint Security Area where you “technically” get to cross the border into North Korea. If you’re interested in going, make sure you book a tour (they aren’t that expensive!) and get both places in there. They take you to a whole heap of different locations and help you out with what is customary to do when visiting and facts.

Food is super cheap, so take advantage of it! Go to grocery stores and get a whole heap of snacks to try as well as eating the local food. The street food in areas like Myeongdong and Hongdae is also amazing!

Stay at an Airbnb instead of a hotel. They are really cheap (I think around AUD$250 pp for our 8 nights there) and very secure. Seoul is a very safe city and our Airbnb host made sure we felt as comfortable as possible.

Google Maps doesn’t work properly (satellites, North Korea, etc), so download Naver Map which is the Korean version of Google Maps for all your directions.

Do a layover tour! Depending on where you’re coming from, Seoul usually requires a stopover somewhere, and for us it was Beijing. For around USD$100, we got a personal driver to take us to the Great Wall of China and Tienanmen Square, because why not! Put your layovers to good use and visit another country while you’re at it.

Check out my most recent posts; October Favourites & Korea Haul!

Zoe x

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Korea Haul!

As you would know if you read me/follow my instagram/whatever, I recently went to South Korea and absolutely loved it! My bank account, however, did not love it as much because I went a bit mental on buying skincare and kpop related merch…

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I bought this bag from a market in Hongdae, it was 10,000 won (about AUD$10)

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These are clear glasses from the 8-floor Daiso in Myeongdong

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Pore strips – Daiso | All masks were samples from other stores

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CORSX Pimple Patches (from A-Land), Nexcare Pimple Patches in Kakao Friends Tin (from Olive Young)

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Brown eyeliner – Etude House, Palette from Daiso, Club Clio Prism Single Eyeshadow

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Tony Moly Blackhead Steam Balm, Etude House Lash Serum

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They had these socks in stalls everywhere for amazing prices, and I got a heap more than what is shown here – Gudetama & Totoro

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K-Pop merch – SHINee jumper & EXO The War Poster Book from SM Store at Coex Mall, BTS Wings album from market in Myeondong, BTS Jimin & V socks from markets.

I got a tonne more dumb kpop stuff (photocards, etc) but I won’t bore you with that!

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SHINee waterbottle from Coex Mall SM Cafe – 9,000 won with drink inside

I hope you enjoyed seeing what I picked up in Seoul!

Check out my most recent posts; My Week In South Korea & Overseas In-Flight Essentials!

Zoe x

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How To: Prepare For A Big Event

I sat down to write this post in June, when I had recently had my brother’s wedding, my graduation and a last minute (literally the night before) university ball, but things came up, I forgot to finish writing it, you know how it is. Life happens. But, finally, I have the time and motivation to get it done which I think is a great thing – as it comes into Spring for Southern Hemisphere folk we have spring races and summer parties to prep for, while everyone has end of year parties, fall, Halloween, Christmas, everything. There is literally no better time to talk about prepping for events than now – so this all worked out well in the end!

 

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Plan

My first big tip is to plan out all the things you will need to do in a bit, brain-dump list. Do you need to buy an outfit? Do you need to book a hair appointment? Do you need to shave before? Write down everything and anything you could possibly need to do before the event and get organised. Prioritising what is important for the event will save you from stress. For example, having a wedding in 3 weeks that you want to lose 10kg for is maybe not the most realistic thing, but knowing that you can have a facial before, buy a killer dress and turning up calm will make the whole event fun and not a source of anxiety.

Water

Obviously, drinking water is a big thing that no one does well, blah blah blah, but it is especially important when it comes to big events. For the week before, aim for at minimum 2L a day and notice how much your skin is glowing by the day. Thank me later.

 

Skincare

Before a big event, there is no use trying brand new skincare. Stick with what you know makes your skin clear, untextured and glowy, and use it well for the weeks/days prior. Make sure to exfoliate the night before and really, really moisturise it before makeup application.

Hair

You may need to book a hair appointment for something like a wedding, so make sure you get on that asap as salons fill up quickly. Make sure when you wash your hair the night before you skip the conditioner so that your curls hold for longer. Doing some really great hair masks in the weeks prior may also help your hair look great!

Body

Go get your eyebrows waxed, your top lip done, your tan on point. Do whatever you have to do to get your skin glowing and smooth, and notice how great you feel when you’re wearing your banging outfit without worrying that you forgot to shave your legs. A big exfoliate the night before with generous amounts of moisturiser will also make you glow.

Nails

Nothing says “I am not ready for this event” like chipped nail polish. You don’t have to get a set of acrylics, but a fresh lick of nail polish and top coat should do the trick.

Appointments

Make sure before an event you’re mindful of appointments. If you have laser done, and you react quite red after, maybe reschedule so your legs aren’t lobster bright in your mini dress. This comes back to planning, but just remember to be smart about it.

If you have a day’s notice…

If you have an experience like I had in early June where I was told on Thursday I had to go to a ball on Friday (and had 25 minutes to get ready for it), follow these steps:

-jump in the shower, shave, exfoliate, do a hardcore hair mask
-tan (if you need it)
-exfoliate face
-moisturising face mask (NOT extracting, you WILL break out)
-skull as much water as possible
-get a good 8 hours sleep
-write out everything you need to do
-do it

I hope this was helpful!

Zoe x

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My Current YouTube Favourites

 

I am such a YouTube fiend it’s not even a joke at this point, but recently I’ve discovered some new faves, rediscovered some old, and just generally been loving the lifestyle/minimalism/bujo channels. If you like similar stuff, check out the below! Of course, there are so many not included in this list that I still love, but these have just been my priorities to watch recently – all hyperlinks will open in a new window!

Kalyn Nicholson

Lifestyle, routines, food. Well edited, creative, inspiring. Canadian.

