August Updates from That Backpacker from Korea and Indonesia!

And just like that summer is over! Well, at least in the northern hemisphere.

I remembered summer in Seoul being really hot, but I had forgotten how unbearably hot it really can be. Suffice it to say that it was cooler and less humid in Indonesia and they are even closer to the equator! But we didn’t let the heat in Seoul ruin our trip. On the contrary, we used that as our excuse to eat patbingsu, drink lots of bubble teas, and indulge in the occasional popsicle.

Now here’s a look back at the month of August as well as a sneak peek at what’s coming up this fall:

Where I went

South Korea: Seoul

Indonesia: Yogyakarta, Semarang, Solo

New this month

Seoul antics with Sara

One of the things I love about travel is having a network of friends spread out across the world, and this month I got to hang out with Sara from @thisgirllovesblog, whom I first met in Romania. She’s currently living in Seoul so she introduced me to Korean grilled skirt steak, sticker booths where we practiced our aegyo poses (we even got Sam in on it), and we also ended up shopping for Korean beauty products.

On that note, did you know that in Korea it’s considered cute to have bags under your eyes?!?! Yes, they are currently selling makeup to help create that look. Another weird beauty trend: the bitten lip. The idea is to create a gradient look where the lip looks dark (and bitten!) on the inside and then smooths out across the outer part of your lips.

A week of filming in Yogyakarta and Central Java

My first trip to Indonesia was to Bali a few years back, so it was cool to go back and explore a completely different part of the country. The purpose of our trip was to film a video project with Tourism Indonesia and Trip Advisor, and I was really glad they suggested places I wouldn’t necessarily have found on my own.

Over the course of the week we got to visit the temple of Borobudur, do a jeep tour of Merapi Volcano, watch a Ramayana dance performance, eat our weight in street food, visit antique markets, and so much more.

We’re already thinking we want to go back to Indonesia for more – I know I have my eye on Lombok!

New Europe-based contributor

This month Sophie joined our writing team. She is from the UK, but living in Paris so she’ll be covering both those destinations, as well as other places across Europe. She recently shared 10 unusual things to do in Paris that don’t involve the Eiffel Tower, so be sure to keep an eye out for her pieces on the blog!

Visiting Seoul’s strange and unique cafes

As you probably already know, I’ve made it my mission in Seoul to visit as many themed cafes as possible. So far this month I went to a cat cafe, a poop cafe, a racoon cafe, a lego cafe, a flower cafe, a dog cafe, a Hello Kitty cafe, and a traditional tea house. Lucky for you, we filmed we filmed videos at all of those spots so keep an eye out for those over on YouTube!

Travel contest

Win a filmmaking trip to Vietnam

World Nomads is looking to send an aspiring filmmaker to Vietnam. The winner will be flown in to Hanoi and from there they’ll embark on a 10-day journey to document some of the communities in northern Vietnam alongside a professional filmmaker who will act as a mentor. In order to apply you need to submit a 3-minute video that tells an inspirational travel story. More details on how to apply here.

Win a trip to Paris

Fat Tire Paris is at it again and this time they’re giving away an amazing week-long trip to Paris complete with tours, workshops, photos shoots, baking lessons, wine tastings and more. Aside from that they’ll also be giving away some other smaller prizes so be sure to check it out here!

What’s next?

This is kind of crazy, but I’m off to Kyrgyzstan! Central Asia and the ‘Stans’ as a whole have been a dream destination of mine for a very long time, so I still can’t quite believe this is happening. Sam and I will be in Kyrgyzstan for the World Nomad Games, which is a sporting competition that covers mounted archery, falconry, belted wrestling, horseback wrestling and lots more. I remember watching a documentary about this years ago, so I’m beyond excited to get to see it firsthand and vlog it all.

After attending the World Nomad Games, we’ll be spending an additional 10 days travelling around the country on our own. We still haven’t sorted out our itinerary, but I’d like to do a yurt stay, go hiking, and travel out to Karakol. If you’ve been to Kyrgyzstan and have any suggestions for us, feel free to share those in the comments below!

Lastly, we’ll be finishing off the month in Scotland to attend the Social Travel Summit, which is being hosted in Inverness. Again, I’m really looking forward to heading back to Scotland because the first time around I got some nasty virus and ended up spending half of my stay crawling from my hotel bed to the bathroom. It can only get better from there, am I right? Once the summit in Inverness is over, we’ll be travelling around Edinburgh and Glasgow to do some more filming, so it looks to be another busy month!

What did you get up to this month?