Monday, August 23

Leaving on a Jet Plane...

I wrote this in the airport on August 8th, but I'm back-blogging because I just this set up -  I've been here for 2 weeks to the day.  I did my best to "e-journal" some things, so I wouldn't forget everything. So, now I'm going to go back and try to fill in some of the blanks.  
Why this? Why now? Why South Korea? Those were a few of the many questions I thought about and some questions friends and family asked me before I left.  The most concise answer I can give is: Why not? :) My hope is that my experiences, friendships I make, and students I have the priviledge of teaching will give others a glimpse into why I chose to do this. 
The weeks leading up to my departure were an absolute whirlwind.  Document stops, government offices to get everything notarized and apostilled, I became a frequent visiter of FedEx to rush deliver documents to South Korea (note: is VERY expensive).  I felt like I was playing amazing race!  At the time, I was still employed - headhunter by day and scurrying gopher at night.  I accomplished a lot in a very short amount of time.  I sold my car, had my dog adopted (by a family member - thank goodness), quit my job, and packed up all my belongings.  Any ONE of those things would be a major life event and I just happened to combine them all into about  a 4 week period. Before I knew it, I'd resigned, said goodbye to friends and family and found myself at my dad's house Saturday the 7th, the night before my adventure began, doing the final packing session.  Still, after all this it hadn't set in that I was moving. to South Korea. for a YEAR. :) 
My "last meal" stateside, though my dad and Trish offered to cook a big farewell dinner, was Sir Pizza :) a comfort food of mine! It was a relaxing evening.  My main goal was to feel good about packing, take a shower and straighten my hair (which was the LAST time I straightened my hair to date) and make sure I didn't oversleep.  I fell asleep around 12:30.  My alarm went off a short 4 hours later - I hopped up to shower and do last minute packing to make sure I hadn't left out anything extremely OBVIOUS and then did the final zippings, carried the bags to the car and dad and I were off to the airport at 5:30. We got to the airport around 6:00am.  I'd been a little worried about my bags being too heavy.  I went so far as to drag my dad's scale our of his bathroom to weigh the bags.  When they were both over, I gave up, and settled with paying the additional charges for HEAVY bags.  When I got to the counter, the Delta attendant let my first bag slide, even though it was 53 lbs. - 3 pounds over.  I graciously thanked her, and nervously looked at bag 2.  59. 59 lbs.!!!! "M'am I'm going to need you to remove 9 lbs. from this bag.  I know you don't want to pay the overweight fee. "  Usually, no I wouldn't have, but seeing as though this was a year of my life we're talking about, I might could be convinced to pay a little extra.  "It's $150.00"  "$$150 DOLLARS!?!?" I exclaimed and promptly pulled my bag over to relieve my bag of 9 whole pounds.  My dad had gone to park the car, and he walked in to find me scurrying to take out towels, books, and anything else deemed unnecessary.  I proudly marched back up to the counter - 42.  Well, hey I still have 8 lbs. I can take.  So, I turned around and added more weight to my bag.  Hey, I get 50 lbs.! :)
My flight to Atlanta went by really quickly – I talked to a few friends and got a few farewell texts sent off since that was the last time my phone would work. I teared up a little bit mid flight and might have had a slight panic attack – that’s when I’d been on the plane for about 7 hours so I’ll attribute that to sleep deprivation.  I thought about how terrible I was for leaving Sadie behind, and selling my car, leaving my friends….
The 14 hour flight to Tokyo wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. Thank goodness my grandmother and Jackie mentioned Tylenol PM – I got about 4-5 hours of sleep on the plane.  The weirdest thing was how it NEVER got dark – it was bright the entire time, but they did a great job of darkening the cabin and everyone had their windows closed.
I watched 3 movies (When in Rome, Backup Plan, and started Greenberg with Ben Stiller)
I arrived in Tokyo and was happy to be able to stretch my legs. I freshened up a bit, brushed my teeth. Thank goodness someone asked for my ticket, I was about to catch a ride to another terminal and probably would have missed my flight – I’m glad Brent’s meeting me at the airport – def weird that it’s 4 in the morning my time – I just want to lay flat and I want my pillow…
My plane to Busan boards in about 15 mins – jI ust wanted to jot down a few notes before I forget all this stuff – my brain is turning to mush
Goals – learn the language, make a difference in my students’ lives – enjoy teaching, embrace a new culture, be open minded/flexible! :)

Excited to see my new home! 

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