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A quick lesson I learned from these Olympic Games is that the Organizing Committee seems to love light displays.

Take a walk up to the PyeongChang Olympic Plaza in the evening and you’ll find the city could put Las Vegas or New York City to shame.

Drone shows entertained the crowd from above, laser beams accompanied music from the medal ceremony stage, and there are several light up tunnels that make the perfect photo backdrop.

We don’t get much time off here in South Korea. Data Collections, lectures, on the bus, off the bus, dinner here, and cultural event there make most of us just want to sleep when we get the chance.

Today is my last “day off” but my internal body clock still woke be up at 6:00 a.m. with no chance of dozing back to sleep.

I packed for the trip home.

I watched some Netflix.

I showered.

And then I started to walk.

My destination was Starbucks (yes I know South Korea has great cafés and coffee shops but they don’t open until 11:00 a.m.) to do some homework before my meeting this afternoon. I had a general idea of where it was so I just decided to wander the side streets of Gangneung.

figure skater mural street view in Gangneung

Walking around a city is the best way to really get to know it and its people. I found boutiques, small businesses, more coffee shops, and even other ethnic restaurants I have been longing for when I grew tired of kimchi.

Tea Shop in Gangneung Italian restaurant in Gangneung

I understand why the Organizing Committee chose this area. It’s a quaint city with lots of personality and I as walked around this morning I realized this is why I chose travel and tourism as a career.


To open up others minds to the possibility that we are quite similar in hopes of creating a better understanding of culture and a greater determination for peace.

After a hard day at work, a few of us decided to visit our neighbors from the north at Canada House. Their house is homey as its residents and their location right next to the Gangneung Olympic Park makes it the perfect spot for after some sporting events.

interior of Canada House

The $20 ticket gets you into this massive room with stadium seating, ice cold Molsons and some great bar food. I didn’t know how much I missed a burger and fries until I realized all I ate this past week was rice and kimchi.

group photo at Canada House

We decided to take the detour home and stop by the Today Show set in the Olympic Park to find Hoda and Savannah wrapping up interview for the night. Luckily. They were gracious enough to take a selfie with us before they left…but it’s blurry.

selfie with Hoda and Savannah from the Today Show

But, you take what you can get, and I know none of us are letting this opportunity go to waste!