A week to go before takeoff! I’m still just as ready as I was at my last post! Starting to get some nerves, though in a nice way. More excitement than nerves I think! I have been reading my guidebook from cover to cover to try to work out a more precise itinerary. But I don’t want to plan too much as I want to go with the flow! I think it’s important to know of my options of where to go but not to set anything in concrete.
I have been trying to learn Hangul! (The Korean writing system) It’s actually really easy, there are only forty characters or so and it’s completely logical! Much much easier than learning any of the Japanese alphabets or Chinese characters. I can recognise all (well, most!) of the characters now but reading is a bit of a slow process! There’s no hurry though when it comes to reading timetables and signs. I’m sure there will either be a bit of English to help me in some scenarios as well as helpful people to stop and shout loudly and deliberately at in the tradition of the British tourist in foreign lands!
So nothing much else to add for this week, the next report will definitely be from Seoul
September 7th 2009 Preparations
Preparing for my trip to South Korea has been scarily easy! It’s something I’ve wanted to do for ages now, and when the opportunity came up at work that because of the financial crisis situation, some people might want to take some “unpaid time off” (read sabbatical, not voluntary redundancy!) I thought this was my chance. My job is there for me when I return… if I return…
I have a nest egg of savings for just this occasion, so time to reach under the mattress and put it to good use!
Visas were also amazingly easy. I don’t need one! As a tourist (I have no plans to work at this stage, just play!) I can have 90 days to tour Korea, no questions asked. So that brings me up to just before Christmas. My trip is open-ended, so who knows what will happen after that… (depends who I meet ;D) but I could move on to Japan, where I can also get 3 months as a tourist, then I could always return to Korea for another 3 months! Not sure how long I could keep that up, but potentially it gives me enough flexibility to not have to fix or think about a return date!
I have already packed as well, because I’m so excited! I may repack nearer the time. I have an 80 litre pack which is about three quarters full, so lotsa space for souvenirs I’m bound to pick up.
17 days and counting…
August 29th 2009 Preparations
In mid-September of this year I’ll be taking a break from my boring job and heading off to travel round sunny Korea! It’s a country that has always been fascinating to me… so I can’t wait to leave my country behind and make my best Korea move ever! (sorry for the terrible pun… you’ll have to get used to it if you want to read along!) I hope to be blogging every few weeks when I arrive… but in the meanwhile I will be writing about my preparations. Not much to prepare for – I have already packed! Stay tuned for a post on that…