Niel… “I went to England!” (1)

July 2010, 6 member male idol group Teen Top took the stage. Beginning with their debut song “Clap”, followed by the release of “No More Perfume On You” “Crazy” “To You” “Be Ma Girl” etc, they have matured. They debuted as the youngest idol group with all the members in their 10s, but now more than half the members are in their 20s and they have welcomed their 2nd anniversary. Having had no rest all these while, Teen Top took the extended Chuseok holiday to have a 10 day 9 night vacation. Not the “Teen Top” we know that shows off their diverse charms on stage, they are back to their everyday lives.

Not too long ago, we were given a 10-day break for the first time after our debut. Yahoo! Although we had been given short breaks of one or two days in the past, this was the first time we received such a long break. Hence it was even more special and was really enjoyable! I was able to recharge and was able to look back at all the things I’ve done. It was a precious and sweet 10 day 9 night break!

After being granted the break, the first thought that came into my mind was ‘holiday’.  When I was asked about my dreams during interviews or broadcasts, my first answer would be “I want to become a world renowned singer like Michael Jackson and move the hearts of people”. When I was asked to be more in-depth, I would answer without any hesitation “to travel around the world”

“Break…. A 10 day break… I’ve to leave no matter what. With the goal to travel around the world in mind, “I have to take a step closer” so I called my cousin in England. Since my cousin was in England, I’m sure my parents will be more than willing to let me go^^

“Hyung~ I’m going to England in the last week of September so be prepared~!”

Niel’s sweet 10 day 9 night vacation, starts!

Till the eve of the trip, I couldn’t hide my excitement as I removed and added stuff into my luggage. Since it was going to be a long time we’ll spend apart from our parents, we told our mom that we’ll return safely. After reassuring them, we took the first huge step.

As I tried to calm my excitement,  us brothers: me, my reliable elder brother and my mischievous younger brother, which I couldn’t spend a lot of time with after my debut, boarded the plane together.

The 3 things I must do in London! Have game of soccer with my English friends on a plain field; Take a proof shot as a passionate fan of Harry Potter and watching a musical at the opera house! I set those as my goals and we landed in Heathrow airport after 15 hours on the plane. Ah ah~ This is England! I felt a sense of unfamiliarity. Finally “holidays in London” was about to begin!

I thought no one would recognized me but I heard a voice shouting “Niel, Niel” from somewhere; there were fans who recognized me and asked me for my autograph. Though I looked a little disheveled after the long plane ride ^^ I was surprised that we Teen Top have fans supporting us even in England but I felt great. It was a moment where I thought to myself that we have to work even harder in the future.

The first place we visited in London was England’s Parliament and the clock tower Big Ben. Having only seen these places only in photos or movies, we three brothers were overjoyed to see it in person. It felt as though a scene in the movie was playing right in front of us. It was indeed the indisputable symbol of England. It was magnificent and it shone.

And the Buckingham Palace! Although we couldn’t enter the place, just by staring at the calm and peaceful palace, I even imagined myself as Prince William.

The first destination of my pleasant London trip was British Parliament and the clock tower Big Ben. Seeing the places where I’ve only seen in photos previously, it felt as though a movie was going to take place with the tower appearing in it. No matter what, it was the symbol of England.

Out of the sudden I thought about what if I had came with my members. We could immerse in making a variety of poses, singing and dancing in front of the place, it would have been enjoyable.. Next time, I have to come with the members to England!

Among all the things I had wanted to do in England, the first one to be fulfilled was watching a musical at the Opera House!

After a light dinner, my brothers and I were excited to be able to fulfil our dream of watching an opera in England; we arrived at the Royal Opera House. I watched a musical called ‘Ghost Patrol’ which was written by the writers of Lion King. It was as touching as the movie ‘Lion King’ and was equally dramatic. I was able to immerse myself in the music at the Opera House.

It was different from the delight I felt standing on the musical stage as a child actor or the stages I’ve performed on after I’ve debuted. I couldn’t help but admire.

Out of the sudden, I thought “Can I also present the thrill to the fans with our music and performances?”. So that night, I spent a few hours watching Teen Top’s performances. After being touched by the emotions at the opera, “I have to show that I feel the thrill on stage!”

3 years into our debut, although there’s still a long way to go, we have been always working hard and giving our best. My desire to let the whole world know about Teen Top deepened. Though at times I felt worn out and whined to the people around me, but after this vacation ends, I’ll go back to Korea and work even harder! I promise to be a even more hardworking Teen Top Niel.

A place you can’t leave out in England, the King Cross Station that appears in the books of Harry Potter Go! Go!

It was really kind of England to leave signboards to guide us to Platform 9 ¾. Although it was a little hard to find it even with the signboards, we saw the Platform! We were absorbed in taking the photos of us pushing the carts, just like how the students had to do to get to Hogwarts Wizard School of Magic. Prince William at Buckingham Palace, but transforming into Harry Potter right now!

Not having to care about the people’s gazes, laughing out loud, humming to songs, I was indeed having a holiday. Maybe I was really happy. Even just looking at my elder brother, my younger brother, we laughed and fooled around. In England, I was able to make up for the times where I couldn’t meet them due to my schedule.

On an overseas trip, it was a delight to see fellow Koreans. When I heard people speaking in Korean, I would definitely turn back to look around! This is my patriotism^^ Even so in England. Korean tourists recognized me, said hi to me, I couldn’t have been more grateful. I smiled even more brightly than usual.

Although I’m as equally patriotic in Korea, especially when out of Korea, in order to display the pride of Korea, I think I become even more cautious of my every action. Even with the freedom, there was no way I can ruin the reputation of Korea with my mistakes! I think all the Korean tourists share the same sentiments.

I was secretly looking forward the soccer match with my English friends because being a soccer player was a dream of my mine before I because a singer. “Soccer was my dream in elementary school, how about a match against Europe?” But, maybe it’s because the trip had worn me out, I barely had enough stamina to last the first half of the game and I ended up giving up. Of course I claimed that they had advantage because it was home ground for them, I left the stadium sadly! (Actually it was just a game with the English elementary school kids who dream to be soccer playersㅠㅠ)

After we were done with the itinerary for the day, we went home and talked about the photos we have taken. The whole trip felt like a dream, but we also started missing Seoul. The night in England slowly deepened.

All thanks to my cousin, we were able to find all the hidden great places in England. If I were to talk about the trip in England, I think I would need to stay up the whole night and I probably won’t be able to finish talking about it. The places where I could not capture in my camera: Winsor Castle, Tower Bridge, London Museum etc! The places where I could not capture in my camera, I’ll keep them in my heart forever.

The day before we ended the break, I kept thinking about the things we have done since the first day. Feeling a sense of pity, I looked at the photos once again. As I looked at my brothers’ having fun, I smiled and memories started to flood back.

After the happy times in London, while on the place back to Korea, what do you think was the first thing I would think of,  Buckingham Palace? The sweet ice cream? Or the painting-like scenery? No no! It was my mom’s cooking and tofu stew. After running around in London and the sudden thought was food, although it’s quite funny, but I really do miss my mom’s cooking!

My sweet first vacation. While my brothers were having fun, I was looking up at the London sky. I made a promise while looking at the clear blue sky. That I wanted to be a singer who can bring love and touch the hearts of even more people. A sweet vacation, happily running around and laughing out loud! It was a great healing time that recharged me. As I looked up at the London sky, I was ready to take the leap of faith. To slowly fulfil the promise I made.. And this was how my happy first vacation ended.

Written by: Niel

eng trans: @oursupaluv
source: Naver