(Almost) Surviving Winter in Korea

Before moving to Korea I did some research on the weather. I took a look at the seasonal averages and thought I’d be prepared.

As you can guess… I wasn’t.

Korean’s winter is typically December through February with the coldest month being January. Temperatures can average between minus six degrees and three degrees Celsius. This was there I took my first wrong step. I’m so used to thinking of temps in terms of Fahrenheit that when I looked up the averages I was reading 21 to 37 degrees. So in my mind I was thinking, that’s doable, I could totally do this. Visiting areas that are prone to snow were not new to me. I once lived a few minutes away from Tahoe for awhile. There was one winter in Texas that was so cold everything froze over. Not to mention the several winters spent going to the mountains for sliding adventures. I could totally do this.


Lucky us, this year turned out to be the coldest year Korean has seen in 20 years! There were several days where it dropped close to -20 degrees Celsius. That’s three times lower than the average! As you can guess… I wasn’t ready. I spent most of the winter inside our apartment because it was just too cold to leave. Snow jackets and boots were not enough.

Now that winter is coming to an end and the slightest hint of spring is in the air I’m wondering if there was anything I could have done different. Was there more I could have done to starve off the winter boredom and depression? We tried to make the best of what we had, trying out new cafes and still getting out to new areas to explore despite the freezing temps. I’m also very proud of the amount of books I read thanks to all the down time.

Although, I won’t lie about the fact that I can’t wait for this winter to officially end and for some warmth to come back. To get out of this winter funk and start moving around some more without having to done layer upon layer of clothing just to go to the corner store for some extra milk.


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