The goodbyes and I love yous have been said. Hugs and well wishes have been given. Here we go to the opposite side of the world. Right now Curt and I are fiddling around with our websites on the flight to South Korea. Aside from some occasional turbulence, the WiFi and delicious-for-an-airline meal have made for a pretty comfortable trip thus far. Yesterday we did run into a bit of turbulence. We had a couple bumps along the way with getting off on the wrong stop from the train, and getting off at the wrong gate this morning. One more navigational whoopsie and then I think we’ll have it all out of our systems and be experts from then on.
In light of trying to emphasize the safety aspect of my traveling, I’m attempting to use this travel time to research as much as I can about the future destinations and familiarize myself with some basic survival phrases. We will be arriving at night, which is generally something to be avoided when arriving at a new place, especially after 18 hours of travel. Luckily, we have a place to stay and a pretty good route mapped out to get there. I think having some knowledge of the language is also a good way to help you feel more comfortable in a place. As Americans we usually have this mentality that if you’re in our country, you better speak English, but then on top of that we also expect people in other countries to speak English. If you at least greet someone in their native tongue while visiting another country, you are showing them respect and I feel that will encourage people to be nicer to us. I found this to be true in France, where most local Parisians were pretty rude to us when we spoke with our American accents, but once I asked for something in French, someone praised my language skills and handed me a piece of candy. That seemed like some pretty good evidence to support the theory. Plus, people appreciate familiarity. We strive for connectedness with others. Nevertheless, nothing is a perfect science and there’s nice people and rude people everywhere, but at least if we can come off like the nice people, we’ll hopefully get that reciprocated to us.
So far there’s been a fair amount of fun. We had a train beer heading to the hotel last night, and the stress-free travel so far is pretty enjoyable. Once we actually arrive somewhere, then we can really dive into the fun.
Anyway, at this point there hasn’t been much to report in terms of interesting occurances. I changed my watch to 12 hours ahead and am strategically planning how I will best be able to adapt to the time difference with my sleep patterns. I’ve calculated that means I should take a nap now, so stay tuned for what it was like to hangout in a United Club Lounge and how we maneuver Seoul, South Korea at night.
Onward and Upward,