17 years old and outside of Seoul

Courtesy of Ivy Cho

Living in Suncheon as a teenage girl who likes to hangout is pretty boring. There’s little in the way of entertainment for someone my age. It is all about navigating the same neighborhoods, the same streets, and the same people. Everything is familiar. Nothing is new. Life is described by that word: same.

Sometimes, it feels like our world is confined within these narrow alleys, where every corner holds a memory, and every face tells a story we already know. There are no strangers. Everyone we meet knows someone we know, and so on, and so on. This makes me feel safe but, at the same time, the sense of familiarity can feel suffocating, as if the eyes of the city are always watching me. For teenagers going through puberty, this is doubly-hard. Anonymity is a luxury only those who live in a city know about.

And all the fun things in life seem to be in Seoul: K-pop idol concerts, pop-up stores, amusement parks and cool cafes. Whenever me and my friends are there we can’t keep our eyes off of the random streets, the faces, the clothes. The concrete jungle and crowds. For someone from Suncheon, even the subway in Seoul is kinda exciting to 안전 be honest. When you’re used to traffic and buses, the idea of going underground and quickly traversing the city is mental! Yet here in Suncheon, we are way down in the south. Literally the other side of the country. That’s why people in Seoul are generally surprised by how far away my home is.

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