Operation: Endgame (May 18 and 19)

Today was the longest day of my life, quite literally. Since we were flying from Korea back to the United States, the thirteen-hour time change undoes the thirteen-hour flight, making the total amount of time of May 18th to be around 30 hours. However, my day of travel became much longer, with multiple delays and two cancelled flights. I think the best way for me to explain this to you is by breaking it up by every few hours.

Hour 1: Got up, packed the rest of my things and ate my final meal at 6:30 am. Boarded the bus at 7:00. Began our six-hour bus ride to the Incheon International Airport.

Hour 3: Been on the bus for 2 hours. We stopped at a rest stop for twenty minutes to use the restroom and get some snacks.

Hour 5: On the bus for another hour, then an hour break for lunch. I bought my last Korean street food that I will have for a long time.

Hour 8: Finished our bus ride and finally arrived at the airport. Said goodbye to our guides from the Asia Institute and Min our translator. Started getting our bags checked.

Hour 9: Got through security and at our gate. So far everything has gone smoothly, just waiting an hour to board our flight.

Hour 10: Board the flight to Dallas. I had a middle seat which was rather uncomfortable.

Hour 13: Three hours into the flight. I watched a movie called Glass, not the best in the world. We were served dinner. I got the bipandbop, a classic Korean dish.

Hour 18: slept for a good five hours. We were served some ramen noodles as a snack.

Hour 23: Slept another few hours, I have gotten pretty good at sleeping on planes. We landed in Dallas

Hour 24: Got through immigration, rechecked our bags, and went through security.

Hour 25: Flight to Charlotte delayed by an hour. This would not be a problem if our flight from Charlotte to Pittsburgh wasn’t an hour after. This delay means we would miss our flight in Charlotte. There was another option, however. There was a flight direct from Dallas to Pittsburgh that left in a few hours, with just a few seats left. Not all of us going to Pittsburgh could get on that flight. So, I decided to change my destination to Chicago (where I actually live) and let the people who actually live in Pittsburgh get to go home.

Hour 26: Flight to Chicago delayed by an hour. Luckily, there was another girl from my trip going in that flight as well (shout out Jasmine).

Hour 27: Flight to Chicago delayed by an hour.

Hour 28: Flight to Chicago delayed by an hour.

Hour 29: Flight to Chicago delayed by an hour. I bought some Chick-fil-a for dinner.

Hour 30: Flight to Chicago delayed by an hour.

Hour 31: Flight to Chicago cancelled. It was now midnight. I waited on hold for thirty minutes with the help desk to get a new flight. I will now be flying to Kentucky at noon (in 12 hours) then to Chicago from there.

Hour 32: I found an earlier flight. I will now be going from Dallas to Des Moines Iowa at 8:00am then to Chicago with a three-hour layover in Des Moines.

Hour 33: Me and Jasmine met up with all the other students from Korea who were stranded in Dallas.

Hour 35: Most people are now sleeping on the floor. I was trying to teach myself closeup magic tricks.

Hour 36: Me and two others ran around the airport and meet some nice people who shared their delayed stories.

Hour 38: The people going to Philadelphia witnessed an act of god. They got bumped up to a 5:00am flight and all seven of them got on through standby! However, about five minutes after boarding, a large group of people coming from another flight all stood outside the gate yelling. They all missed their flight by a few minutes, and my friends took their spots. O well.

Hour 40: I made my way to my gate to Des Moines. Jasmine and I split, since we were now on sperate flights.

Hour 41: Board my plane to Des Moines. Finally, Progress!

Hour 43: Landed in Des Moines, two-hour layover then finally home.

Hour 45: On the Plane to Chicago. But the flight is delayed, so were stuck on the runway for who knows how long. I just want to sleep.

Hour 46: I share my study abroad stories with passengers around me, meet some nice people. We are all hoping this plane takes off soon.

Hour 47: We take off! Heading home!

Hour 48: Two days since I left Busan in Korea, and finally home in Chicago. I got my bag and left the airport, hoping not to return for also long as I possibly can.

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