I’m writing this post from a cafe in Seoul! After months and months of preparations and saying goodbye to loved ones, I am finally here!
My trip began in Miami after a perfectly lovely evening in Coral Gables with my parents. We ate dinner in a cozy French restaurant and walked around to shop a bit. We grabbed a coffee at a trendy cafe then headed back to the hotel. It was the perfect last night to spend with them.
I tried to go to sleep early, especially considering my pre-trip nerves at been pretty bad the night before and I hardly slept, but of course when you need it the most sleep tends to evade you. And evade me it did.
So after a fun night of almost no sleep our alarms went off at 4am to head to the airport to make my 6:45am flight.
My bags were overweight, as I expected, but the guy at the counter told me that I could upgrade my first flight to business class and then the bags would be checked for free to my final destination. It worked out to be exactly the same price between paying for the overweight bags and upgrading my ticket, so that’s what I did.
And it was incredible. I mean I knew it was going to be nicer than economy but I didn’t know it was going to be that nice. When I sat down they handed me an orange juice and an iPad to use during the flight. And the stewardess called me “my love” in this very elegant breezy voice the whole time. I felt super out-of-place next to all the swanky business men but it was amazing. And I was actually able to sleep a bit which does not happen often for me on planes.
And I got to watch the sunrise as we left which is always a treat.
I opted for the “healthy” breakfast option and it was fabulous.
We landed in a very snowy Toronto around 10am.
A little preview of the weather that I’m going to be living in for the next few months.
My layover was only 1 hour so before I knew it I was on the plane bracing myself for the very long 14 hours a head of me. I sat next to a cute couple, the wife was Thai and the husband America. They were on their way to visit her family and we chatted for a while. I don’t usually get seated near to friendly/chatty people so this was nice for a change.
I mostly just watched movies and tv the whole time and waited for them to bring the next meal. The guy to the front right of me was watching my current favorite Korean drama on his phone so I did a lot of watching that over his shoulder too.
The first 10 hours were honestly not too bad, but when we hit the “4 hours left” mark I was ready to go crazy. I didn’t sleep at all the entire flight so to say that I was looking a little haggard when we finally landed would be an understatement.
My first ever Korean friend who I met during my first semester teaching at the ELI met me at the airport and it felt like everything had come full circle. Who would have thought that we would be living in the country again, and this time because I’m in Korea.
We enjoyed each other’s company and a coffee before she helped me get on the bus to my other friends house where I will be staying for about a week.
The bus ride was about an hour and when I got off it was absolutely freezing.
I waited a few minutes for my friend, realizing that I was in no way mentally or physically prepared for how cold it is here. Once she found me we, with great difficulty, shoved, my giant bags into a taxi and went back to her place. We talked for a long time, I took a shower, and passed out at about 8pm.
We ended up sleeping in until about noon which is more sleep than I’ve gotten in the past few days combined, so I’m feeling pretty good today. I’m really hoping I’ve killed the jet lag before it starts. I suppose I’ll find out in the next few days if it worked. Last time it took me a solid 4 or 5 days before I really felt like I was getting past the jet lag. So it would be really nice to avoid that.
Anyway, I’m feeling fabulous today and so so happy to finally be here. It’s great to be in this country again, great to be with friends that I haven’t seen in so long, and great to feel like I’m on the verge of starting something incredible. I’ll have a lot of free time in the next week so hopefully I’ll be able to get a lot of posts up before things get crazy with orientation.
Thanks for reading. Hope you’re well!