So happy to have Ms. Chantal taking over my blog for the day! If you haven’t discovered this wonderful lady yet, I suggest you head straight over to her blog: Scattered Seashells. She has an amazing family (including the cutest two year old girl I’ve ever seen), and her husband serves in the US Army. They were recently transferred to South Korea (ummmm YAY blogger meet-ups soon), and I’ve enjoyed following her daily adventures via instagram! Enjoy!
We arrived in Korea at the beginning of December. I wish I could tell you I was blown away by being on the other side of the world, but honestly, we were just exhausted. An 18-hour trip, including a solid 12-hour flight over the Pacific, can do that to you. Add in a toddler who wouldn’t nap and, well, airplane seats… we were ready to just go to sleep. We arrived at 6pm Korea time, got to our hotel on the military base a couple hours later, and then crashed.
When we woke up, we found ourselves in Korea still. It wasn’t a dream; we were actually here! But looking out the windows we weren’t greeted by anything too unfamiliar. Breakfast wasn’t different. Everyone was speaking English… oh yeah, we were on an American military installation, at an American hotel.
The first few days we didn’t venture past the gates. We had a list of excuses: Jet-lag, errands, more sleep, no reason to go, husband was busy. It’s different when you move somewhere. Come Monday, we were itching to get out and I had an excuse: I was meeting a potential client for my doula services at a local cafe.
That morning I woke up early in a cold sweat. We were actually going to walk out into the city? Were we crazy? I had no idea where we were going! I had an 11am appointment, so we bundled up the baby and started off. NERVOUS.
Long story short: We survived. We got lost a little because the cafe was tucked in a corner, but we found it and had a good time. And then we didn’t go home afterward. Fueled by this newfound energy, we went wandering around the city, ending up at a delicious Thai restaurant, and then walking around famous Itaewon. We had a great time!
**Okay, except when a strange Korean man kissed our daughter. Welcome to Korea!**
This small trip gave us the confidence to get out in the city and explore our surroundings. It was terrifying at first, because this place was so unfamiliar, so different than what we were used to, and everyone was speaking a language that we knew two words in, but it was worth it. This is most important for the military folks in other countries. You can find yourself sticking to the usual, staying close to base, only doing activities with other Americans, not venturing far.
There’s no better way to learn a new area than throwing yourselves into the mix. Get over your nerves and get out. Get over the familiar and do something uncomfortable. You won’t regret it.