And the day to say farewell to Korea has finally come. It’s been such an amazing experience but I think we’re all ready to leave. It’s been kind of overwhelming with how much we’ve seen and done in two weeks so we’re all a little exhausted but also excited to go home. We had to leave the Busan hotel at 7:30am, and get this, it was raining for the first time in the two weeks we’ve been there. But we left Busan around 8am and we stopped twice on the way to Incheon International Airport. I slept the whole bus ride and had a good ramen at the second rest stop. We reached the Airport around 2pm or so. We checked in, said our goodbyes to Jing and Cheryl, and then went through security.
All of us were flying to Dallas except for Thomas, but I felt like the bus was the last time I saw a lot of people. I only got to say bye to very few people. But we got onto the 14 hour flight to Dallas and we all sat in different places. I slept a good amount but also watched Life of Pie, Miss Congeniality, Inception, and Valentine’s Day. The food was worse than our flight from Dallas to Seoul. But oh well it was a chill plane.
We got down at Dallas, and we all had to go through customs. That line was especially long and took about 30-45 minutes. We find out that the flight to Philly gets delayed by 2hrs from 6:45 to 8:30. So we took our time to go through customs, go to baggage claim, get our checked in bag, drop the bag at the recheck location, go through security, and go to our transfer flight. We snooze around for an hour and a half and then go to our gate which is changed to at A39. Soon we find out that our flights delayed to 9pm and then 10pm and then 12am and then a 4:25am until it finally settled on 8:45am. I find out later that that flight left Dallas at 12:45pm on Sunday.
So basically we were stuck at the airport and there was no hope of getting a hotel from American Airlines. There were 9 of us heading to Philly and it would’ve been difficult to check out and back in. So we cozied up and I probably slept for 3 hours that night. Around 4am, we put ourselves on standby to get onto an earlier flight to Philly. We also notice that there’s a 5am flight at our gate that’s heading to Philly so all of us pray that we get put onto this flight. And thank goodness there was space for all of us, so we board the flight praying all our troubles end in Dallas. But after a 3hr flight that I barely slept through, we land in Philly, go to baggage claim, and realize our checked-in bag is still in Dallas.
So our troubles didn’t end until Monday evening when my suitcase arrived at our front door thanks to American Airlines. But of course these 40 hours of travel experience doesn’t define even taint our experience in South Korea. I’m forever grateful for the people I’ve met on this trip and for the experiences I’ve had. It’s been real South Korea.