Lola O.
My body is back here in Seoul, but my heart is still at home with the family and friends I've left behind for another year. Leaving this second time around was so much harder and more emotional. There were so many instances I wanted to cry, like when my grandma started crying as she prayed for me, as I prayed for her, and we said our goodbyes. Or when I looked back down the escalators to see my mom still standing there watching me head to my gate. I really wanted to cry but I held it in, and tried to smile as I waved back at her and told her I loved her.

My mom drove me to the airport, we left the house around 6:00 AM, and got there around 6:30 AM. Everything was going fine until it came time to check in my two luggages. I knew already I'd have to pay excess because both were 70lbs. I had brought a lot of my favorite foods, seasonings, and such to last me a year. I told the counter lady it was $50 per bag, because that is what it says in the airline baggage policy. She said she had to check and called Asiana Airlines. She told me to get into this other line and when I get up to the counter she'd let the person know how much they would be. As we waited in the other line, another woman came and told us to come with her, and tried to do everything all over again. I tried to explain to her there was another woman already doing it, but she wasn't really listening. Thank goodness the other woman came, and what would you know the bags were $50, like I said. It took forever to check in, they did a lot of running around, and all I could do was laugh. This is life's unexpected curve balls.

I hugged my mom goodbye and went up the escalator stairs and heard her call out to me to take care of myself and that she loved me. I told her not to cry and that I loved her, and would see her in a year. I got in line for security, got all my stuff ready, and went through the monitor. It kept beeping. Great...not. I had nothing on me, so the lady was like it has to be the under wire in my bra. She said I'd have to wait and do a full body scan before I could leave. I just smiled, and said let's do this. Honestly, I was laughing wondering if the whole journey would be like this, and it turned out to be full of unexpected moments.

She did the scan, cleared me and I headed to my gate. I waited half and hour and then we boarded. Everything seemed fine, but as the plane taxied out they suddenly said something was wrong with the fuel indicators and we would have to have it looked at. This led to a two hour delay. We waited on the plane as they had people come out and check what was wrong with the plane. I wasn't too mad over this since I had a whole exit row to myself on this flight. Pure heaven. So comfortable! The only problem was I had a connecting flight in Seattle at 1:20 PM. Originally I was supposed to arrive at 10:31 PM, I didn't arrive till 12:10 PM. Thank goodness Asian delayed the flight because of connecting flights like mine. I made my flight. It was a full flight so no exit row for me, but at least I got my aisle seat this time around.

The flight was fine. These kind men all stood up to help me with my carry-on, as we boarded and as we landed. The food was okay. I watched Charlie St. Cloud, Cyrano Agency, and Step Up 3. I really liked Step Up 3 because Moose is sooooo adorable:)! Hahaha...I slept when I didn't watch movies, and walked around to get the stiffness out of my legs. I arrived in Seoul around 6:30 PM. 20 minutes behind schedule. I went through immigration and when I got to customs I had the pleasure of being chosen to have my carry-on searched. Got that done, found the bus home, and headed back to my apartment.

As I headed home on the bus I felt a feeling of not belonging here, but it soon changed just as the roads changed the closer I got to my place. This is my life right now, for the next year this is my life and I am going to embrace it. I'm going to enjoy it. I'm going to live it. As I got to the bus stop by my place my friend came to help me with my luggages. I got to my apartment and when I got inside I had this overwhelming urge to cry. I just wanted to cry because I was missing home so much, I am still missing it so much. I never realized how much I'd enjoy being back home. I think sometimes you need to go home to remember where you came from, who you were, and to bring back those pieces of yourself you left behind there. That's how it felt for me. Home really is where my heart is, where it will remain.

Before I left Seoul, I wrote a letter to myself to read when I got back. I smiled as I saw the letter waiting for me on the table. As I read the words I wrote on 1/14/2011 I smiled because everything I wanted from myself happened in the past three weeks, and will continue to happen. I wanted to be brave, to be honest, to be bold, and true in everything I do and that is how I am living. Being myself, and trying my best. This is happiness, and it won't disappear no matter where in the world I am.

Be blessed,
~Lola O.~

5 Responses
  1. Happy to see you made it back safely. I am going to fly Singapore air and take an extra box of stuff with my 2 suitcases. That will cost me $110. Still cheaper than shipping the box..haha.


  2. Lola O. Says:

    Plus you don't have to wait to get it. When do you head back? Safe journey!!!


  3. BTW, I featured this post on my new blog:
    http://expatabundance.blogspot.com/


  4. Elaine Says:

    First time commenting on the blog, but I just wanted to say that was really neat that you wrote yourself a letter to read when you got back! I may to need to use that technique myself one day.

    BTW, your blog is awesome!


  5. Lola O. Says:

    Thanks Elaine:). I always write letters to myself. It's good to remind the future me of where I've been!