We set our alarms for 2:30 AM and bundled up as much as we could and started the hike at 4 am. There were hundreds of other Koreans around us feeling the same way. Tired and a bit cold but energized and excited. The trails were pitch-black and everyone had their flashlights out following the trails being careful of every step they took on the slippery icy rocks. There were people of all ages. Families. Couples. Friends.
There is something magical watching the first sunrise of the year. Everyone waits in anticipation as the sun starts to creep over the horizon. The second it hits the horizon everyone cheers and hugs each other. In the past I’ve spent my New Year’s Eve partying until well after midnight with close friends and family. But I think I’ve found a new special tradition. I also hiked last year on NYE and I think it’s the best way to ring in the new year. Many Koreans also go to the beach to watch the first sunrise.
The best part about hiking on NYE is that every person along side you is feeling the same struggle as you but everyone feels determined and inspired at the same time. There were so many people who maybe traditionally don’t hike often but wanted to be out for the special night of the year and we were all in the same struggle of feeling tired but pushing our bodies to make it to the top before the sun peaked through. It’s an exhilarating feeling to start the new year with a rush of endorphin’s and feeling proud of yourself. A great way to begin 2017. Cheers 건배~
Love from Korea,