Top 5 Favourite Memories from Seoul

Seoul 5

It’s been almost a year since me, Becca and Jess set off on our adventure to Asia and to be honest I’m still not over it. Not a day goes by when I don’t wish I was back on that exact trip, reliving the entire experience. I wanted to share my five favourite memories from Seoul. It was an amazing city but unfortunately I don’t think we spent anywhere near enough time there. We arrived on the Thursday from Japan and were boarding our plane back to the UK on the Monday. We will definitely have to return to South Korea at some point but for now I’m gonna relive my favourite moments!

Banana Tree Café

Banana Tree

I’m not sure where I heard of this place, I think I’d been googling whacky cafes to visit in Korea since we already had so many lined up for Japan and when I heard of this place I wanted to go. They make cakes served in little flower pots and you receive a little shovel spoon to eat them with. When I told my friends they were happy to go too and off we set.

The café was actually tiny upon arrival, there was maybe like three or four tables when we arrived. There wasn’t a table that seated more than two people so my friends sat on one table whilst I sat on a seat by a little ledge. Unfortunately I believe we’d eaten at the SM Town café earlier and had been keen for something savoury but they only served sweet food so by the time we arrived at Banana Tree, again, we were craving something savoury. Unfortunately for me the only savoury food wasn’t anything up my street so I ordered a chocolate and banana cake so at least I’d still get the cute flower pot. I also got a chocolate milkshake.

I can’t remember what drinks the girls ordered but when our drinks arrived first theirs was bloody impressive as it came with a large dollop of candyfloss on top. My chocolate milkshake was lush and then the food came. Becca and Jess had ordered mozzarella toast, a sensible choice as Becca’s a veggie and they both like cheese on toast and fancied something savoury. For reasons known only to the café the mozzarella toast also came with peanut butter and pieces of ham. That’s the thing I found most bizarre about Asia, most food didn’t have a description of what was in it and for those that did they occasionally missed ingredients out. At one café in Japan Becca ordered the one item she thought was vegetarian and it still came with meat in. That would definitely not fly in the UK.

Banana Tree 2

On the bright side my chocolate and banana cake was gorgeous and was really cute. It was a shame that I fancied savoury food but luckily there was a rib place over the road so once we were done in Banana Tree we headed over – me and Jess shared some pulled pork with fries whilst Becca had a serving of fries. So in the end I got the cute cake and something savoury so it was a good experience!

Ice Museum/Trick-Eye Museum

TrickEye

The journey to the Trick-Eye Museum was eventful as Google Maps advised us to get on a specific bus but unfortunately this bus was only supposed to go to the airport and wasn’t meant to let travellers off beforehand. The driver wasn’t thrilled to let us off at our stop but luckily we made it to the Trick-Eye Museum with no further problems. We’d been cutting it a bit fine as it was getting late and wasn’t long off closing time.

When we arrived we received a ticket for the Ice Museum as well as the Trick-Eye Museum as they were in the same building and we were advised to go straight into the Ice Museum as that was closing quicker than the Trick-Eye one. I was looking forward to it as the year before we’d visited an ice bar in Amsterdam and that had been enjoyable!

Seoul 3

They didn’t give us anything to wear – in Amsterdam you were given a large coat to keep yourself warm but in Seoul we weren’t given anything and very quickly we were all shivering too much to particularly enjoy the sculptures. There was an ice slide which we all took a turn on but it didn’t go as fast as one would’ve expected from an ice slide and in the end it was too cold for us to stay in there. None of us had any jackets or anything with us and it was bloody freezing! It took me forever and a day to warm back up.

We headed over to the Trick-Eye Museum which was right up our street as it was mostly just photo opportunities but as it was nearing closing time we were literally tag-teaming getting some decent photos, kicking our bags to the next thing and then starting all over again. For the first few rooms I was genuinely sweating my balls off as we tried to get everything done. We did calm down in the end and the museum was tons of fun, I’d definitely recommend if you’re visiting Seoul. As it was late we had the place pretty much to ourselves and it was so much fun.

SM Town Videos

SM Town

As massive K-Pop fans we couldn’t have visited Seoul without a trip to SM Town so it was one of the first things we did. The museum was fun as it was cool to spot all the references to our favourite K-Pop artists but arguably the best bit about it were the photo opportunities.

