Traveling Ted is a blog that takes readers along on my adventures hiking, canoeing, skiing, and international backpacking. Many blogs focus on one aspect of backpacking, but I tackle both the outdoor adventure side and international exploration as well.

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Runaway Juno on top of the island

Runaway Juno on top of the island

Travel blogging rock star Runaway Juno asks the age old adventure travel question “Beach or mountain?”

Today’s guest post is by Runaway Juno who is much adored in the travel blogging community. She hails from Seoul, Korea. Check out her blog and also check out this really cool post she did using time lapse photography.  Follow her on twitter here and Facebook here.

It is THE question. When the world was small, there was only those two options, beach or hiking. What was your choice?

I love beach. Relaxing in the beach know. The open space, laziness, sound of breaking wave, warm and soft sand, and the sunshine. And I get to wear a cute sundress so..

Of course, I love hiking. It’s a little bit of work but it is totally worth it at the end. The view, fresh air, accomplishment and I can feel my body is smiling with all the workout.

Jeju Island South Korea

Jeju Island South Korea

It is both relaxing on a beach and hiking a mountain. It’s easy to think island equals beach, but not necessarily. Obviously, islands are a great place for hanging out on a beach but there’s great hiking trails also. I like it because island beaches are different than inland ones.

It’s smaller and more intimate somehow. Fewer crowds, less tourism, and more relaxing. Hiking on an island is good because it is not as difficult as a mountain. I like mountains, but sometimes it is too exhausting after a full day hiking. Island hiking is mild and friendly. It is a great option when you can’t really decide between beach and mountain to enjoy your outdoor vacation.

It gives two very different views.
Just like any other thing in the world, islands are not symmetrical. Slow start, just like walking up a little hill behind my house. And the view dramatically changes after few minutes. Feels like this little island is a miniature of a whole big mountain.

I went through serious bush but just a short period, and I saw the open view and then the path lead me back into mountain again. And when I reached the point that I can call as the top, the view of the other side is just totally different than what I saw until now. One very memorable view was the other side of island was a complete cliff. It was really dramatic, and I loved it.

Jeju Island South Korea

Island trail in South Korea

Jeju Island South Korea

Dramatic view on an island in South Korea

Got a chance to be Gulliver
Hiking to the top makes me feel like a giant. When hiking up to an enormous mountain, hikers often say they ‘realize how nature is great and how small we are’ in a good way. That’s a good inspiration but why not feel like the biggest person in the world for a change?

I realized that when I was hiking up to Oreum (secondary volcano) in Jeju Island. It is a small hill but still in the hiking area. Most of them can be conquered in about half an hour. Looking down at the top of the Oreum that feels like literally, standing on the top of the world.

You can reenact “Cast away”. Not literally, I hope, I meant there’s fewer crowds. Going to an island takes more effort to go a single place like a beach or a mountain. You need to go to the dock, and take a ferry, and possibly take another mode of transportation from the island.

It’s more money and more effort. More money can be compensated with saving in other costs (you know the drill) but effort is not something everyone can get over. That connects with ‘less people to visit’. Think about how peaceful that would be.

It is not easy to see nothingness. Sometimes we go on an exploration and see nothingness. Island hiking can fulfill the desire. This is another thing that I didn’t expect.

Jeju Island South Korea

View of nothing in South Korea

The best moment was when I was at Geomun Island. I was about a half way up. There was a downhill forest on my left hand side, and beautiful blue South Sea is on the right hand side. I had to sit down. I was looking further, at the very end of the horizon. I was sweating from the hiking, but it was pretty warm for February. Breeze is teasing me, and I looked. There was absolutely nothing. Not a single boat on the surface, not a single cloud in the sky, not a single vowel of a sound, just ocean and me.

Thank you Juno for expressing so poignantly your love for island hiking.  Readers can read more about her adventures  here.  This awesome entry reminded me of a hike I did on Isle Royal in the middle of Lake Superior.  There are many great islands here in the Midwest like there and also the Apostle Islands in Wisconsin.  Reading this entry makes me long to check those places out.

Anyone who has had an awesome experience hiking on an island please share your secret island in the comment section below.

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