YouTuber ‘iGoBart’ and his mission to explore all 467 neighborhoods of Seoul

 人参与 | 时间:2023-12-11 11:17:34

In labyrinthine Seoul, a multitude of hidden places often go unnoticed by both Seoulites and visitors. Social media has recently become a cornucopia of travel content, and Dutch YouTuber Bart van Genugten, also known as "iGoBart," has leveraged that to the best of his ability to offer a fresh perspective on Seoul’s layers beneath its shiny surface. In his daring new project, "Welcome To My Dong (WTMD)," iGoBart embarks on a journey to visit all of Seoul's 467 neighborhoods.

Before the YouTuber’s first big hit with a documentary series on his trip to North Korea, most of his viewers tuned in for his “international couple” content, featuring the everyday lives of him and his Korean wife here. But as he gradually shifted to Korean travel series content and new subscribers rolled in, he began to notice a divergence in viewer expectations.

“It was so horrible having to think about what video I should make every week and then hoping it would catch on with the people. Some followed me for North Korea, others for the Korean War veterans and others still for the international couple content,” he told The Korea Herald in an interview for “Life In Korea.”

“I wanted to give them more clarity, but also myself, and that's how I started doing this series," he explained.

Biking as a blessing

Leading up to his decision to start the WTMD project, iGoBart experienced a significant amount of emotional turmoil. A lack of direction on his YouTube channel coupled with unstable personal finances led him to question his career as a YouTuber. As a last resort to gain financial stability, he took on a job to deliver food by bike, which ultimately turned out to be a disastrous experience.

“I remember my first order, I picked up the food and jumped on my bike. In my hurry, I forgot to secure my phone to the handlebars. My phone fell to the ground and with both my front and back wheel, I rode over my phone. It was just broken, almost cut in half, I couldn’t look on my phone to see where these people lived. I arrived 1 hour late, half in tears, with cold food. That was such a rotten moment in my life, that I quit everything for six months," he said.

Then upon his wife’s suggestion, iGoBart went on a 2,000-kilometer cycling trip across South Korea, creating videos along the way. He told himself that if the videos performed well, it would be his sign to continue on YouTube.

Beyond his shocking discovery of a lack of decent bike trails, nightly battles with mosquitos and the rainstorms, the bike trip proved to be a remarkable success, motivating the creator to continue developing his new series.

“I was on a bicycle for two months, and every so often I would make a video, and it was just so pure, so raw. With that I was able to create a connection with the people again. That series slowly but surely gave me courage and hope again, that maybe I should give it another chance,” iGoBart elaborated.

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