Soulful Seoul

Here I am being all excited about my very first flight to South Korea and what do I do?! I successfully manage to oversleep almost the entire layover -.- shame on me, I know. But sometimes your body just needs rest and this was one of the occasions. Coming from the Western part of the world just a few days ago my body clock was probably so confused that I was really struggling to adjust. And with the departure in the middle of the night I am facing another challenge on my flight to:

– Seoul –

http://travel.cnn.com/seoul/life/50-reasons-why-seoul-worlds-greatest-city-534720

Luckily I got some sleep (and loads of coffee!) before the trip so that I was full of energy when entering the briefing room. The crew was really nice and with most of the team being Korean I got even more excited for this journey. Unfortunately that’s where my first ‘faux pax’ happened: During my little briefing speech I advertised the flight comparing it – in my naive European manner- to our lovely and popular Japanese flights🙈 A big mistake to do so in front of Koreans as they are very proud of their own culture and do not wish to be compared to any other Asian country..which I guess makes sense..I mean Italy is not like Spain or France either. So as you can imagine I looked into blank faces around the table when introducing myself and setting my expectations for the flight. Good that I got like 10 more hours to make up for my little blunder…and believe it or not but once we got all onboard and started our duties everything was forgiven and maybe -or hopefully- even forgotten 😉

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When we finally got into Seoul there was a very long bus ride waiting for us as the airport is located far away from the city. But  even the most tired of us could tell why Incheon International Airport has been ranked the best airport in the world being equipped with a golf course, a skating rink, a Museum, a Casino and many more attractions. The only thing I remember though is getting on and off the bus as pretty much all of us just passed out straight away during the 1h drive. As usual I had so many plans in my head that I really couldn’t decide what to do first..there was an invitation for a Korean BBQ, then there was a city tour up until the border between North and South Korea and of course also some shopping waiting for me. But with so many options and also a visit to the gym in my mind I just could do one thing…sleeeeep😴

And so it happened that I woke up at 2am in the morning completely jetlagged and mad at myself for not joining my colleagues for dinner. Roomservice it was -.- Still being half asleep and also figuring that it was way to early to hit the gym I desperately kept trying to fall back asleep. But here is the thing: the more you keep pushing yourself and telling your body that you need to get some sleep, the less are the chances that you actually will fall back asleep. And so I kept tossing and turning until I realized it just won’t happen. Some people might switch on the TV and watch some boring documentaries but for me the most relaxing and mind stimulating activity is reading ❤ So for the next 4h or so I read about some of the most random things and mind blowing facts…did you know for example that the guy who invented the current American Flag was only 17y old when he came up with the design during a school project receiving a B- on his idea?! Anyway…another goodie I can share with you here is that I finally found the song that I was looking for such a long time…

Ok maybe I won’t be able to take you to the top of the world with this song but 40,000ft is pretty close don’t you think?! 😉

After listening to almost my entire playlist and some other random stuff I finally dozed off around 7am -.- You can imagine how upset I was waking up at 2pm realizing that I missed almost my entire layover. But there was no time left for self pity and so I decided to beat my jet lag with a visit to the gym before hitting the city for the last few hours. The first step outside and into civilization was probably also the biggest cultural shock as I found myself in a very strange situation. When entering the fitness room of the hotel I suddenly felt that something is very wrong here and everybody kept staring at me. I asked myself whether I should maybe take my shoes off like in Japan (yet another stupid comparison of mine) but when looking into the mirror I realized what’s going on here…there I was in my usual explosion of pink being surrounded by what seemed like an army of uniformed guys…in the gym. Yes, people in Korea all have to be uniform and so they were all wearing the same gym attire-except me of course.

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So believe it or not but after a great workout I eventually found my way outside the hotel in order to explore the city…and what can I say…it was beautiful 🙂 I was positively surprised by the sense of the style Korean people seem to have when it comes to fashion. Everyone out on the streets was very well dressed and my fetish for old school sneakers was successfully satisfied just by looking at their shoes. One thing that should be taken as a good advise is to be very careful where you are walking as people are so busy being on their phones that they rarely look up. I decided to go and visit the famous ‘Gangnam district’ and do some serious shopping. The weather was amazing and I am thankful for all the great coffee and book shops around the area 🙂 Made my day. See it can be so easy to make a girl happy 😉

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Hopefully I will soon get another chance to visit this great place and maybe also try some of the local specialties and do some more sightseeing. From tomorrow onwards I will be on standby for the entire month of May so you never know where destiny will take me….I am excited for all my upcoming trips and will keep discovering 😉

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