Tired of bustling big city life, urbanites explore rural lifestyles during weekends

Tired of bustling big city life, urbanites explore rural lifestyles during weekends

Park So-yeon, a 28-year-old Seoul resident and yoga instructor, poses near Mount Gyeryong in South Chungcheong Province on July 16. Courtesy of Park So-yeon

By Park Ji-won

Park So-yeon, 28, a yoga instructor in Seoul, leaves the city for a house located near Mount Gyeryong in South Chungcheong Province, about 140 kilometers southwest of Seoul, once she is done with her busy workweek.

The house is owned by her friend’s parents, and there she relaxes doing only yoga and essential household chores. She also works on a farm near the house, exploring a rural lifestyle that is completely different to her weekdays in the city.

“For my work as a yoga instructor, I need to travel a lot and take a subway to meet students. I can easily get stressed out and exhausted on the crowded subway, as there is no personal space there,” she told The Korea Times. “Spending four to five days in the city and two days in the countryside is perfect for a balanced life. It makes me feel alive. I am planning to continue to live like this.”

“I feel grateful to live in the city because I can easily buy food, meet my friends and be part of a yoga network that is centered on Seoul. But I have often felt that something is missing in my urban life and have wanted to explore Mother Nature,” she said. Near her weekend home, there are no convenience stores or supermarkets.

Tired of bustling big city life, urbanites explore rural lifestyles during weekends

Park So-yeon heads back inside after gathering some vegetables near Mount Gyeryong on Aug. 8. Courtesy of Park So-yeon

Tired of bustling big city life, urbanites explore rural lifestyles during weekends

An eggplant lasagna made with locally sourced ingredients / Courtesy of Park So-yeon

Before she began living this hybrid urban-rural lifestyle last year, Park travelled around a lot searching for a way out of her bustling urban life that left her stressed out and tired. Finding reasonable accommodations for every trip also required quite an investment of her time and energy.

Realizing traveling is just a temporary outlet, she decided to seek out a single place where she could spend her weekends. Her ideal location should not be far away from Seoul but should be close to nature so that she can easily travel back and forth between her two residences.

This lifestyle colloquially known as “5-do 2-chon” in Korean ― and loosely interpreted as “5 days-city, 2 days-countryside” for those in the know ― was something people in their 50s or 60s commonly pursued as a stepping stone to retirement. “Do” is a contraction of “dosi” (“city” in Korean) while “chon” (“village” or “rural area”) can refer to the countryside.

The expression was, until recently, used primarily by urbanites in their 50s, who were interested in transitioning to a rural life of farming during their retirement. However, increasingly, this lifestyle of living in the city during the week and recuperating in the countryside on the weekend has been gaining popularity among younger people.

In June of last year, the launching of a MBC’s vlog channel, “Onulun,” on YouTube, made headlines for both its unique content and its high-quality videos, as it is MBC’s first official vlog channel created and run by a full-time producer.

Choi Byeol, a 32-year-old MBC producer, started to produce videos about her journey in buying a 115-year-old house in the southwestern city of Gimje, North Jeolla Province, about 200 kilometers outside Seoul, approximately three-and-a-half hours from Seoul, where she was “beginning” her life from scratch. Choi works from the small provincial city and communicates remotely with her colleagues in Seoul. The first video in the series had 2.48 million total views as of Sept. 22 this year. The channel has since grown and now has nearly 300,000 subscribers.

“One of the reasons I wanted to move here and take time out was that I wanted to write ― to remove myself from distractions and focus on myself, to be able to write about me. And I found myself doing exactly that, as I wrote descriptions to put in the vlog,” she told The Korea Times in a recent interview.

Experts say that this new lifestyle trend reflects how young people are increasingly seeking to separate their lives from their work in the effort to achieve more work-life balance.

“Following the advent of the pandemic, many companies adopted remote work or working from home, and new jobs connected to the platform economy have also emerged. Through changing technologies, people now work without having to meet in person. Along with this general social transformation, people have started thinking in new ways, such as by having multiple life bases in different places,” Jeon Young-soo, a professor of Global Social Economy Studies at Hanyang University told The Korea Times.

“Living in the city has historically been the center of attention in Korea, due to the employment and educational opportunities it offers, as well as the fact that it has many convenient amenities. There is also the old stereotype that urban young people will have a hard time if they leave the city and try to live elsewhere,” Jeon explained. “This kind of conventional model emphasizing urban life was predominant during Korea’s period of high economic growth, when people’s resources were increasing, as this kind of life had many attractive aspects. However, these days, in general, people’s values have been changing, and there is also the pressure of low economic growth, so with all of these things intertwined, the awareness that a tough life in the city is not the answer has been growing.”

“The ‘5-do 2-chon’ phenomenon practiced by (a subset of) the younger generation is a reflection of this transformation in people’s ways of thinking, and an important option for people to have multiple life and work bases,” he continued.

