Friday, October 30, 2009

Not all who wander are lost

I am in Korea. I can't describe the feeling I had waking up that first morning. I looked around at my surroundings which were so different from everything I have ever known. It is hard to summarize our trip here so I'll do my best.

We flew to Seattle on one of the most turbulent flights I have ever been on. Once in Seattle, we had a six hour layover. We enjoyed our last moments on American soil before boarding the magnificent Korean Air 777. I can't explain how comfortable this flight was. The attendants were so efficent and nice. It was a 12 hour flight that felt like it went by in no time. We had our little tv screens with games, movies, music (you could make your own playlist!), and a map of where we were on the globe. We had good food, free wine (saving grace for the first few hours), and hot towels!

Our plane in Seattle

The moment we landed in Seoul (Incheon) I was in shock. That was a big moment. The airport was almost devoid of people so we quickly passed through immigration and the H1N1 checkpoint. We gathered our bags, threw them on a cart, and walked out into South Korea. We made some quick calls and emails to family and headed to buy bus tickets to Taegu. We bought them with ten minutes to get to the bus and call our school. Needless to say, we had to get on the bus without call the school first and Corinne had to call from the bus on her cell phone (not sure what that will run...). The five hour bus ride was a blur because I immediatley fell asleep.

So we made it to our apartments and we were promptly informed that we would be taken to the school at 9:30; mind you it was after midnight when we got in. No rest for us! The next day was a blur of giggling kids, instructions, lesson plans, and exhaustion. Our school is just a ten minute walk and we are already familar with it both during the day and at night. We can get to a few places, but this weekend is for exploring a few more blocks. We have picked up only a tiny bit of neccessary Korean and I hope to learn much more.

I will post many pictures and videos in the next few weeks!

annyonghi kyeseyo!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Leaving on a jet plane

Next Tuesday, we will be on our way to Seoul. It has been down to the wire of course. Our visa process didn't go smoothly. After Corinne and I each submitted two videos and had a various number of issues with those videos, they have cleared and our visas are being mailed tomorrow. So, like everything else, we will get our passports back barely in time to fly out. Hopefully...

So this week, there is lots to do. Lots. We have to make sure we pack all the things we are going to need. I will have to make some choices because of the weight and size limits on our luggage. We can only have two checked bags that have to be 62" or less in total size (width+length+height)and 50 lbs or less. Our carry on bags have to be less than 45" and less than 25 lbs. Packing for four seasons is likely going to be the biggest challenge yet. Bringing things like sheets, towels, coats, boots, shoes, work outfits, casual stuff, outdoor clothing and a hundred other things is going to be daunting. So all week Corinne and I are going to check with each other and plan things out to make sure we remind each other of the things we might be forgetting.

On another note, we had a little going away party with our friends. So many people came out which was amazing to me. We had a hat theme and everybody looked adorable. It was tough to think that it was going to be the last time I would see some of those who came for a year. However, the well wishes and the excitement for our trip were reassuring to hear. It is never easy to take a blind leap into something new, but I hope that we inspire others to do the same thing. While I can think of a thousand reasons to stay here in Montana, around everything and everyone I know, I can think of one reason not to for now. I need something else. Something bigger in my life that I get to learn from, grow with, and experience. I want to have exciting stories of world travels that I can share with others.

Elizabeth and I at the hat party :)

So my next entry will likely be from Daegu, South Korea. Wow.

Currently listening to: Leaving on a Jet Plane; Peter, Paul and Mary.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

tick tock

I swear that yesterday was May and I was just beginning this process. I can't believe how quickly the time has passed, and how little time left there is. While it seemed like it was forever away, it is only a matter of days. This being said, we are still waiting on the Consulate in Seattle. I have sent them my video interview (which nobody will ever see except myself and the Consulate. It was embarassing). So we still have no exact departure date/time. This makes me a little nervous seeing as our friends and family really want to know!

With time going so quickly, it makes me wonder if time will pass this quickly once I leave. I assume that some days will fly, and others will drag. There will amazing days where I'm excited and ready for anything. There will also be days where I will probably just want to jump on the next plane out. Or I simply have no idea what to anticipate and the way I feel could be a total surprise. It is probably going to be the latter.

I am trying to enjoy my last weeks in Montana for a whole year. It is so bittersweet of course, which makes it hard to enjoy sometimes. There have been moments that I never wanted to end. The snow makes it that much harder because it is so beautiful and makes everything look perfect. All I know for sure is that I have an amazing place to return to, and that makes me feel so much better.

Sacajawea Peak, Bridger, Montana.

Currently Listening to: George Winston, Goodbye Montana,Part 2