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So it’s really happening. The flights were booked and paid for yesterday. This means that in roughly 3 months’ time, we are headed to both South Korea and Japan. With my parents, my brother and a two and a half year old. What could possibly go wrong? *hyperventilates*
This is really exciting and it’s a trip we have talked about doing for years, but we never managed to get our timing right as a bigger family group. You see, my brother and I were adopted (separately – 3 years apart) as babies from Korea, and despite showing little to no interest in where we were born for most of our lives (my parents tried their best but we were having none of it haha), we’ve started to become more curious about what it might be like to visit for a holiday as adults.
None of us wanted to do the journey without everybody else, so it’s been harder to organise. I feel like we’ve been talking about it forever! Except now it’s real. We figured that we should head off while my grandparents are well, I’m not planning on being pregnant (and being very careful not to be!), my brother will have a bit of time to travel and my parents…well, any excuse 😉
While we’ll more than likely see the areas we were born and that certain emotions are bound to emerge, the focus of the trip to Korea is more from a tourists’ point of view. Just like any other journey around the world, we’re curious about a culture and history different to our own. We want to check out the scenery. Get to know the big cities. Eat the food (duh).
We then chucked Japan in there, because why not? It’s somewhere my brother has already travelled (and has enjoyed) but for the rest of the group, it’s been on our “must see” lists for a fair while.
I feel a bit nervous. I’m not a naturally gifted traveller (despite usually enjoying it immensely once we head off) and I am not very experienced in overseas adventures, having missed that rite of passage while I was younger (and childless – silly Kez). I get a bit anxious and never know what to pack or how to prepare. I’m feeling the enormity of catering for a 2 year old in a country where English isn’t always used and I don’t know the lay of the land (I guess that’s the point of going and exploring). I worry about safety and transport for a small, restless child. I worry about being on the go constantly without stopping enough – about the Little Mister getting a bit feral. I worry about toilet training (we’re in early days right now). I also worry that I might feel really emotional visiting Korea. What feelings will it bring up? Will I handle them well or will I have an exhausted meltdown at an inopportune moment? I mean, I’ve spent my whole life coming to terms with my identity as a white Aussie trapped in an Asian body! What if this trip unravels my sense of security that I’ve worked so hard to achieve?
I can’t deal with all the ‘what ifs’ right now, I do know that. They are just that. What ifs. I will just have to go with the flow and see where it all takes me. Either way, it will be a fantastic learning experience. For all of us. It’s truly a once in a lifetime journey we’re going to be taking and I remind myself of that whenever I feel a bit unsure. I’d regret it so much if I didn’t go.
Now it’s time to save like crazy people for a trip we probably couldn’t really afford if we wanted to be really sensible, to plan our accommodation and ‘must see’ lists. To gather information. We really are just seizing the moment. Carpe Diem and all that sh*t. But not YOLO because…ew.
It’s really going to happen and I feel awesomely unprepared. Bring it on.
Got any travel tips for South Korea or Japan? I’d love to hear your experiences x