I presented my mom with a map of her hometown: Yeosu, South Korea. Then, I began asking her about her childhood home, her favorite places, where she went to school, where she had moved, and so forth. I asked her to identify these locations on the map as best as she could. Via satellite imagery of Yeosu, we began to reconstruct a visual memory of the spaces she inhabited growing up.
고소동 | Goso-dong
This was the neighborhood of her main childhood home.
Though the area has changed quite a bit since she was a child, she recognizes a landmark which has been preserved through the years: 여수 진남관 (Jinnamgwan Hall). She recalls her home being very close by.
She believes that her home was around here.
A little bit up north is where her middle school used to be. She particularly remembers the hills that overlooked it.
오동도 | Odongdo Island
This was her favorite place to visit growing up. It was over an hour's walk away from her home.
She had to walk across this long bridge to get there.
She liked to hang out at 오동도등대 (Odongdo Lighthouse) with her sisters.
She told me that we visited this island back when I was in elementary school. I have vague recollections of it.
만성리해변 | Manseongli Beach
This was the closest beach to her home, and even then it was quite far. It was nearly a two hour's walk away, and she had to pass through a long, unlit tunnel to get here.
She recalls her dad having a boat at this beach. She loved being near the ocean.
수정동 | Sujeong-dong
This was the neighborhood of her last childhood home, before she went off to college.
Her mom had found a cheap home, which may have been around here.
Since then, her family members have all migrated, mostly to 서울 (Seoul). However, her grandma still lives fairly nearby in the city of 순천시 (Suncheon).