Give me heart and give me Seoul

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In a strange twist of events, a bunch of luck, and one impulsive decision (made one blurry night in a penthouse overlooking the city skyline) later, I found myself on a plane to Seoul. What was supposed to be a quick and easy four day trip with the Seoul purpose of watching Coldplay became a weekend filled with cherry blossoms, skincare deals, drunken reminiscence, guilty pleasures, and ratchet choices. The trip was no more than 96 hours lest the time spent on the plane, but I saw more facets of Seoul and South Korea than the 9 days I spent previously.

Of course, the trip was heightened by Coldplay, Coldplay, Coldplay. I saw them for the first time in Manchester in 2012, and was hooked like a drug. A Coldplay concert is a beautifully choreographed fiasco, a spectacle intent on overwhelming your senses in the best way possible. You will experience a kaleidoscope of emotions, bittersweet in nature mostly like their songs are. When the classics roll on and you sing along, whatever memories that flood your head will have a tinge of that starry starry night you see across the stadium. The songs will never sound the same again, because you heard them live along with thousands other voices singing in unison. I always marvel at how they do it – how they manage to draw in every single soul from every dark corner of the stadium to that single spotlight, how the same few songs tug at the heart strings no matter old and young, and how they are so humble and grateful despite their immense success.

Given how overwhelmed I am with Coldplay, it is tantamount to how much I enjoyed the trip when I say that I enjoyed every other day (almost) just as much. I am starting to love the spontaneity of trips with little planning. It almost always freaks me out, given my FOMO nature. But when done right with free spirit and a great travel partner, you end up leaving with the best memories and experiences. We had no idea the cherry blossoms would still be in bloom, and had no intention of hiking up the hill to the Namsan tower, which was why we turned up in heeled boots and still hustled through. When everything went wrong in the funniest way possible, we mimicked zombies in the midnight train and drank Soju on the Hongik university grass patch. And we topped it all off, by almost missing our flight for a really really good burger.

It was an amazing Easter weekend, and I can’t wait to return. Till next time, my Seoul mate.

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