T-16 Days

I bought my flight ticket a little while ago…I will arrive in Korea on February 15th. I would stay with some relatives until the 18th/19th before taking a train down to Busan for orientation on the 19th. I will say I regret buying a flight ticket so early because I’m anxious about staying with a relative I feel like I’ve only ever met twice (though it’s probably a lot more than that, I just don’t remember). I feel like I would just be a burden and plan to get out and explore Seoul so they can rest without having to take care of me, a 25 year old adult niece they barely know from the US. Problem is that I don’t really know what I would do. I’ve already explored many areas of Seoul a few years ago. I guess I could explore Gangnam area again, as well as Myeong-Dong or some markets. But other than that, I don’t want to burden my uncle and his family. Maybe I’ll reach out to other EPIK teachers who arrive in Seoul early and hang with them, but I’m also shy…

I’m also feeling nervous and anxious in general. This is my 4th time applying to EPIK and I can’t help but feel that somehow I won’t be able to go. This dread hangs over me like a persistent little rain cloud that just drenches my whole day. Every day. Whether it’s the fear that somehow my visa is rejected, or EPIK says “Oops, we didn’t mean to place you, our mistake lolz,” or I fail the health exam. And quite frankly, the last one is my biggest concern. My family has a long history of illnesses (stomach cancer, high cholesterol & pressure, diabetes) and I’m scared that they’ll decline me for any reason. I’ve read stories of people whose tests showed false positives for various things, but they were able to get re-tested and stay with EPIK. I’m scared that I won’t be able to pass, even though I personally never use drugs, prescribed or not, and have no medical history of anything except some simple anemia. I guess it’s just that the health exam is the last hurdle before I’m “officially” accepted into EPIK and it’s worrying.

Other than those worries, I’ve been busy packing. On top of that, my family hopes to move houses this summer, but I won’t be here. This means I have to pack up all of my belongings. I mean, I want my family to move. Our current house is much too small for the 4 of us. So, I’m packing up my entire room along with packing for EPIK. It doesn’t help that since I’m large-bodied (putting it nicely), I have to take lots of clothes with me because Korea doesn’t sell anything that would fit me.

FYI: Korea in general doesn’t sell anything for people above a size medium here. Even then you will find clothing sizes are much smaller in Korea as well. Good luck also if you are tall and need bigger shoes. Most shoes in Korea don’t go above a size 8 ish. Just be prepared to bring a lot of clothes if you don’t match Korea’s “standards.”

Getting back on topic: I hope I can fit everything I need into my 2 large suitcases, 1 backpack, 1 carry on suitcase, and small purse. I finished one bag but it feel way over 50 lbs T-T

Post on my packing list coming soon!

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