Rachel Aust

Minimalism, lifestyle, fitness, bujo. Fantastic filmmaker and photographer, very inspirational. Australian.

Peaceful Cuisine

ASMR, cooking, relaxing. LOVE this channel – check it out!

Lavendaire

Lifestyle, lifestyle design, planning and inspiration. Incredibly motivational. American.

More Zoella

I don’t think Zoella’s vlog channel needs an explanation! British.

AmandaRachLee

Bujo, art, design, sketching. Incredible bullet journal layouts and designs. American.

AlishaMarie Vlogs

Vlogs, happy, bubbly and bright. Huge YouTuber AlishaMarie’s vlog channel that always is upbeat. American.

Gabriella

Vlogs, lifestyle, moving vlogs, routines. Very realistic. British.

Muchelle B

Lifestyle, lifestyle design, beauty, minimalism. Australian.

Vivian V

Beauty, lifestyle, fashion. Very chilled out and relaxed, well edited. Beautiful girl. American.

LaurDIY

DIY, lifestyle, vlogs. Extremely sunny and bright. American.

Tanya Burr

Again no explanation needed – beauty and lifestyle. British.

Jenna Marbles

Probably my fave of all time. People say she lost her humour – I’ve been watching her for 8 years and she’s still funny to me. God bless this woman.

Who are your favourite YouTubers?

Check out my last post 8 Ways To Improve Yourself!

 

Zoe x

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July Favourites

July has come and gone in the blink of an eye, but I still managed to love a few things here and there. Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Nip + Fab Glycolic Cleansing Fix – Face Wash

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This face wash doesn’t look it, but foams up something crazy. I have definitely noticed a difference in the overall texture of my skin since using this. Just be warned – it’s strong and can sting a bit, and a little goes a long way.

Toni & Guy Leave In Conditioner

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I have taken to using a pea size (you REALLY don’t need more than that) amount of this and running it through the ends of my hair just after I’ve washed it. I really love how my hair feels after I use it!

Eau Thermale Eye Cream

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I was on the hunt for a very rich eye cream to attempt to sort out my eye bags, and I reckon this one is up there with one of the best. It’s rich, thick and very moisturising, and I love using this before bed.

Sheridan Towels

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My mum recently spoilt me with two sets of Sheridan bath towels and I adore them. There’s nothing quite like getting out of the shower and wrapping yourself up in a fresh towel that is huge enough to cover your entire body. Love this brand.

Dune – Frank Herbert

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As a sci-fi/fantasy fiend, it’s taken me a stupidly long time to get my hands on this book and read it. I must admit, it took me a while (very Game of Thrones-esque: reads like a history textbook for the most part), but I really loved the story and bizarre nature of this story. I’ll definitely get on to reading the rest of the series, but for now, powering through this monster of a book is enough!

Jurlique Skin Brightening Essence

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I apply this to my face every morning before my makeup, and I think it makes it last longer and look fresher. I have noticed an overall improvement in the glow and healthy nature of my skin since using it, and it smells so beautiful and calming.

Jurlique Chamomile-Rose Hydrating Essence

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Still on the Jurlique wagon, I have also been really loving this essence. It’s a bit of a gimmick, I won’t lie to you (especially considering the price), but I just love the way this makes my skin feel! All you do is pop a couple of drops into a bowl of hot water and let a flannel or face cloth soak in the mixture for a bit before running it over your face. This opens your pores, smells amazing, and preps the skin for deeper cleaning, meaning it’s the perfect supplement to your exfoliation routine or to use before a face mask.

Kmart Coconut & Almond Treatment Oil – Hair Care

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I love Kmart beauty products, and their hair care is no exception. I was devastated when  I learned they have discontinued their Argan Oil range in some stores as the smell is incredible, but this is a close second. Very warming and wintery, this oil gives your hair a gorgeous scent and also moisturises it for the day. For $4 a bottle, you really can’t go wrong with this stuff!

What did you love in July?

Zoe x

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My Sunglasses Collection

My mum always makes fun of me for having too many pairs of sunglasses. And, as mums usually are, she’s beyond right. I have a bit of an addiction to sunglasses, and so I thought I’d take the time to show you my pairs! I had quite a few comments on my June Favourites post about my Quay and LeSpecs sunglasses, so I thought it was only right for you to see the rest of my collection!

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Bottom to Top – Quay, Cotton On, Quay, Le Specs, Dangerfield, Dangerfield, Cotton On, Quay, Forever 21

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These are my more expensive sunglasses (LeSpecs, Quay & Dangerfield), and definitely my most worn. I love these so much, I have a pair for every outfit.

You may have noticed I left off a pair of my Quay sunglasses, and that’s because I’m trying to sell them! If you’d like to be the owner, check them out here 🙂

You can’t really see how nice the sunnies are unless you try them on, so I wanted to show you what they look like on me! Just keep in mind I have a very small face, so they probably won’t drown you guys as much as they drown me haha

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What are your fave pair of my sunnies? I think the blue Quay ones are mine!

Zoe x

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200 Followers!

Today – yesterday when you’re reading this – I hit 200 followers!

It honestly feels like yesterday that I was writing my 100 followers post. It really amazes me that this many people like what I create enough to follow me!

I just have to say an enormous thank you. Without you guys, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to write what I love every day. I have really developed a style of posts, been more creative with taking photos and creating what I want to create. I have even gained the confidence to post all my modelling shots (and these have been some of the most successful posts!). So before I get all sappy – thank you!

To return the favour, leave a link to your blog in the comments and I will come and follow you back if I don’t already! Love you guys!

Don’t forget to check out my posts over on My Trending Stories, as I share some of my creative pieces and other fun stuff! Your likes and follows over there mean the world. Read up here.

Zoe x

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