Before Portland, it was Japan. Before Japan, it was Korea. Seoul was my original happy place.
On my previous three visits to Seoul, it was nothing but happy memories. Sure, two of those visits were for work but whenever I am in Seoul, I never felt like it was work. I always looked forward to going to Korea. They have the best, and cutest, coffee shops this side of the world. The food is great. Their transportation system is effective and efficient. Everybody looks well dressed that you’re almost obliged to keep up. Fashion is a bottom dweller in my priority list, but this is where I bring my A game. Because no matter how good I know I’m dressed, I will always be underdressed. It is safe. You absentmindedly leave your bag on an al fresco table, and you can come back an hour later and it’ll still be there. You can put your phone in your pocket and it’ll still be with in your pocket at the end of the day. It has everything I dream of what Philippines out to be. At least, the achievable ones, because I know even the worst global warming won’t give us fall
And Seoul is beautiful during fall.
I thought Japan would eclipse my love for Korea. Japan, too, became a happy place. And then I visited Portland and saw myself living there. I thought, I guess I have outgrown Korea.
And then I visited again. Five days of work, which as usual, didn’t feel like work. It worked its magic again. The air was crisp, yet the sun is out. Everybody was in scarves and coats and so was I. I made time to visit third wave coffee shops, even a dog cafe. I thought I wouldn’t miss the food so much. There are at least 8 korean restaurants at short walking distances from my house. But unlike the unlimited eat all you can samgyeopsal here, korean food, or food(?) in korea is indulgent and social. And as always, everybody was helpful and polite.
Sure, I may find love for Japan, or Portland. But Seoul will always have a special place in inherently nomad heart.