On the top floor there was a photo booth where you could take a photo with two K-Pop artists of your choice – I chose mine quickly as I just wanted Sunny from Girls’ Generation who came with Tiffany which was fine by me, and then Jess chose hers relatively quickly and Becca took forever a day. Then when she finally did settle on someone she closed her eyes just as they took the photo so she had to retake it.

Then there was a section of the museum that you had to pay to enter and as you walked through each group had their own ‘room’ and just like the photo booth there were photo opportunities but these were more fun as two members would saunter onto the screen as if they were really preparing to pose with you and then the rest of the members just appeared as photos. In this room they also had small intros – for example my favourite one was in Super Junior which was ‘Mamacita’ themed, two members came on the screen and had a ‘shoot-out’. There was also two toy gun props and a cowboy hat – Becca donned both and made me pee my pants as she pretended to fire straight into the air – it’s hard to explain but there’s a video on my Instagram and I laugh every time I watch it.

It was really fun going from room to room pretending to interact with my favourite idols – if you’re a K-Pop fan in Seoul I definitely recommend a visit to SM Town as I imagine most K-Pop fans are fans of at least one SM group.

Lotte World

Lotte World

I wrote a long post about everything we got up to here but theme park days on long trips are NECESSARY! It’s a chance to just have fun without getting stressed about getting from one tourist spot to the next or running out of time to do everything etc. It was nice to just relax and have a good look around.

Unfortunately as we didn’t know much about Lotte World I don’t think we planned the day as well as we could have. For example the big thrill rides were in the outside section which we didn’t discover until the early evening which by that point all the queues were massive. I didn’t mind too much as I’m not a big thrill ride kind of person but I know Becca and Jess are so we should’ve gone outside first but we had no idea it existed!

My favourite parts were probably the parades as they were just whacky. I still get the ‘you’ve got a pum-pum-pumpkin head’ song stuck in my head occasionally and it was just a lot of fun. So was the night parade with the indoor fireworks. If in Seoul I’d definitely go back to Lotte World ‘cos it was just so much fun!

Karaoke

Karaoke

My favourite night from the trip! We took tons of videos and I love rewatching them, especially the ‘Lie’ (Jimin) video because we sound so drunk even though we were sober. We definitely wanted to do Karaoke whilst in Asia and Seoul seemed to have a lot of places to do it so Jess found one and off we went.

We were given a room for an hour and it was quite small with no windows but as there was only three of us it fitted our needs just fine, there were even maracas and tambourines for us. Unfortunately only two mics but it didn’t matter as we just shared. On our way to the room we could hear people in the other rooms and I don’t think we once heard anyone singing an upbeat song, everyone was singing slow ballads – if they could hear us they probably hated us.

In the first room we kicked it off with ‘Bang Bang’ by Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj but I also remember singing Mic Drop by BTS, Bang Bang Bang by Big Bang, Breaking Free from High School Musical, Boombayah by Black Pink and Waterloo by ABBA. I can’t remember everything but all our songs were upbeat and we sounded like messes – especially when we had to sing in Korean.

Once the hour was up we didn’t want to stop so we went downstairs and paid for another hour. Becca also grabbed us each a bottle of water as screaming lyrics for an hour had absolutely killed our throats. We were given a different room number and when we went up it was bigger with a large window which although felt nicer as it was less claustrophobic meant that people could see into the room whilst we did karaoke. It definitely didn’t stop us though!

In here we sang Lie by BTS’ Jimin, Shake It Off by Taylor Swift, Hello B*tches by CL, Ring Ding Dong by SHINee and I’m sure tons of other songs – we also sang Sorry Sorry by Super Junior, I’m pretty sure that was our last one, and as Becca was doing the choreography she looked out the window and noticed two guys from the street were watching her.

That night was so much fun and we got some amazing videos of it – the only downside was that our throats killed by the end of the night but never mind, definitely worth it.

So there we have it, my five favourite memories from Seoul! Let me know yours if you’ve ever been or what you’d like to do if given the opportunity to visit.

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Favourites as a Teenager vs Favourites Now

Me 2

It’s safe to say I’ve changed quite a bit since I was a teenager and I’d say it’s definitely for the best. I’m generally more positive and a lot less cringe than I was back then. But sometimes it’s nice to have a throw back to when you were a teenager so I figured I’d look back at my favourites then against my favourites now.

