Fresh off the Airplane

I am not well-traveled or experienced with leaving the Western New York area where I grew up, so you might imagine my anxiety as I boarded an international aircraft knowing that I wouldn’t be touching ground again (foreign ground that is!) for another 14 hours!  I had been on an airplane only ONCE before this trip and that happened just last year while traveling to Atlanta, Georgia for my second KAAN conference.  This entire experience: being on an airplane, traveling to another country, and leaving my friends, family, and home behind for such a long time is brand new to me.  People are asking if I am excited and telling me that I’m going to have a great time and how exciting it is, but I am not feeling any of those things.  Instead I am terrified and still not sure how this trip or experience in Korea is going to be.

I feel a little better now that I have arrived at the InKAS guesthouse, “Woorijip”, where I am staying while I am in Korea.  What first struck me when I got off the plane and saw the city of Seoul for the first time was how much colder it is here than back in Buffalo!

1st passport stamp as I enter Korea

My 1st passport stampI didn’t think a colder place existed!  

I was also thankful that I had contacted InKAS for a volunteer to meet me at the airport and travel with me to the guesthouse because I never would have found it.  The guesthouse is located in the city of Seoul, near Yonsei University in the Seodaemun-gu district.  Here, I am sharing a room with another KAD who is also from the United States.  I am feeling optimistic that the guesthouse is going to be a nice place to live and a great source of support while I am staying in Korea.  I am already afraid to leave the guesthouse even though I need to go out and buy some things and learn where the KUMSN office is before Monday.  I’ll admit that I’m still not feeling excited or happy about actually being in Korea now, but I am excited to have received my first stamp in my passport!

I’ll be sure to keep you updated!

To find out more about InKAS and the programs and services they offer, please see the links at the bottom of the page!

Categories: Field Experience, Korean Culture, Social Work | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Fresh off the Airplane

  1. As I read your post, Katie, I was reminded of the metaphor of a swing…the harder you push yourself…the higher you will soar! You are not afraid of a challenge…and completing field in S Korea will be a great deal of work at times. But your experience will be far richer for your effort.

    Some of us must settle for reading about your experience…thanks for creating this small “window” for us. Laura

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