Robertson checked her Instagram to see a message from her best friend from
froze, dropping her neatly folded shirt on the way to her suitcase, realizing
that this would be the first time that her and her best friend would be on the
same continent in seven years.
“Yes! Where do you live?”
weeks later, nearing the month mark of living in Seoul, Bri boarded a
high-speed train to Gangneung, a picturesque town on the East Sea. After two
hours, over hills and through valleys, Bri emerged at the last stop: Gangneung.
Immediately, she felt the breeze from the sea, and all around her existed a
view that could only be captured as if it were a mixtape produced by Florida
and Colorado. Mountains to her back and sandy beaches ahead, she surveyed the
area until two arms folded around her. “Bri!” … “Cathy!”
following weekend was an accelerated recap of the previous seven years, almost
as if the two best friends restarted at age thirteen and updated the lost time
over the course of 48 hours, discussing topics about parents, new siblings,
former pre-teen crushes, and high school. Their adventures that were halted in
the States resumed in Korea, first travelling to a beach famous for the blue
waters and… coffee! Ironically, when Bri first met Cathy in kindergarten, she
misunderstood the teacher when Mrs. Edmundson introduced Cathy as Korean; Bri
thought that Cathy’s Korean name was Coffee, so the Coffee Beach was a perfect
reunion for the two now twenty-year-old’s!
the cold East Sea waters, through a pine forest walk, past a beer festival, and
into a Korean dynasty-styled village, the pair embraced Gangneung, celebrating
Cathy’s hometown as they once celebrated Bri’s hometown. After ending the day
in a Korean spa, Bri went to Cathy’s home, where Cathy’s family excitedly
greeted her. “Bri, you look the same!” exclaimed Cathy’s mom, with a huge smile
crossing her face.
to leaving Gangneung the following day, Bri and Cathy drove out to
Daewallyeong, deciding to spend the morning hiking the ancient Seoul Pass.
Hundreds of years earlier, prior to the invention of the automobile, Koreans
would hike Daewallyeong to cross the mountains on the way to Seoul. From that
era, a beer pub, which would have been a popular stop for travelers, marked the
midway point of the hike. However, Bri was most surprised to see a fire-bellied
toad, known for its fiery belly pattern, hop across her path!
the end of the weekend, Cathy’s family drove Bri to the train station,
exchanging hugs and promises of visiting again in the future. As the train
exited the station, Bri smiled, understanding “forever” in “best friends