Have you been watching Race Across the World on the BBC? asks Travel Counsellor Emma Savage.

It’s one of my favourite things on TV, for several reasons. Firstly (of course) its all about travel but I also enjoy the human story which goes along with the programme; as the series progresses, we get to know the contestants and their back story – its as much about people as it is about travel and I find it so inspiring. Everyone has their own reasons for embarking on the trip, whether that is to reignite a relationship with their sibling, to explore the world after a recovering from a life threatening illness or simply to live a little more outside their comfort zone than they had done before.

But, for me, it is the warmth and generosity of people from different cultures around the world that help them along the way which really stands out, even from those who have very little. There’s a lesson there for us all, I believe.

Jejuisland. Photo: Travel CounsellorsJejuisland. Photo: Travel Counsellors
Jejuisland. Photo: Travel Counsellors

This year’s competition sees the contestants crossing parts of Asia with few resources, in an attempt to reach the finish line first and claim £20,000. They have to be thrifty and work along the way to pay for train and bus tickets, bed and board. The work experiences and the sights they see during their journey offer a fascinating insight into the culture of the destination they’re visiting.

So far, the contestants have journeyed through Japan, South Korea and Vietnam visiting historic temples, lively cities and spectacular natural wonders. They’ve had to navigate the sometimes confusing public transport systems and learn to communicate with locals who speak little English.

Busan. Photo: Travel CounsellorsBusan. Photo: Travel Counsellors
Busan. Photo: Travel Counsellors

Vietnam and Japan are well known and well visited by the UK market, but South Korea is fast becoming a popular destination too. Widely known for its K-pop music, trending television series such as Squid Game, and award winning films like Parasite it is riding on the crest of its very own, so called ‘Korean Wave’. Its economic growth, exciting culture and modern, buzzy cities all combine to make for an alluring destination for visitors.

Seoul is the natural place to begin a trip; try some kimchi, visit the Gyeongbokgung Palace and a ride in a Namsan cable car. From here, head to Busan and visit Gamcheon Culture Village and Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, and take in the city’s skyline, markets, and culinary scene.

South Korea. Photo: Travel CounsellorsSouth Korea. Photo: Travel Counsellors
South Korea. Photo: Travel Counsellors

Fly to Jeju Island, where you can sample local treats at Dongmun Market and explore Unesco-listed sites, including the Manjanggul Lava Tube and Seongsan Ilchulbong, also known as ‘Sunrise Peak’.

PS. Did you notice that there is a couple from the Stamford and Rutland Mercury area on the show? Viv and Stephen are from Rutland and have been featured on LincsOnline.

Share your destination tips in the comments below.

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