At the beginning of this year, I took a life-changing trip to Seoul, South Korea. I was blessed with the opportunity to intern at 10 Magazine Korea while vacationing. It was the most I have ever felt uncomfortable, but it was rewarding.
My first day in Seoul was a complete nightmare. I arrived at Incheon Airport at 7:30 am and was immediately confronted with reality. Seoul was the polar opposite of Texas. Immediately, I had to use the minimal Korean that I knew. I was tired from a 16 hour flight and just wanted sleep.
Fortunately, the lady at the ticket booth and my Airbnb host (bless their hearts and souls) were patient with me. My Airbnb host told me which bus to take, and the ticket lady told me where the bus would pick me up. Unfortunately for me, my inability to navigate followed me to Seoul. In the true nature of myself I missed my bus. At this point, I was on the verge of tears.
In light of my distress, I was told I could take another bus to get to the part of Seoul I was staying in. I immediately texted my bonus parents to tell them I was safe and asked for prayers because we all need prayers.
Finally, I got on the correct bus and traveled the hour to Seongbuk-gu. Once I was settled I was off to my internship. After taking the wrong train, getting lost in Itaewon, and the helpful guidance of a nice stranger, I arrived to my internship an hour and a half late. Needless to say I was ready for a sleep.
Once my orientation and first day was over, I was relieved to finally get back to my Airbnb for some much needed sleep. However, I couldn’t remember how to get back to it. *Cue the face palms* I had taken the wrong exit and ended close to a police station I remembered seeing earlier. It was closed, but I walked around the back and saw a few workers in charge of the parking lot entrance. In my minimal Korean, I was able to ask for help. Obviously, the Lord was watching over me because they were able to get an English-speaking co-worker to give me directions. I was literally five blocks away from my Airbnb.
This was the first and last time I would be getting lost in Seoul.
My first day was hectic but a true test of perseverance. It was a complete mess, but it was a chaos I needed to experience because things would only get weirder from here on out! I was about to experience a personal stretch and growth like no other.