How much do I miss living in Seoul?

Looking back on all the years I lived in Seoul, I have to confess that I had gotten pretty spoiled and took a lot of things for granted. Now that I’ve been living outside of the city for the past six months, it’s time for me to come clean.

Over the years, one thing that I often talked about with my family and friends, sometimes wrote about in one of my columns or blogged about was how dynamic, vibrant, and fascinating it was to live in Seoul. To be sure, having lived in Seoul from 1990-2006, I got to watch the city grow and change almost on a daily basis.

At the same time, I also got to share in many of the city’s triumphs and successes like the 2002 World Cup celebrations downtown and the historic restoration of Chongyyecheon a few years ago. And I also got to share in some of its tragedies with the collapse of the Songsu Bridge in 1994 and the Sampoong Department Store the following year.

From the first time I explored Seoul one cold, damp December weekend in 1990 to my last outing in the city as a “Seoulite” last year, I never felt alone or alienated in the city. I never had any trouble finding my way around or dealing with the traffic or crowded shopping areas like Myong-dong or Namdaemun. For myself, every time I ventured out in the city whether heading downtown to my fitness club or crossing the Han River at night was an adventure for me.

Check out the rest of my op-ed styling here.