A Travellerspoint blog

Saying Goodbye

overcast 20 °C
View Korea on claire14's travel map.

I have just had very emotional weekend. I don't think I'd realised quite how much of an emotional rollercoaster leaving would be. I am excited about going obviously, but I am getting very apprehensive and saying goodbye to everyone has been really upsetting. And I've not really said goodbye to that many people yet!

Friday night was my first leaving do and I went out with my friends from London. My best friend, Martyna (check out her website http://www.martynamusic.com), also came down for the night and we all went to the Big Brother Finale party at Popstarz. The atmosphere was great, and even though I don't watch Big Brother, it was fun to see everyone making their badges and banners, and getting very overexcited when they thought they were being photographed by the Sun :) After Big Brother, there was lots and lots of dancing - my feet still hurt now! - and drinking. And it was a great way to spend my last big night out in London.

Of course, as well as the fun of being out and getting drunk, it was also quite sad because i was saying goodbye to everyone. Martina has been my friend for 20 - count 'em! - 20 years! I keep forgetting I am old enough to have had a friend for that long! And at the moment, we're both quite naughty and send each other about 300 emails a day when we're at work, so I'm really going to miss being in touch with her all the time, even if we don't always get to see each other that often. She has promised to come and visit me in korea though - and now i've written here, everyone knows, so she has to come!

It was also really sad saying goodbye to my friends that I have made here in London. I've only known them for about a year, but they have become a big part of my life and are really important to me, so I am really going to miss them. I'll also miss winning the pub quiz at the Rose and Crown every month but i guess there will be fewer accusations of us cheating or of Jackie rigging the quiz now :)

Posted by claire14 08:51 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged preparation Comments (0)

Preparing to Leave

Annyeong Haseyo (Hello/Good day)

rain 18 °C
View Korea on claire14's travel map.

Ok - I'm not quite at the point of counting down the hours yet. But it is getting close! I fly out of Gatwick Airport two weeks tomorrow - eek!

I have so much to do that my head is spinning. For example:

To Do Before I Leave:
1. Get visa from korean Embassy in London
2. Take cats to Vets
3. Take cats to go and live with my aunt and uncle
4. Change over cat's i.d. chips
5. Cancel and pay off all utilities
6. Pack up box to be sent over after i have left
7. Pack what I need to take with me
8. Get final vaccinations and malaria tablets.
9. Sell my DVD player and freeview box
10. Give everyone my new contact details
11. Get foreign currency
12. Redirect my mail
13. Send off tax forms
14. Get more passport photos
15. Try and get an international driving permit
16. Finish TEFL Grammar Module
17. Get internet phone account
18. Get travel insurance...

...I think you get the idea.

I also have lots of people to say goodbye to, which means two leaving nights out and a leaving lunch at work. I'm starting to feel like i'll need a holiday by the time i get to Korea. Unfortunately that is out of the question because I will be plunged headlong into teaching as soon as I arrive.

I'm also sad that there are some people I won't get a chance to say goodbye to, for example, Ange is away in Italy, so I won't see her before I go. And all of my friends in Hull because I just don't have any time to make the 4/5 hour drive up to Hull before I go.

However, on a positive note, I am having my first taste of Korean food and language tonight. My friend Maria, lived in Korea for a year as a language student, so she is coming over to teach me the Korean alphabet. We're also going to have some Korean noodles - yum!

Posted by claire14 08:19 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged preparation Comments (0)

A little introduction...

Or how do blogs work exactly??

sunny 22 °C
View Korea on claire14's travel map.

Now, I know technically I shouldn't start writing this yet, because I still have 3 weeks before I fly out. But I can't wait to go so I am starting early. Also I have never written a blog before, so I want to figure out how it all works.

Just in case, dear reader, you have no idea who I am, let me introduce myself. My name is Claire and I am 25 years old (how old?!). I currently live in Thamesmead, south-east London with my two moggies, Kuki and Nisha - who will no doubt have their pictures on here at some point.

I am a youth worker and, for the next 2 weeks at least, I work for my local council (yawn!). No offence to all my friends who still work there and may be reading this :)

I will be flying out to South Korea on August 29th to take up an english instructor post at a hangwon (private language institute) in Jeonju, about 2 hours (by train) south of Seoul. Apparently Jeonju is reknowned throughout Korea for its cuisine, which i am looking forward to sampling. However, deep fried silkworm larvae really aren't my idea of a tasty snack, so I will have to reserve my judgement until i get out there. Jeonju is also well placed for easy access to both the west coast of Korea, as well as beautiful, mountainous national parks and ski resorts. I don't think i realised when i signed up to go to Korea, that its climate is quite similar to that of Europe and that I will actually see quite a lot of snow while i am out there.

Obviously, I am very excited at the prospect of going to live in Korea. But with just 3 weeks to go, panic is beginning to settle in. Partly because of the huge number of things I know I have to do before I leave and partly because the realisation of the impact of leaving my family and friends behind is beginning to dawn on me.

But the little things are starting to worry me now too - like what happens if i get lost in the airport? I have never been on a long haul flight before, nor have i flown anywhere on my own before. So my first big challenge will be making it to Korea with all of my luggage and not losing my passport because my mum won't be there to hold onto it for me :)

So, I shall be keeping this blog fairly up to date with my preparations before I leave, and then the travel will begin in earnest, on August 29th(ish).

Posted by claire14 07:11 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged preparation Comments (0)

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