Flying: a Necessary Evil

Merriam-Webster Definition

Flying: to travel by air, the operation of an aircraft or spacecraft.

My Definition
Flying: a form of air travel never meant for any bipedal species without wings.

I consider flying to be a necessary evil of traveling. I tried to convince myself for years that I love travel and hence I should love flying. Only recently have I decided it is acceptable to love one and despise the other. The main reason behind my dislike of flying is that I very easily get motion sick. 

Although I find flying detestable in general, my flights to Korea were actually somewhat bearable. My 3.5 hour flight from MSP to LAX went without a hitch, although I found myself more emotional than I expected to be.  As I said in my previous post, I love travel, but I hate leaving my home.

In LAX I actually had to change terminals, I walked from the Delta terminal to the Korean Air terminal.  I immediately became a minority as soon as I set foot through the terminal doors. “Might as well get used to it,” I thought to myself.

My 13 hour flight from LAX to the Incheon airport in Seoul was lovely. I have to give Korean Air five stars for making you feel as comfortable as possible while flying. Every passenger received a pillow, blanket, water bottle, headphones, and slippers immediately. I found it amusing that my TV screen seemed to know that I was not Korean. The announcements showed up on my screen in English, while both of my neighbors enjoyed the announcements in their native Korean.  

Cultural Note: I have a theory that Korean flight attendants are required to fit into a specific aesthetic category. Not one of them was over 5’3 while wearing heels, and every single one must have been under 115 lbs.

During the flight we received peanuts and drinks, a lovely Bibimbap dinner (with wine if so desired), coffee and tea, warmed hand towels, and a delicious breakfast followed by more drinks and snacks. Koreans know how to fly.  I was even able to watch Pride and Prejudice, nothing like P+P to make me feel at home.

We arrived in Seoul at 6am, Monday morning. I met a fellow teacher, who has been in Korea for six years, and he helped me find the bus kiosk where I was able to purchase a ticket to Gimpo domestic airport. It is not easy transporting three suitcases, but luckily the little bag carts are free at Incheon. I was wary about having to transfer myself and my luggage to an entirely different airport for my flight to Ulsan, but with the help of a fellow expatriate I made it to Gimpo with plenty of time to spare.

I met a nice lady on the bus who helped me find the right ticket counter to check my bags. She was flying back home to Busan (just south along the coast from Ulsan) and gave me her name and phone number. She told me to visit her whenever I am in Busan. I guess I have made my second friend.

After over 20 hours of travel I am finally in Ulsan! I am now safely ensconced in my motel room, having slept most of my first day. I awoke this morning at 5am, I can hear the gasps from those of you who know me well. Jet lag does funny things to a person, it even forces night owls to arise at ungodly hours of the morning.

After a delicious breakfast, I am simply waiting for someone from my school to pick me up and bring me to…………….. actually, I have no idea where they are bringing me. Oh well, one can’t know everything.

Let the adventure begin!

2 thoughts on “Flying: a Necessary Evil

  1. Hi Mikaela, very interesting. I love to travel too but I hate packing and the whole airport security and sometimes the flying part. I have a couple of questions, Did you book your ticket through your recruiter's travel agency or did you find it on your own? I'm debating which is better. Did you make it to Ulsan's orientation? I just wonder because you mentioned that you stayed in a motel and waited for someone from the school to pick you up.

  2. Hi Tan Woo, thanks for commenting! Yes, I really wish someone would figure out the whole teleportation thing so I could skip the flying 🙂

    Good questions. I completely missed my orientation be cause my visa came late. By the time my visa was in my hands and I was able to book a ticket, my orientation was finished. I think I flew in on the last day or something like that. I was disappointed as orientation is a good way to meet people who are in the same boat as you.

    I booked a flight through my recruiter. I am not sure what the price would have been had I booked it on my own, I needed to get to Korea fast as I was already late and I just really wanted someone else to figure it out for me. I guess if you have the time maybe look around at prices, but if you want convenience, go with the recruiter.

I would love to hear your thoughts!

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