As a wanderer, I’ve always been dreaming of traveling abroad. And I have never thought that South Korea would be the very first country that I will be able to visit and explore!
So it was officially in the year 2015 that such a dream had finally happened. The thing is that it wasn’t actually my priority last year to go beyond the Philippines; for I was already planning of going to Baguio or Vigan. But then I got a call from a friend of mine informing me about a promo fare going to South Korea. And without any hesitation, I accepted the invitation even though I still haven’t got my own passport! So I had to double time in preparing for all of the requirements needed, and to submit my applications as soon as possible; including also such requirements for my VISA, Authority to Travel, and of course, I still need to present all of these approved documents at the Bureau of Immigration on the day of our travel at the airport.
Then after months of preparation, the day to actually set foot in South Korea has finally arrived! I was totally excited, and at the same time I was also nervous. Not because it’s my first trip abroad. But for the reason that in our group, we actually don’t have a proper itinerary! What happened was that ten of us were supposed to be going to there. But we were narrowed down to five because of such unexpected events. So for the five of us (two adults and three teenagers), we just couldn’t back out. Especially when we’ve already booked our tickets, made a reservation at the guesthouse as to where we will be staying, and of course, all of the things that we’ve prepared just for this trip. It was a risk on our part. But we have to go. And so we did!
It was on November 30, 2015, that we were scheduled to travel to Incheon, South Korea. So even if our flight was still in the late afternoon, we still had to be early at the NAIA Terminal 3 in order for us to prepare for our check-in, to change our money from Peso to Won, our interview at the Immigration, and so many other things; and after hours of waiting, at around 4pm in the Philippines, we were finally on our way. Moreover, even if it’s already been months since that day, that feeling of that moment is still here in my heart. So unforgettable! In our group, we actually had no idea of what lies ahead of us when we arrive there. But our first priority was to makes sure that we will know what mode of transportation we will be using in order for us to get to Seoul, and of course, to know the direction of our guesthouse. And I’m so thankful to a batch mate of mine who went to South Korea a few weeks earlier than us. For it was her blog about her recent trip there that we’ve made it as our guide.
Of course, we already have an idea that by the time we’ll arrive there, it’s already their winter season; for I had a month to prepare for it – my clothes, two pairs of boots, medicines, other necessities, and a whole lot more. But in the end, we were so not expecting it to be that cold!
Then by the time that we’ve arrived at the Incheon International Airport, we went first to their Immigration, and after that we’ve picked our luggage so that we could change to our winter outfits. Anyway, to all the fans of Korean Series; I’m sure you’re quite familiar of those scenes at their airport in which when an actor would arrive they would always appear at that sliding door with a big monitor above it. So I was totally fortunate to experience something like that! It made me so giddy, but I forgot to take a picture! Oh well. At least I was able to seize the moment by staring at it for a few seconds.
For our first night, everything was just happening way too fast. We went to a seven eleven convenience store to buy our T-Money card for transportation purposes, made some inquiries at the information center, and went out of the airport to wait for our bus that would take us to Seoul. The funny thing that I could remember that was mentioned to us by a fellow passenger during our flight to South Korea was that, by the time that we will go out of the airport, it is definitely going to be extremely cold outside. So when we were exactly at the door and we were counting for like – one, two, three, and then go out. I was totally screaming inside because it was so damn cold! Even my four layers of outfit couldn’t protect me at all, and after almost 30 minutes of waiting, the bus that would take us to Myeong dong in Seoul has finally arrived.
During our almost two hours of bus journey to Seoul, it was one of those times that I had a special moment. Cause I still can’t believe that I’ve finally arrived in South Korea! For it was truly a dream come true! I was just there sitting at the bus listening to my music playlist, and absorbing everything that I’m seeing right in front of me. Even if it was already night time, I still couldn’t care less. For the thought that I’m seeing such amazing views outside my window, makes me feel such an overwhelming excitement. Happiness beyond happiness.
It was around 11pm that we’ve finally arrived in Seoul. And tell you the truth, I was so scared by the time our bus has dropped us off at Myeong dong. For we have no idea about the direction to our guesthouse. It was already night time, so cold outside, and we’re already exhausted from our journey. Plus, we have no phone signal, and at that moment no Wi-Fi. So it was totally hard for us at first. But luckily, after making some inquiries at a hotel nearby, we we’re able to locate 24gueshouse Namsan, and we’ve arrived there just in time for it to close for the night.
As for the place where we stayed during our adventures there, I was totally amazed of the place, because it looks so nice, and it’s totally affordable. Moreover, during our first night, I was kind of funny because I didn’t know that there was a heater. So I had to stand the coldness of the water while washing my face and brushing my teeth. And it was during the next day that I was informed on how to use the heater inside our bathroom. Plus, it was already late in the evening. So we’ve decided to take a rest, and to continue our plans for the next day.
It was such a long day, but truly an unforgettable one. And that sums up our first night in South Korea.
As for next part of our story,
To be continued.
Thank you so much for reading. 🙂