South Korea is known throughout the world for their seemingly flawless Idols, tear jerking K-Dramas, cult K-Beauty products, and beautiful people (all thanks to cosmetic surgery according to the West). But one visit to this small country will show that there is so much more to Korea than what you read on Buzzfeed. It is a young country if you consider that South Korea, formally the Republic of Korea, only became an independent country in 1948. It is a country still learning how to be 100% independent of it’s Western “masters”, trying to move forward from the traumatic past into a modern era booming with the profitable economy while keeping its Confucian traditions alive. You can still see the remnants of nature-worshipping shamanism, which used to be the state religion until the introduction to Buddhism around the year 372 and Christianity after the Korean War if you know just where to look. It is a stubborn country. It is a country overflowing with pride. It is a country with a generation gap among the elders who still remembers the pain and suffering of war and the children who grew up in post-industrial economy and wealth. There is an inner conflict within the country’s citizens who want freedom and independence from the grips of traditions and those who want to hold on to as much of it as they can. It is a beautiful country with a painful past, an ever changing growth, and an inspiring future.