Hey Seoul Mates – what’s good?
My name is Paul. I’m a foodie, a vlogger, a teacher, an animal lover, and now a blogger. My channel, Tastes Seoul Good, is based in Seoul, South Korea. However, in the coming months and years, we will showcase more countries. This is just the beginning of something big!
How did ‘Tastes Seoul Good’ begin?
To say that travel and eating has been a passion of mine my whole life would be an understatement. Growing up in the United States, I was a military brat (AKA – I was constantly moving). After living in multiple states around the country, my family settled down in a small town in Indiana.
I continued to live in the Midwest throughout my teens, and went to University in the same state. However, I always had a desire to see the world. I would read National Geographic Magazine, and imagine that one day I would be a travel writer. I envisioned trips to the Congo where I would photograph wildlife. I would dream of meeting indigenous tribes in Thailand. While other young people wanted to visit Disney Land, I wanted to visit New York, Paris, or Tokyo. I would rather watch The Travel Channel than Nickelodeon.
At some point in my 20’s, I discovered travel shows. Samantha Brown, Andrew Zimmern, and, perhaps my favorite, Anthony Bourdain. I would watch these shows for hours. I would download them, and and watch them more than once. I would imagine myself, one day, having my own travel show where I could not only experience these things for myself, but could also show them to the world.
“Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life—and travel—leaves marks on you.”
― Anthony Bourdain
One episode, in particular, changed my life forever. On an episode of ‘No Reservations’, Anthony and his assistant traveled to South Korea. The food, the alcohol, the bright lights…I knew this was a place I needed to be. And I was determined to make it happen.
Fast forward to August 21, 2009. I am an Asiana Airlines flight from LAX to Incheon, South Korea. I have a one-way ticket, two suitcases, and a job teaching English to elementary students. As the wheels left the ground in Los Angeles, I realized that there was no going back. The next time I was on the ground, I would be in South Korea.
Over the years, I have taught English as a Foreign Language in many places. While I always enjoyed being in front of the classroom, I would still find myself watching YouTubers, and wishing I had the chance to produce travel and food shows.
However, my lack of experience and confidence kept me from ever getting started. I had never edited a video. I knew nothing about shooting videos. I didn’t even have a nice camera!
That all changed in June 2018. After learning of the passing of Anthony Bourdain, I decided I was going to take a leap of faith and take the first step of creating content. It was then that I started brainstorming names. After securing ‘Tastes Seoul Good’, it was time to start.
My first video was awful. Seriously. It was really bad. The next one was also terrible. However, no matter how bad the videos were, I kept trying. I kept creating. Week after week. I picked up gear along the way. I learned how to edit more efficiently. My videos went from atrocious to…well – you can be the judge of that.
What is ‘Tastes Seoul Good’?
Simply put, I want to document my experiences with you. For me, living in South Korea for the past decade has been a very rewarding experience. However, some of my fondest memories all involve food. The local cuisine is something that Koreans are very proud of. Each dish has a story behind it. To learn about Korean history, culture, and the people, you need to learn about their food. Sometimes, even a simple soup can have a complex and deep history behind it.
Food seems to be that thing that brings people together. No matter where you are in the world, no matter your differences of religion, skin color, nationality, or language, food is that one thing that can bring us all together.
I want to keep learning about Korean food. As a guest in this country, there are certain dishes that are very ‘safe’. Most Westerners are probably going to like these dishes. However, what happens when you explore the side alleys, the dingy restaurants, or the local market? What will you find? What story will that food tell?
What’s the future of ‘Tastes Seoul Good’?
Great question. As we grow, we will continue to show off the Korean foods that mean the most to us. However, as it is a big world, we also aim to explore other countries, cultures, and cuisines. We have short series exploring Bali and the Philippines.
In the near future, we would love to get more in-depth with our videos. We would like to travel around the Korean peninsula to places rarely seen. We’d also like to explore hidden places in Asia. This is only the beginning.
However, the #1 thing you can do, if you wish to support us, is to join the mailing list. You’ll receive and occasional email with updates, news, and offers.
What if I have a question?
By all means, feel free to contact me! I would love to hear from you! You can find our social media handles on the side of this page (spoiler alert – you can find me using @tastesseoulgood on all major platforms).
Thanks for your support!