I have never, in all my twenty-three years, experienced a springtime half as beautiful as I have here in Korea.
The Pacific Northwest has a springtime, sure, but springtime in the PNW is cold and wet, and marked only by the sprouting of daffodils from beneath the hardened winter ground. In the PNW, spending any more than thirty minutes outside in spring will turn your hands red stiff with cold and your shoes damp from the wet ground. Don’t get me wrong, the PNW springs are beautiful. Everything is rich and green and new, but it is hard to enjoy springtime and be outside.
This is not the case in Korea.
According to people who have lived here for many years, this past winter was mild, and springtime came early and fast this year. By mid-March we were already having sunny days in the high sixties; I haven’t needed to wear a jacket in almost a month. If it does rain, it is a warm rain, not the cold rain that soaks your clothes and chills you to the bone. Also, if you are walking around on a sunny day, and you pay close enough attention, you can smell the flowers in the air (although, knowing Korea it wouldn’t surprise me if they had installed fragrance sprayers in the street to imitate the smells of spring).
However, by far the best part about springtime in Korea is the cherry blossoms.
I took every opportunity I could to travel around Seoul, taking as many photos of cherry blossoms as I could. It was quite the challenge, because the cherry blossoms were only in bloom for less than two weeks. Needless to say, I had my weekends jam-packed. Here are some of my favorite photos I took of my springtime in South Korea: