As my sister drove me to the airport I felt a sense of nostalgia. Her love for travel and foreign films is what started me on this journey. I don’t think this was her intention when she told me to watch a cute tv drama on Hulu called Coffee Prince. She helped unload my bags from her new Toyota Prius.
I was mad that she wasn’t in turmoil over my leaving and was more worried about me scratching her car. I wanted her to care more about what I was doing. I wanted her to say more than what she was saying. I wanted to hear her say that I should stay. The words never came as she pulled up to the curbside.
A red-eye flight had its advantages and disadvantages. It felt like we pulled up to the curb all too fast without the Los Angeles traffic. I got out of the car grabbing all of my belongings, feeling like I was a runaway teenager rebelling against the strict rules set forth by conservative parents.
When I was packing I didn’t realize how much I would have to carry these two fifty-pound suitcases. Actually, I did mention this to my sister at one point in my preparation. I wanted to buy smaller suitcases, but my sister went on and on about how it was only one time I would have to carry them to my dorm room, then it would be over. If only I knew then that it would be a total of four times that I had to carry those suitcases I would have listened to my first instinct.
Trying to find Korean Air with two big suitcases, a backpack and my first heavy Winter coat was something that I hated instantly. But, for now, I tried to repeat positive inner dialogue that it was only this one time.
Korean Air Airport Line
The waiting line was long and boring. However, it was my first real experience of literally being the only African-American in a line with over a hundred people. I realized this was probably my new reality. After making my way through airport security I found my way to an airport souvenirs store.
I found a present for my cousins’ friend who agreed to meet me at Seoul Station once I arrived in South Korea. I purchased a burgundy hoodie with gold lettering that had Los Angeles embroidered across the chest as a thank you gift. As I waited to board the plane, I sent a text to my sister providing an airport update. Next, I downloaded an iPhone application so that I could make international calls once I arrived in Seoul.
If you want to continue reading about my journey to Seoul, South Korea check out my travel diary next post.