Favourite Band

Thirteen Year-Old Me: My Chemical Romance

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Twenty-Two Year Old Me: BTS

BTS 3

I was obsessed with My Chemical Romance in Secondary School. You can ask literally anyone I went to school with what my favourite band was back then and they would answer ‘My Chemical Romance’ with no hesitation. It all started when I met a girl named Jasmine in Religious Studies and she told me she was a massive fan of the band. I liked her and wanted to be her friend so I gave them a listen and ended up falling completely in love with them. I wrote more about it in this post here but yeah, I absolutely loved My Chemical Romance more than anything.

As me and Jasmine drifted apart my interests began to change, as they would’ve anyway because I was growing up and slowly I became a big fan of K-Pop. It’s the kind of music I trashed all the time as a teenager even though I secretly enjoyed it. I used to only listen to girl groups but when my friend Becca became a fan of K-Pop she recommended BTS to me and although I liked them and enjoyed their music I wouldn’t have said I ‘loved’ them until seeing them at K-Con Paris. Ironically we only went because I think Jess would’ve combusted if we hadn’t but it was like unscrewing the cork off a bottle because since then I love them and have seen them live three more times paying obscene amounts of money each time. And I don’t doubt I’ll continue to in the future if they return to Europe.

Favourite Movie

Thirteen Year-Old Me: Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging

Angus Thongs and perfect Snogging

Twenty-Two Year-Old Me: Room

Room Still 3

I guess my taste in movies is now slightly more depressing? I don’t know. Fun Fact, I hated horror movies when I was thirteen, I don’t think I actually started enjoying them until I was maybe sixteen? My sister made me watch ‘The Descent’ when I was like eleven and I was okay with that but refused to watch other horror movies.

I’m getting off topic. I imagine my favourite film changed a lot in Secondary School but I can remember borrowing this movie off my friend Jasmine and coming home to watch it most evenings after school. I don’t know what it was about it but I just loved it – I still do to be fair. I remember watching it in school as well and for some reason as soon as it was done our English teacher went online and bought the Angus t-shirt that Robbie wears at the end of the movie.

I’m not sure what I love about the movie ‘Room’ so much. I quite like a weepy film ‘cos I also love ‘My Sisters Keeper’. It’s just such a good film and at least it has a happy ending. I’m not sure what thirteen year old me would’ve thought of it though!

Favourite TV Show

Thirteen Year-Old Me: iCarly

iCarly 2

Twenty-Two Year-Old Me: Derry Girls

Derry Girls 3.jpg

My TV show obsessions didn’t start until I was about sixteen and for some reason they faded away a few years later because now I don’t particularly have much attention span for TV shows. I’ll acknowledge that I’m enjoying a show but the episodes are so long that I tend to lose interest mid-way or don’t have the motivation to sit and watch the next one.

As a teenager I loved Nick and Disney shows, as much as I didn’t want to love them because they were ‘babyish’ but whoops I did love them. I think as a thirteen year old iCarly was probably my favourite show. I’m trying to narrow it down to a particular favourite episode but I can’t think of one! I don’t know many teenagers who didn’t love these shows so it’s weird that we were all so embarrassed to admit it to each other until we were a bit older? Like I’m pretty sure we were the target audience?

I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts that as I’ve gotten older my attention span for TV shows has lowered. I do like watching things on Netflix like ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ but I just don’t have the motivation to force myself to watch something that’s an hour long. I’ve recently started enjoying ‘Derry Girls’ though because the episodes aren’t long (in fact I wouldn’t mind if the Derry Girls episodes were longer) and I just think it’s hilarious. I sort of spoilt the episodes for myself by watching the best bits on YouTube over and over again but it doesn’t make the show any less enjoyable – in fact it’s quite nice to have more context to the jokes! I can’t wait for them to release Season Three because I only have one episode left of Season Two and I’m not looking forward to being completely caught up.

My favourite episode is definitely the prom episode, it was just perfect from start to finish. Hilarious and heart-warming all at the same time. Perfection!

Dream Career: Writer

Author

Actual Career: Business Support Officer

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Although my dream to be a writer hasn’t disappeared I’ve had to accept reality and get a proper job for the time being. After quitting university I did a couple of jobs – worked at a Victorian museum, did a week at a large convenience store (I was a Christmas temp) and became a care worker. But then I accepted a job as an apprentice at my local council, spent 18 months doing that and then got accepted as a Business Support Officer the day before my contract ran out.