“We will likely see fewer people following the existing model of moving to the countryside after retiring from work in the city. Instead, more people are accepting this new lifestyle of traveling between the city and the countryside as a realistic choice. This change was already on the way before, but the pandemic has hastened it.”

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

S. Korea aims to swiftly reopen talks with N. Korea: NSC

South Korea’s National Security Director Suh Hoon (L) poses for a photo with U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan during their meeting in Washington on Oct. 12, 2021, in this ... Read more »

New head of military intelligence body named

his photo released by the Ministry of National Defense on Oct. 14, 2021, shows Maj. Gen Lee Sang-chul. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap) Maj. Gen Lee Sang-chul, commander of the ... Read more »

KOCCA to hold online creative writing conference to explore K-content

“2021 The Story Concert,” organized by the Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA), will be held online on Oct. 21. Courtesy of KOCCA By Lee Gyu-lee The Korea Creative Content Agency ... Read more »

Jun Ji-hyun and Ju Ji-hoon offer glimpse of new mystery series 'Jirisan'

Actors Jun Ji-hyun, left, and Ju Ji-hoon pose for pictures during the online press conference of the new series, “Jirisan”, Wednesday. Courtesy of tvN By Lee Gyu-lee Actors Jun Ji-hyun ... Read more »

Yanolja to acquire 70 percent stake in Interpark's e-commerce businesses

This image provided by Yanolja shows its corporate logo. Korea Times file Yanolja, a leading South Korean travel platform operator, said Thursday that it signed an agreement to buy a ... Read more »

Ko Hyun-jung's new drama, 'Reflection of You,' depicts twists and turns of two women's lives

Actors Ko Hyun-jung, right, and Shin Hyun-been pose during an online press conference for JTBC’s new series, “Reflection of You.” / Courtesy of JTBC By Kwak Yeon-soo JTBC’s new series, ... Read more »

[INTERVIEW] Why Japanese media won't cover comfort women issues

Takashi Uemura in a scene from Shinji Nishijima’s documentary “Target” / Courtesy of BIFF By Kwak Yeon-soo Filmmaker Shinji Nishijima was a Korea correspondent for TBS-JNN when Kim Hak-sun, a ... Read more »

Kazakhstan hosts sixth CICA meeting on regional cooperation and dialogue

Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev holds a meeting with the heads of delegations participating in the CICA Foreign Ministers meeting. (Official website of the President of Kazakhstan)Kazakhstan hosted the sixth meeting ... Read more »

SK Broadband launches set-top box with Bang & Olufsen audio

A model promotes SK Broadband’s set-top box, launched in collaboration with Danish high-end audio product maker Bang & Olufsen, in this photo provided by the Korean company. Courtesy of SK ... Read more »

J.P. Morgan sets up new business unit for midcap companies

Ex- Standard Chartered Bank Korea executive to head CCBSI unit By Yi Whan-woo J.P. Morgan said Thursday it launched a new business unit, Corporate Client Banking and Specialized Industries (CCBSI), ... Read more »

Samsung helps youth realize social innovation ideas worldwide

Seen are digital lockers developed by Alec Conway from the U.K. Conway designed the lockers to offer secure storage spaces for homeless people, winning the U.K.’s first Samsung Solve for ... Read more »

SNU professors list their children as co-authors of research papers

The main entrance of Seoul National University / gettyimagesbank By Jun Ji-hye Nearly half of all under-age co-authors listed in research papers from Seoul National University (SNU) were children of ... Read more »

Woori employees donate blood for children with cancer

Woori Financial Group Vice President Choi Dong-soo, left, poses with Korea Childhood Leukemia Foundation Secretary General Seo Sun-won after presenting blood donation cards from the group’s employees, at the foundation’s ... Read more »

LG Electronics launches indoor plant cultivator 'tiiun'

Models pose with LG Electronics’ indoor plant cultivator “tiiun” at a pop-up store in Seongsu-dong in eastern Seoul, Thursday. Courtesy of LG Electronics By Baek Byung-yeul LG Electronics has brought ... Read more »

BNK, JB, DGB increase reliance on Naver, Kakao

gettyimagesbank Regional banks becoming too dependent on online platforms By Park Jae-hyuk Concerns are rising over the growing reliance of BNK, JB and DGB financial groups on Naver Financial, Kakao ... Read more »

Ex-Foreign Minister Kang's ILO leadership bid stokes controversy

Former Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, now a distinguished professor emeritus at Ewha Womans University, gives a special lecture at the university in September. (Yonhap)Former Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha’s bid for ... Read more »

Opposition lawmaker referred to prosecution on bribery charges

Rep. Jung Chan-min speaks during a plenary session at the National Assembly in Seoul on Sept. 29, 2021, before a vote on a motion on his arrest. (Yonhap)SUWON — Police ... Read more »

S. Korea to offer compensation to spy agents during Korean War

(Yonhap)The defense ministry plans to provide financial compensation for South Koreans who operated in North Korea as part of US military intelligence units during the 1950-53 Korean War, officials said ... Read more »

