Photo Essay: Jeju Island, The Beauty of the Olle Trails

Merriam – Webster Definition
              beauty: the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind.  

My Definition
              beauty: Something you see, although it’s not always seen through your eyes. Something you feel, or feel the absence of. Something you hear, but not always with your ears. A certain quality, aspect, echo, or entity that calls out you and draws you in. Something that can be sad, tragic, and also joyous. 

            “Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”
                                                                 Louisa May Alcott

            We only spent a short time on Jeju, but island life has always fascinated me. Islands seem to exude their own special brand of magic. 

           The Olle trails: the 200km of pathways, scattered about the island offer the perfect opportunity to bask in the beauty of Jeju. The trails paint a multifaceted picture of the island. You can view ocean waves crashing upon the rocks, cascading waterfalls, beaches, and mountains. 

            Jeju is often lauded as the “Hawaii of Korea.” I have never been to Hawaii, and therefore cannot  compare the two. However, I can say there is a unique beauty to this volcanic island that is worth experiencing. 

            We spent an entire afternoon following the little blue ribbons that mark the Olle trails. With the sun blazing and the humidity high, I did question our sanity. I even felt a bit jealous of all the Korean tourists riding around in their rented cars. Despite the heat, walking along the coast is a wonderful way to view the beauty of Jeju.  I have found that sometimes the truly beautiful things are the ones you didn’t plan on. Things like a man fishing with the vast ocean as a backdrop, or a group of women gathering together under a tent to put together a meal. 

            I am not sure whether we found these beautiful things, or if they found us.

“A faithful friend is a strong defense; and he that hath found him hath found a treasure.”
                                                              Louisa May Alcott

“Calvin: Look, a dead bird!
Hobbes: It must’ve hit a window.
Calvin: Isn’t it beautiful? It’s so delicate. Sighhh… once it’s too late, you appreciate what a miracle life is. You realize that nature is ruthless and our existence is very fragile, temporary, and precious. But to go on with your daily affairs, you can’t really think about that… which is probably why everyone takes the world for granted and why we act so thoughtlessly. It’s very confusing. I suppose it will all make sense when we grow up. 
Hobbes: No doubt.”
Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes: There’s Treasure Everywhere

“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious – the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science.”
                                                          Albert Einstein

“A thing of beauty is a joy forever;
      It’s loveliness increases; it will never
         Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
        Full of sweet dreams, and health and quiet breathing.”

                                      John Keats

“All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow.” 

                                                    Leo Tolstoy

 “How many loved your moments of glad grace,
    And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
     And loved the sorrows of your changing face.”

                                    W. B. Yeats

 “But he who dares not grasp the thorn
 Should never crave the rose.” 
                                Anne Bronte

“Be not the slave of your own past – plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep, and swim far, so you shall come back with new self-respect, with new power, and with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old.”

                                                          Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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