Seoulweaver is a newly formed community that expresses itself primarily through its self named website and informative blog. Our goal is to provide information on food, entertainment, places of interest, and anything else we think might assists those whose various walks of life have led, or will soon lead, to Seoul! Community members - who we like to refer to as “weavers” - take pride in providing valuable content to the international community of Seoul and strive to create a positive environment in which members can share useful information with one another. Enjoy the benefits of helpful advice and assistance from the collective minds and hearts of those who have experienced induction to Seoul and have developed a genuine love for Korea and its capital city.
The Conception of Seoulweaver.com
One of the questions I hear most often when I initially tell people about Seoulweaver.com and the purpose behind it, is "Oh, what made you want to start a blog?" I figured it'd be a good idea to document the story of the conception of Seoulweaver and provide those new to the community with an idea of what the motivation behind creation was. So without further adeu, lets get to it.
If you've happened to come across my bio before reading this you know that I've spent quite some time in South Korea. When I got here in 2001 things were a lot more modern than I had been lead to believe they would be. I remember taking in the landscape while riding in to Seoul from Incheon Airport and being surprised at all the high-rise apartments, the severe lack of rice paddies and a significant abundance of huge jumbotrons on top of the buildings. It was apparent that Korea had seen quite a bit of advancement since the folks that were telling me what it was like had been here.
Now, nearly 15 years later, I'm continuously finding my self impressed with the growth and improvement I see in Seoul. Updates to the infrastructure have improved aspects of everyday life like travel or (City Gas) and made life easier for the masses, services have surfaced that make things so much more convenient than they used to be, and the architechtural advances have lead to the construction of building that just make you stop and wonder "Man, how'd they come up with that?". Seoul has just gotten so... so...Cool! I look out the window of my apartment sometimes and can't help but whisper to myself "Awesome...". I feel this so deeply that I've come to develop a genuine sense of pride in the city, the country, and the people within.
But where does the conception of Seoulweaver come in in all this? I promise, we'll get there. But let me explain this scenario really quickly before we do.
The Cook Out Scenario
Your invited to a cook out or a BBQ. You've got some time on your hands so you decide to attend and offer to bring something, a dish, drinks, chips... just something to contribute. The person hosting the event tells you "Oh no, don't worry about it" or "We have everything we need" and assures you that he or she just wants you to come and have a good time. "In fact, we'll have to send people home with food." So you oblige. You go to the cook out, eat, drink and socialize and have a great time. But at the end of the event, as everyone is wrapping up and collecting dishes you start to notice that a lot of the other attendees brought some of the food you helped decimate. You know you were told not to bring anything, and its a good thing you didn't because there was more than enough food, drinks and ...chips... but just a very little part of you starts to feel just a tiny bit guilty for not contributing.
The above description describes a recent realization I came to while taking a stroll around my neighborhood. Here I was taking in all the developing awesomeness of Seoul and not doing anything to help out. Sure I get out and check out the new stores, try out the new restaurants. But other than consumption, I hadn't done thing to contribute. I started to feel a little down on myself. It was the cook-out scenario all over again. Although no one was requiring me to do so, I felt compelled to contribute in whatever minute way that I could.
The decision to contribute something of my own to Seoul, Korea and the community lead me to another problem. I wasn't sure what to contribute. I mean what could I do? I didn't have any money to donate, I could open my own little restaurant or shop like I saw a few others doing but with little to no knowledge of running a business that would require a ton of research, not to mention money which I mentioned not having earlier. Even if I did set something like this as a goal, it would take time to get started. I didn't want to wait. I wanted to start something relatively quick. What could I contribute immediately when I had little to nothing.
The answer hit me when I was talking to a couple of visitors from out of country. While giving them a lift to their hotel rooms at the Hyatt in Namsan, I found myself answering question after question about Korea and Seoul. Suddenly I had an "Aha!" moment. I was sitting on more than a decade of experience of living in Korea. I had lived in over half a dozen different cities and visited twice as many, worked under a multitude of different statuses. I could start a blog and just talk about my experiences. But as I started to write, I realized I wanted to offer readers a lot more than just my opinion of life in Seoul. I wanted to provide something that would help people, help YOU if needed, get integrated with the overall lifestyle and culture of Seoul.
The concept of providing information to travelers to Korea and Seoul is by no means an original one. There are some awesome sites that offer some great information out there. Many of which I hope to connect with and will aspire to ressemble one day. So what's the difference? Seoulweaver is mine. My own little corner of the web to do what I desire with it. And my desire, is to make it OURS!