When I was in middle school, stationary companies started making school notepads in light green color. There was even one page in the front, said ‘stare it for 10 seconds to rest your eyes’. Green is the color that is the easiest to human eyes, and Korean stationary company, Morning Glory, found the way to use it in their marketing strategy. It worked out great. It really was a good strategy for hardworking Korean kids.
Green is such a mysterious color. It is not my favorite, I don’t think, but it is the best color to represent ‘life’. There are many shades of green, and my favorite is the light green, where you can see from the new buds.
My first and the most striking impression of Bhutan was the color green. There are more than 5,000 kinds of trees in this small mountainous country, and 72% of their land is covered by forest. The very first highway connecting Bhutan to the outside world, where we drove on our first day, is a mountain side road. You can imagine the scenery along the highway.
There’s a word in Korean ‘sanlimyok’, which means ‘bathing in the forest’. We believe the energy from trees helps us to improve our health. Of course the trees provide fresh oxygen right from the leaves, but the belief is more than just science. Our ancestors always treated trees quite sacredly. Strolling in the pine tree forest has been one of my favorite memories from my childhood, and being in Bhutan reminded me of those good times.
Visiting Bhutan made me realized something that I’ve known all along. I love green. Not because it’s easy on the eyes when I’m studying. Green is life. It is the symbol of the living things. I felt my heart was filling up with joy while looking at the endless forest in Bhutan. Then I’ve realized that I feel happier when I’m surrounded by trees, flowers, and birds.
It’s an ultimate questions to travelers: beaches or mountains. What’s your choice? I do love them both, and I’ve been a lot of beaches and mountains, but I’d choose mountains if I have only one choice. I’m not sure why but beaches are always harder to get to, crowded, and more expensive. I enjoy good beaches, but I don’t think I can leave in one. Mountains always gave me a subtle joy. It’s the place for tranquility and mystery of life.
When I think about a few of my favorite places in the world, coincidently, they are near the mountains. The bushes and rain forests in New Zealand, east coast of Korea with the mountain ridges, Vermont and New Hampshire with the White and Green mountains, and now Bhutan joined the club. I was born and raised in a big city, I can handle the hustle and bustle, but I’m not a city girl. Maybe because I grew up in a city longing for nature, it impacts me more than the goodnesses of cities. I guess I’m a ‘green’ girl.
Traveling is about figuring out who I am. At least it has been the major goal for me. To head toward a happy life, it is essential to know who I truly am. Last ten years of traveling has been the greatest gift, and learned a lot about myself that I wouldn’t have known if I stayed at home the whole time. Now I know for sure that I have to leave near the mountains, or where is surrounded by a lot of trees. It’s a short moment of bliss,the realization.
How about you? Beaches, or mountains?