I never imagined myself working in an office but here I am and I’ve found I actually quite enjoy it! I get a good amount of money and I get on well with my team. The job role can be difficult at times but it’s in a team I’d been interested in as an apprentice and I feel really lucky to have been offered the job. I don’t know what thirteen year old me would think of that, I was convinced I’d never do an apprenticeship or work in an office but I guess life is funny like that.

Celebrity Crush – Singer

Thirteen Year-Old Me: Gerard Way

Gerard Way

Twenty-Two Year Old Me: J-Hope

J-Hope 2

First of all I suppose it’s good that my celebrity crush singer is actually closer to my age. I was obsessed with Gerard Way as a thirteen year old who was in his thirties at the time – something my Mom was keen to point out to me all the time “He’s old enough to be your Dad!” Didn’t stop me having the world’s biggest crush on him though. I still think he’s good-looking but I wouldn’t say I have a crush on him now.

I’m not really sure I have a ‘crush’ on J-Hope but like I do love him, he’s my absolute K-Pop bias so maybe it is a crush, I don’t know? I don’t think I particularly would’ve imagined myself being a K-Pop fan as a teenager. Well, I don’t think I’d have imagined myself being a pop fan at all as a teenager because I was so determined to be a rock and metal enthusiast. But my music taste has definitely expanded so that’s a positive I guess?

Celebrity Crush – Actor

Thirteen Year-Old Me: Zac Efron

Zac Efron 2

Twenty-Two Year-Old Me: Chris Pine

Chris Pine 2

To tell you the truth I’m ball parking about the thirteen year-old actor celebrity crush because for a while I didn’t really get the appeal in fancying actors. Like musicians I understood, I had tons of musician celebrity crushes but never really thought about many actors. I think most girls probably had a little crush on Zac Efron at some point and although I never would’ve admitted it as a teenager I probably did have one.

When I started watching Supernatural at sixteen I completely understood the actor hype and now I have tons of actor crushes. Tom Holland, Tom Hiddleston, Will Poulter, Thomas Brodie-Sangster just to name a few… But my favourites probably been Chris Pine since I saw him in ‘Horrible Bosses 2’ so yeah…

Favourite Book

Thirteen Year-Old Me: Anything by Jacqueline Wilson I guess

Jacqueline Wilson

Twenty-Two Year-Old Me: Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill

Only Ever Yours

I personally think Jacqueline Wilson is an absolute genius and even at twenty-two I always buy her new releases and enjoy reading them. At thirteen I can’t really remember my favourite specific book but I would’ve still loved anything Jacqueline Wilson related. Fun fact when I was sixteen there was one morning a week in tutor where my friends weren’t there and I was by myself so instead of going on my phone I started taking a book to school with me. One week I brought a Jacqueline Wilson book with me to which my teacher said “Babes those books are for year sevens?” When I told my Mom she hit the roof “HOW DARE SHE DISCOURAGE YOU FROM READING?” but luckily didn’t go in and make a complaint or anything as that would’ve just been embarrassing.

On my 16th birthday Jacqueline Wilson was doing a book signing in London so I begged my Mom to take me and she did because she’s awesome. It was a great birthday weekend, my Mom surprised me with tickets to see Wicked as I’d been begging her for ages and the book talk and signing was incredible to. I think I was the oldest one there but I didn’t even care haha!

I can’t remember when I first read ‘Only Ever Yours’ but for that first read although I definitely enjoyed it I wouldn’t go as far as to say it was my favourite book. Over the years though there’s just something about it that I really love. Like my taste in movies this book is more depressing than I would’ve enjoyed at thirteen but there’s just something about it I really love?

I travelled to London by myself to go to a Louise O’Neill book signing and fun fact that was the first time I ever stayed in a hotel by myself. Lisa Williamson and David Leviathan were also at the event, I hadn’t heard of either of them at the time but read one book of each of theirs before I went and realised I was a fan of both their work too. The talk was a lot of fun and the signing was funny – I’d tweeted the authors earlier in the day to say I was on my way to London for their signings and Louise looked at the post-it with my name on and was like “I remember your tweet because I thought you were Hozier and I was really excited but then I was disappointed when I realised- Not to say that you’re a disappointment of course!”

So there we have it, I can’t think of any other favourites to compare but um I think it’s safe to say that I’m quite different from thirteen year-old me. I think she would’ve been disappointed reading this but I’m a lot happier and secure within myself than I was at thirteen so there’s always that!