Takeoff! Arrival in the Motherland

I would have posted a lot sooner but jetlag was a lot worse this time around compared to a few years ago…whoops

Anyways, my flight  was on the 14th- Valentine’s Day. I ended up taking quite a bit of luggage- 3 suitcases, 2 carry-on bags, and a small purse. I paid an extra 200 bucks but what can I do? All that’s in them is clothes lol.

The flight lasted 14 hours and I was lucky in that the seat next to me, behind me, and in front of me were all empty. I was able to stretch out quite a bit and was quite comfortable. The only problem was that I could barely sleep. On the plus side, the meals on Korean Air are decent, my favorite being the bibimbap (I forgot to take pictures! T-T) which came with a side of seaweed soup/미역국.

After landing in Incheon, I sent my luggage ahead of me (quite pricey- about 300 bucks!) and now I’m in Ilsan with some relatives. I was a bit worried that I would feel completely out of place and that my stay would be extremely uncomfortable. Well, I’m glad to say that that’s not the case. My relatives have treated me extremely well and I’m going to have a larger family meeting with some other relatives tomorrow.

As for jetlag- it’s tough. Really tough. When I went to Korea 5 years ago, I had no problem getting used to the time gap. But this time it was really hard to get accustomed to. I was super tempted to take a nap because I was just so sleepy, but I endured and just stayed awake until around 10pm before passing out. I know that if I did take a nap, I would regret it because I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night. So here’s a tip- don’t nap. I know that sleeping pills are an option, but with the EPIK health exam being just a few days away, I decided to abstain.

I’m feeling a lot better today though, 2 days after I landed in Korea. I explored a little bit today too. My mom’s friend took me out to eat in Hwajeong, a neighboring district to Ilsan. We went to a little restaurant called 널븐 뜰/Wide Garden and I ate 멧돼지 떡갈비/Wild Boar Tteokgalbi. It was soooo good. It came with a variety of vegetable sides, which I nearly completely devoured. I was told that it’s ideal to come here in the spring because the small building is surrounded by pear trees and has a nice yard (hence the restaurant name), so I think I would definitely want to try coming to this place again later on.

Right next to the restaurant was a little cafe called Cafe Blossom and it was extremely cozy inside. There was nobody else inside and the coffee was also delicious. I ordered a cafe latte and enjoyed the warm atmosphere with my mom’s friend.

I went to WesternDom afterwards for some shopping, which is supposedly a famous shopping area in Ilsan. I bought some cute socks (10 pairs for 10,000 won, which is about 10 bucks!), hand cream from Innisfree, and a pair of gloves because my hands were so cold. Did I mention that it’s super cold in Korea??? As I was walking around, I felt a little awkward just because everyone wears makeup and dresses well whereas I only put on lip balm and wear for comfort- cardigan and jeans- but I guess I’ll have plenty of chances to learn some fashion tips??

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I’ll be heading down to Busan on Sunday for orientation. I’m super excited and I hope everything goes well! I’m still feeling anxious about the health exam, but I guess I’ll face that hurdle when I get there.

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