Korea Diary | Leaving & Arriving

2:06:00 PM mandy 0 Comments

Let the journey begin! (Cheesy, I know ^^ Bear with me here)

This series will probably be a whole lot more detailed than anyone will be ever interested in reading, but hey I want to remember every little bit of it.

I'll be primarily writing everything in time order. Sometimes things may seem oddly organized, however, it was really just how the day played out.

Our flight to Korea was on 6/21/2014 at 12:50AM, New York time.
We were arriving a few days before our Jeju-trip day to get adjusted.

I did very very last-minute packing the entire day prior to our departure. Since our flight was at midnight and would arrive in Korea early morning on the 22nd, I took advantage to shower and put on a fresh set of clothes before flying off. Luckily for me, I was able to eat one last home-cooked meal before I left for my 50 days away.

Funny story~
My mom told me to remind my dad a day or so before our flight that we would need a ride to the airport.
I didn't think he would forget such a big day.
You know...his "little" girl/only daughter going away from home practically all by herself for the first time...
But lo 'n behold, his response was "What? You need to go to the airport?"
Oh dad...

After eating, my parents and I went to collect Bestie C and her dad. Then off we went to JFK International Airport. While waiting on line to retrieve our boarding passes, I was really paranoid about whether I would be charged extra for my suitcases being overweight and/or oversized. (I measured my suitcases only AFTER buying it to find out the dimensions were indeed over the said allowance for Korean Air. Plus, I was not confident with my suitcase weight measuring method.)

By the time we got to the counter and I put my check-in bag onto the weight/conveyor belt, I didn't ask the guy helping us about my worries nor did he say anything to me about the topic. Either I was nervous for nothing or he was nice enough to turn a blind-eye! ;)

Entering JFK New York

Even though we had a midnight flight, there were a TON of other flyers at the airport as well (but we were there a couple hours early).

Just as we got on the TSA check-in line, we already had to say our good-byes. My mom was surprisingly rather cool about the whole thing, said "bye" and continued to WeChat away with her friends. I think I did get a bit teary-eyed (knowing me...I most likely did). Since my dad had to mind the car after dropping us off, I don't remember getting to see him before we got further into the security line.

Landed ICN South Korea

Thankfully our flight was on time and it took more or less a total of 14 hours to reach Incheon International Airport.

I really wanted to keep the jet lag to a minimum since we were landing in the early morning. (I've had jet lag from just going to California before!) I made sure to keep myself awake at the beginning of the flight, watched most of "Secretly, Greatly", and had a long sleep at the end. Even though I was really exhausted in the beginning, the schedule was definitely worth it when we arrived.

Despite having a middle seat, it didn't feel too bad considering I only got up 2-3 times the whole flight. It was a bummer that there was no pretty view to see out the window. A majority of the time we were asked to keep our blinds down. But even if we were allowed, it wouldn't have made that much of a difference. The path the plane flew had us mostly in darkness anyways.

I was a bit flattered when the flight attendants thought I was Korean the whole flight. When all the non-Korean passengers received a Customs/Immigration slip to pre-fill, I received none. Ultiamately had to ask for it when we were close to landing. Not really sure how the misunderstanding happened as I answered most of their questions in English. I did make out some of their basic questions but they also asked it in English most of it time...Eh who knows?

Arrival ICN South Korea

At ~4AM, Korean time, we were finally able to leave the plane! Good thing Bestie C has been out of the country pretty recently. I would have been a paranoid mess and take me a while to figure out the exiting procedures required to officially enter a foreign country.