Former Prime Minister Lee Wan-koo dies at 71

(Yonhap)Former South Korean Prime Minister Lee Wan-koo died Thursday after battling blood cancer, officials here said. He was 71. Lee served as prime minister shortly between February and April in ... Read more »

EXO's D.O. wraps up filming sci-fi blockbuster 'The Moon'

EXO’s D.O. in the upcoming film, “The Moon” / Courtesy of CJ ENM By Dong Sun-hwa D.O. of K-pop boy band EXO has wrapped up shooting for his role in ... Read more »

Korea Arts Group hosts ‘the color of your mind' multicultural concert

Poster for “Woollim V – The Color of Your Mind” (Korea Arts Group)Korea Arts Group hosted a multicultural concert named “Woollim V – The Color of Your Mind” at Sejong ... Read more »

Defects found in all 4 Global Hawk drones brought from US: lawmaker

This undated file photo, released by the Defense Acquisition Program Administration on Sept. 15, 2020, shows an assault drone under development with grenade launchers attached at the bottom. (Defense Acquisition ... Read more »

PM says govt. determined to raise quality of soldier meals

Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum speaks during a state affairs inspection and coordination meeting in Sejong, some 120 kilometers south of Seoul, on Thursday. (Yonhap)Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum said Thursday the ... Read more »

Military reports 8 additional COVID-19 cases

(Yonhap)South Korea’s military reported eight more COVID-19 cases Thursday, bringing the total caseload among its personnel to 1,951, the defense ministry said. Seven Army soldiers, including three trainees at a ... Read more »

[Graphic News] Number of foreign home rental business operators nears 2,400

Nearly 2,400 foreign nationals are engaging in the home rental business in South Korea, with Chinese nationals accounting for more than one-third of the total, government data showed. The number ... Read more »

Court to question key suspect in Seongnam development scandal

Kim Man-bae, owner of asset management firm, Hwacheon Daeyu, speaks to reporters after arriving at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office on Monday, for questioning. (Yonhap)A Seoul court was to ... Read more »

US, S. Korea working to restart dialogue with N. Korea: Amb. Lee

South Korean Ambassador to the United States Lee Soo-hyuck (at podium) delivers his opening remarks at the start of an annual parliamentary audit at the South Korean Embassy in Washington ... Read more »

Finding Korean architecture's beauty through night tours

The reflection of Woryeong Bridge lit with lights is seen in the water of Andong Lake, North Gyeongsang Province. Courtesy of Korea Tourism Organization By Jung Da-min ANDONG, YEONGJU / ... Read more »

Steak chef with 20 years of expertise introduces 'Dream Burger'

By Jun Ji-hye Burton Yi, the head chef at Grand Hyatt Jeju’s Steak House located within Jeju Dream Tower, is a world-class chef specializing in steak, as he started his ... Read more »

Carlyle Group to acquire A Twosome Place coffee chain

A Twosome Place image seen on the coffee chain’s official website / Courtesy of A Twosome Place By Anna J. Park The Carlyle Group plans to acquire Korea’s No. 2 ... Read more »

N. Korea slams Japan‘s arms buildup as preparations for aggression

  North Korean leader Kim Jong-un speaks at a lecture to commemorate the 76th founding anniversary of the ruling Workers’ Party on Sunday, in this photo released by the North’s ... Read more »

Sex crime victims need better front-line help: military panel

Park Eun-jeong, co-chair of an advisory panel on rights abuses in the military. (Yonhap)The military should adopt clearer rules to enable victims of sexual violence to find immediate care and ... Read more »

Hotel and outdoor activity vendor plan real-life 'Squid Game' event

Seen is a scene in Netflix’s original series “Squid Game” where participants play a Korean children’s game called “the Mugunghwa flower has bloomed” (known in English as “Red Light, Green ... Read more »

Korea officially prepares for 'living with COVID-19'

Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum speaks during a meeting of a government-civilian joint committee handling virus prevention measures at the Government Complex Seoul, Wednesday. Yonhap Over 60% of population fully vaccinatedBy ... Read more »

Im Kwon-taek reflects on films exploring Koreanness, pressures of expectations

Filmmaker Im Kwon-taek / Courtesy of BIFF Master of Korean film shares glorious past, as well as how it limited his creativity By Kwak Yeon-soo BUSAN ― Having created more ... Read more »

Korea's top business lobby seeks more influence in US

People walk outside of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), as global supply chain disruptions continue to affect the American economy, Oct. 4, in New York City. AFP-Yonhap KCCI considers ... Read more »

[ANALYSIS] Hana faces widening foreign exchange losses

KB, Woori to suffer less impact from won’s sharp depreciation By Lee Min-hyung The sharp weakening of the won against the dollar is dealing an unexpected blow to Hana Financial ... Read more »

Samsung to unveil colorful new Z Flip3 models on Oct. 20

Seen is a poster for Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Unpacked Part 2, an online event scheduled for Oct. 20 (KST). Courtesy of Samsung Electronics By Baek Byung-yeul In a move to ... Read more »