To be perfectly honest I never imagined the day would come that I would:
a) be done with school
b) be taking a gap year
c) starting a blog
Yet here I sit in South Korea, writing my first ever blog post. I figured it would be the easiest way to share my daily adventures with everyone back home, and also a nice way to document my travels. It was when I opened the cute travel diary I bought especially for the trip and began to write that I realised that was an unrealistic way to record the trip. Firstly because my hand was sore and I had resorted to bullet points after a mere 5 sentences, and secondly because my hand writing resembles that of a 5 year old.
I left South Africa 4 days ago and so I am a bit behind and need to play catch up.
After many hugs and tears, my boyfriend, Norman, and I waved good bye to our families at the airport and we were off! My family never cease to tell me, and everyone else they have the opportunity to, how bad of a traveller I am. Pervious bouts of mild nausea and a small puke have forever cursed me, and the stories have been wildly exaggerated to include non-stop crying from feeling sick and my family calling shotgun to not sit next to me on planes. This is obviously all lies.
Anyway, Norman had been more than sufficiently briefed, and it was to my great delight that I could prove everyone wrong by not getting nauseous or puking. I must admit that it was due to perfectly timing the taking of my motion sickness tablets.
After many hours of being cramped in small airplane seats, we finally arrived at our first destination, South Korea. It really was quite a shock to the senses, if not just because of the crisp, freezing air. It’s winter so it tends to stick around single digits in terms of temperature celsius.
Norman and I are staying with our friend, Jong Ho Moon. That is how visiting South Korea came about in the first place. Moon (as we fondly refer to him), went to school with us in South Africa so that he could learn English. I am extremely grateful, not just because of him and his family being so hospitable, but also because it would be very near impossible to tour this country as a foreigner. It is not a very tourist orientated country and so getting around if you cannot speak Korean is difficult. And so Moon has eagerly taken it upon himself to show us his country.
On Tuesday, our first full day here, we explored the streets of his city, Busan. It was great. We tasted various (and some slightly dubious) street food, popped into shops, ate at restaurants and rode the subway. I am actually surprised at how much we managed to do, especially since we were still jet lagged. The highlight of my day must have been Moon pretending to the market traders that he couldn’t speak Korean (in an attempt to bribe them to lower their prices in thinking we are all tourists).
And yesterday was so jam packed with Korean history that it deserves a post to itself.