Diary: Something tells me that today is going to be the longest day of my life…

So I had a bit of a rude awakening this morning when I woke up. My morning routine started as usual, me rolling around in bed for about a half hour not wanting to actually wake up, saying a morning prayer (I really needed it today), taking my ‘One-a-day’ gummy vitamins which are conveniently next to my bed and then, once my brain is fully alert and my eyes well-adjusted to the sunlight shining in through my window, I checked my email. I was already expecting an email from the manager of my school in Korea answering a few of my questions that I had sent her 2 days ago. However there were 3 emails from her and the one that immediately caught my eye was the one whose subject line read: “It is urgent (From YBM ECC) Your flight schedule is changed!!!” And as you would expect from reading that, my original flight, which was scheduled for March 21st, is now changed for March 20th at 5:30am! So basically, I have to be ready to go to the airport tonight! And while it may not seem like a big deal to most people, for me, someone who leaves EVERYTHING to the last minute and likes to procrastinate, this is extremely unsettling news. I have been forced into PANIC-MODE!

So basically, my anxiety level is through the roof, and I feel like i’m not mentally prepared for this long journey. It’s seriously going to take every bit of good out of me. Honestly, I don’t even have time to be writing this, why am I writing this?? Seriously! I have no time to be sitting around. Here’s whats going on in my head right now: I know I am going to end up forgetting something, I know that tonight I’m going to be crying my heart out as I leave my family behind for a year, I know I am going to be overtired from not sleeping on the plane, I know I’ll be stressed out running from flight to flight (Deer Lake -> Toronto -> Vancouver -> Tokyo -> Incheon) and also, I know I’ll be so nervous about the crazy week (of orientation) I’m going to have once I actually arrive in Korea. Just thinking about all of this makes me want to run and hide under my bed until it’s all over. I mean, I love travelling, airports don’t bother me, airplanes for the most part don’t bother me, unlike most people, I enjoy plane food, and I’m totally cool and experienced with travelling alone… but for some reason, right here, right now, all of this stuff seems overwhelming and impossible.

My life here at home as of late has been me lazing around all day and eating whatever I want whenever I want and hanging out with my family. My stress level is non-existent. So being exposed to all of this at once is going to be really hard on me since I’m not used to it but I’m sure I’ll make it.

As far as whats left to do: Finish packing, shower, visit my Nan (who is 92 years old ㅠㅠ) give her the cookies I made her and have a cup of tea with her, briefly meet up with one of my friends, buy some last minute things at the drugstore, charge up all of my things, and get my Dad to finish fixing my glasses. I think that’s all. I hope that’s all!

I’m not sure when I’ll update this again, maybe when I arrive in Korea. Wish me luck on my travels, I’ll seriously need it!

Stephanie xox


Diary: There’s nothing a new city can’t cure

That’s right, the day I have been waiting for since 2008 has finally come. I received my E2 visa in the mail today and I’m finally ready to leave Canada and start a new life in South Korea. Tomorrow is the last day of my crappy part-time job as a housekeeper at the holiday inn and then, a week from tomorrow I will finally embark on my journey.

The reason why I said I have been waiting for this moment since 2008 is because looking at my high school twelfth grade yearbook, I wrote “Teach English in South Korea” as my ‘probable fate.’ And finally, I am fulfilling that prophecy. 18 year old Stephanie would be so proud :’)

My life here in Canada as of late is completely dull and there is no longer any thing here to fulfill me and help me grow as a person.  It’s time to move on and I finally feel ready. My family however, are my everything and I will miss them like crazy. I made sure that I made the most of every moment I spent with them this past year and we have gotten so much closer and our love for each other has grown too much. It’s going to be hard, especially since I have spent every day with them since April 2013, when I moved out of my dormitory and moved back home. However, they are supportive of my choice and know that there is no life for me here. I guess I just have mixed feelings because it will be my first time being so far away from home for such a long period of time. I feel like the bird who is finally leaving the nest… and like I’m finally becoming an adult and moving out of my home where I spent 23 years of my life.

On a positive note, I absolutely cannot wait to move to Korea!! There is never going to be a dull moment there and it will help to clear the cobwebs from my brain. I’ve been so jaded here at times so this fresh start is exactly what I need to get out of this rut i’m in! I can’t wait to drink banana milk again and get photo stickers, eat patbingsoo, go to my favorite stationary store ‘Artbox’ and just totally immerse myself into a new environment that is so different from my ordinary life here.

The city I will be living for the next year or so is called ‘Songdo’ – actually, it’s considered a city within a city because Songdo is in Incheon, the third largest city in South Korea. Songdo is a fairly new city which did not exist about a decade ago because it was built from scratch from land reclaimed from the sea. Pretty cool right? This means that this city was planned and built from a well organized and designed blueprint so it’s pretty logical, environmentally-friendly and is known as a ‘smart city’. This city will not be complete until 2015 and is technically not even officially open to the public. Therefore, there is very limited information about the place online. However, from what I have seen, it looks very beautiful and modern unlike many parts of Seoul. There are huge sky scrapers and high riser apartment buildings (I will be living in one), and there are also many parks and shopping areas. The downside though, is that I may at times feel lonely or isolated because there are not many people living there yet and not a whole lot to do outside of parks, but – it is connected to Seoul via subway so I should be fine. I’ll tell you more about it once I actually get there.

Anyways, I’ll keep this post shortish. I just wanted to update anyone who may follow my blog and also, keep it as a record for myself.

I’ll probably make a packing related post if I get around to it and put it in the ‘Adventure’ category, so look out for that one!

-Stephanie xox