Moving Abroad To South Korea

Traveling to Seoul, South Korea from Los Angeles, California

December 07, 2016

I woke up in the morning feeling incredibly sick.  I don’t know whether it was because my mind wouldn’t stop racing or the insurmountable to-do lists I needed to complete before I left the United States later that night.  I quit my job and I was leaving everything that was familiar.  What was I thinking?  

I can’t believe I made this decision, but then in a way, I can totally believe this was where my life was headed.  I had watched Korean dramas, variety shows and listened to Kpop music for the last two years.  When I was younger I wouldn’t have waited this long to make the plunge.  I would have dived head first and dealt with the consequences later.

Travel Clinic

I went to the travel clinic only because my former boss concerns ring in my hears regarding getting my shots.  After checking out the Center for Disease Control and Prevention it seems like everybody wants to put the fear of God in me before I leave.  

Sitting in the travel clinic listening to the H1N1 unsanitary living situations and unsanitized meat and I’m left with even more worries.  I don’t have a fear of going to live in a country alone, it’s getting sick and having no one around to take care of me that had me worried.  I think I read somewhere to be careful of having fears because they tend to manifest themselves.  Something I would quickly discover later on that night.  

I receive my two shots and promise that I will look into getting my Tdap and Hepatitis B-C combo once I return.  After I pay the 280 hundred dollars, I want to tell the clinician that I don’t want to return to Los Angeles, ever, except to visit my family, but I’m not brave enough to say that yet even to a stranger.

Packing

Two fifty pounds bags.  That’s all I was allowed to check-in without paying additional fees.  The TSA, and airlines have a hard job I know this but, have you ever been told to fit your life in two, 50-pound bags.  Suddenly the question became real.  What do you absolutely have to have and what can you live without?  Trying to fit all of my clothes and household items into two pieces of luggage, I quickly realized I wasn’t going to achieve this task alone.  

Later that night my sister came home from work.  She was so angry that I only had one suitcase packed and was sitting on the couch, watching tv, spaced out.  I couldn’t tell her my fear was starting to set in and that I was scared as hell to move.  That I didn’t know what I was doing and that I only had my life planned for the next six months.  

I couldn’t tell her that once the closet was empty and everything I couldn’t pack was shoved into the garage, that the finality would be too much.  So I blamed the fact that I was sick and told her I couldn’t pack my clothes on my own.  After much arranging and rearranging, we finally fit everything I needed to survive my first Winter.  We were off to LAX so I could catch my red-eye flight to Seoul.

If you want to continue reading my journey to Seoul, South Korea check out my travel diary.

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