letters to my younger self

last night in Seoul and i realised there are much much more great things ahead than any we leave behind

photogenic eulalias 😉

Down to our last day and night in Seoul and I am super glad we had maintained this chillax foodie kind of vibe in this trip.

If anything, I learned that this is how travel should always be – not about you or pictures – but of places. You don’t need to cover all the places, each one of us has some place that would speak to our soul – find it – and then reflect.

Travel always changes my perspective in life, giving new perspective to things I would rather look at from one point of view. But this is the travel that made me rethink of all the other travel I had in the past and gave me new perspective as to how my travels should be: dreamy but authentic and also reflecting.

this one from when we were walking towards haneul park

We had a whole day and half the night before our flight back to Manila (that was 1-ish or 2-ish am flight, I cannot remember) – so we started of early morning (8 or 9?!) going towards Haneul Park. It was far. It was near the airport, if you’re taking a subway you need to get off at the World Cup Stadium (haha we missed our stop and had to go back once) and walk and walk and there is this tunnel that you will also walk on.

It was nice – really, there were no other tourists around (I guess they rode the bus instead) so there we were walking on the streets of South Korea and the area is just wide and large and very not suffocating – I want these kind of roads and streets back home (there was no traffic). It looks like Commonwealth Avenue sans the many many vehicles and all the establishments pushed back by another lane.

autumn game is still strong in this area despite snowing the other day

We got tired when we reached the entrance of Haneul Park – thankfully, there is a multicab ride going inside you just need to pay the fare.

Alas, here we are in Haneul Park (a once dumpsite turned into this eulalia park) and I think you can fill it up with people but the place will still not be overcrowded. There is a little store where you can buy food and CRs. We started strolling but who are we kidding, it’s tiring enough to go here but it’s more tiring if you will walk through the whole place so we just went inside this one and while taking photos we also saw that there is some filming happening there. We didn’t know what show but it already ended few minutes after we got there. I said Anyeong Haseyo to one of the crewmen and he greeted me back. Very nice people. 🙂

my own house should have this

And then there is this swing. (Me and my love for swings!) And another one where you can look at the view – the sea or river? I don’t know but you’ll realise that you are standing on very high ground there and for like 30 minutes we just swayed in the swing – the heat of the sun hitting our face but it’s not uncomfortable. Here would be a nice ending of our Korea trip.

Except we’re hungry! 🙂 So after somewhat staring into space (that would be my hobby from Haeundae beach to Namsan Tower to Haneul Park) we got back to Seoul Station to finally do our pasalubong shopping in Lotte Mart. But first, food! We ate in the food court on the top floor and I love their food court. ❤ It is clean and orderly and the food – the food is amazing – that was the best omurice I ever had!

best omurice i’ve ever tasted and the side dishes to top it off

We walked towards Lotte Mart and grabbed those carts (you need to deposit cents to get the cart that you will get back when you bring back those carts – nice!). And then from that point on – it’s heaven! I love grocery shopping BUT here I loved it more. I don’t know – we went from skincare to yogurt to samjang to seaweed to coffees and tea to that warm juice/tea somewhat. And there are a lot of free taste that you can try (I went to the seaweed snack twice – don’t judge me!) When you’re full – they have this coffee, juice or tea free tastes also. Haha – you can never get hungry in Lotte Mart.

Maybe we spent a good 2 to 3 hours here and there is also a self-packing counter (you need to bring you own eco-bag or take one of the boxes).

We got so tired to we went back to our guesthouse and rested. Or not. We actually unpacked, arranged and repacked our luggages. And then rested.

It was dusk and we went back again to Jin Dumplings! (to eat our last dinner in Hongdae) Besides it is our favorite dumpling restaurant there and I won’t look at dumplings that same way again.

don’t leave hongdae without eating dumplings here

We have time to spare because we bumped off Ehwa University from our list. I guess I’ll visit Ehwa University when I go back the second time. After we ate dumplings we just walked around Hongdae (no – we actually went back to Line to buy the BT21 cushion pillow Koya – because my ate told me to).

Back there we also went around last minute shopping for gifts and skincare and I am amazed at the night scene in Hongdae – they have this area where four or more groups/soloist can perform simultaneously – dancing, singing, rapping, playing instruments – and you can have your own audience if you’re awesome. Raw talents at its finest.

We went around and I claimed my free (because I bought a tumbler) Starbucks drink from a Starbucks Reserve and that warm drink helped me ease the cold while we were strolling. I guess that should be what you should be doing on your last night of travel – to just look around and appreciate the surroundings. Never would you experience that same kind of feeling again because it will never be your first time again in a place.

I pretty much live for that kind of moments – that feeling, staring into space and looking on your surroundings and taking in all it has to offer – raw life, I guess and in this world filled with so many filters, it is so rare to find authenticity like that. And me writing about me makes me feel that I’m decreasing its value because I know we all do that. But none of us seems to write about it because it is such a bore. It is not. It is food for our soul. And me decreasing its value while I’m talking about it because I know it must be spent in private. It is the secret of all people. Haha. So much for that. 🙂

Anyhow, we went back again to the guesthouse to finally say our last goodbyes in Seoul. I was on a high I even chatted with our host (which is I’m surprised to be Taiwanese) and we were gushing because this trip we experienced the first snow. Blessed us, I know!

Our luggage was so much heavier that it took us eons to go into the subway station. Haha. Pack light, my foot!

We allotted a lot of time allowance but you know what, we were just in time for our flight. Why?

It’s because we went to the other terminal! We mistakenly took off on the last station which is the Terminal One and when we got there it was like ghost-town, nobody was here! It took us about thirty minutes to finally realise (and accept) that we were on the wrong terminal.

empty isn’t it? no ones here except us

Since there was no more subway rides left – the only option is to take a cab. That cab ride was the fastest one I had – like 170+kph and I began holding on to the cab’s seat for my life. The ride was safe there were no cars actually on the road but man, that was still so so speedy and fast!

We got to the plane just in time (the dreary line from the check-in counter, to immigration, to scanning) and alas it’s time to come home.

I actually felt happy and I miss my home, my friends, everything – travel takes you to places you would fall in love at first sight but there is nothing more comforting than to go back to the place you call your own – the place you belong.

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