Korean Hostel in Spain: Find Your Happiness in the Unexpected
Fast or slow, many of us are traveling on different paths in life. No matter how we travel or the routes we take, we learn that we’re all going at our own pace. Along the way, we meet others who may turn out to be similar or different from ourselves. Despite whoever it may be, we feel a burst of joy when we stumble upon these people in the midst of an unfamiliar environment.
Korean Hostel in Spain depicts the real-life version of this situation as travelers on the Santiago pilgrimage trail relieve their exhaustion for the night at a hostel run by celebrities. Filled with funny and heartwarming episodes, the show broadcasts diverse moments that communicate the emotion of the scene to the viewers.
When it was revealed that this program was to be the follow-up film of famous producer Na Youngsuk (known for Coffee Friends), viewers anticipated Korean Hostel in Spain to be worth the hype. Even after the first broadcast of the show, positive reactions were drawn out, rising to become one of the must-see Friday shows.
What is the Albergue?
Located in Villafranca del Bierzo, Spain, the Korean Hostel in Spain team runs an albergue, a Spanish word equivalent to “hostel.” This albergue, however, is not a typical place. A shelter intended to serve all travelers as other albergues do, this albergue gives services in Korean mannerisms as shown through dinner and breakfast.
Indeed, it is a difficult task to find a hostel related to Korea (just as expected from the two countries that differ in culture and location). For this reason, this albergue gifts a surprise to many travelers on the pilgrimage trail, in particular Korean travelers. Walking a long distance from their own starting points towards their final destination, a reunion at an albergue built around their own culture sets an atmosphere of familiarity, allowing them to open up and relax around the staff who communicate in their native language. Surrounding themselves with Korean food and words, the Korean travelers fall into a moment of nostalgia for their homeland along with a bigger motivational driving force to continue their journey. The unexpected meeting helps travelers regain their drained energy as meeting people they “know” (since the staff workers are famous celebrity figures) brings upon an unexplainable emotion of relief. Their joy gives the staff workers, in return, motivation to provide outstanding hospitality through necessities which the travelers can use to attain more energy for their long trip ahead.
Of course, the albergue is not open only to Korean travelers. The hostel is available to all travelers on the pilgrimage trail who are in need of a place to rest for the night. Regardless of the cultural heritage one has, the hostel gives everyone an opportunity to experience a new kind of culture and the mannerisms that follow it. In this case, Korean culture is prevalent as the albergue staff speaks and cooks in a way that normally would serve a Korean audience. However, the staff works to make it a comfortable and friendly experience for everyone who visits; holding conversations in a more common language like English as well as offering two menu options at each meal (a traditional Korean meal versus a more common menu that is accessible to people) prove the consideration put in to make it possible to include a wider variety of people.
Meet the Staff
The program features three celebrities as the staff at the albergue. From a check-in attendance keeper to a chef in the kitchen, Yoo Haejin, Cha Seungwon, and Bae Jeongnam fulfill their respective roles in the show.
Yoo Haejin, as previously portrayed in the show Three Meals A Day, still maintains a pretty consistent character. His unique way of creating a comfortable atmosphere as he interacts with others especially comes into play as he takes on his position at the check-in desk. He makes it possible for visitors to settle and wash all their fatigue away, providing them with friendly common services such as preparing necessities as well as giving short introductions to where everything is located.
Cha Seungwon isn’t your ordinary chef; he’s above and beyond the standard level of cooking. As part of the Three Meals A Day cast, his extraordinary cooking skills have already been revealed. But his ability to make it happen in a different country is amazing. Travelers are amazed at Chef Cha’s efforts at cooking a fresh meal every dinner and breakfast along with preparing an additional set of desserts and drinks. His affectionate character evokes a heartwarming sensation within the viewers as he cares for every single traveler’s meal and is always willing to give more.
Bae Jeongnam makes his presence clear as Cha Seungwon’s assistant. He plays an important role by stepping out of his comfort zone to communicate with the locals in the area in order to purchase grocery items for the meals to be cooked at the albergue. His position as the youngest of all three cast members also reflects his passion and willingness to work hard.
Watch out for the three men’s chemistry continuously highlighted through their dialogue and interactions. The comical effect derived from the smallest actions will definitely crack a smile out of you!
Korean Hostel in Spain is a heartwarming show, exhibiting the blossoming friendships between people of foreign cultures or backgrounds. Through simple acts that help one feel comfort even when they are apart from their motherland, the albergue marks its place like an oasis in the middle of the desert, providing travelers on the Camino de Santiago (a 500 mile walk from St. Jean Pied de Port in France to Santiago de Compostel in Spain) with moments of happiness and unforgettable memories.