Here We Go Again

by Eli Hodapp

Admittedly, and somewhat expectedly this whole project petered off as soon as I stopped screwing around in Europe and returned back to my normal life of gym routines, weird experimental diets, video games, TouchArcade, and all the other crazy (and often non-interesting) things I occupy myself with. Lately I’ve been granted the opportunity to head to South Korea to speak at the Korea Games Conference, and I’m leaving tomorrow. I fly out of O’Hare’s international terminal at 12:35 PM, and will arrive in Seoul at 2:25 PM on Sunday. The time change will be pretty crazy, but I’m naturally adept at staying up super late so I’m hopeful it doesn’t hit me too hard.

I’m flying Korean Air which, as far as I’ve read, is ridiculously nice- Even in Economy. My as-close-to-zero-carb-as-possible diet will likely be a little difficult to keep rolling while traveling, but I’m hopeful that their diabetic meals on the flight at least follow the general idea of what I’ve been doing lately. We’ll see. While in Seoul I’m pretty sure I’ll have no problem with food as I’m already a huge fan of Korean BBQ. Again, we’ll see.

I’m staying at the Intercontinental in the Gangnam District, which looks every bit as great (if not even more awesome) than the Intercontinental we typically stay at in downtown San Francisco , and it’s right next door to the convention center to boot. Daily internet access is going to set me back ₩25,000.00, which is actually the equivalent of about $22.50. South Korean Won is definitely going to be the craziest currency I’ll have ever dealt with, but at least the mental exchange rate is going to be easy– Just drop three zeroes.

This is the lightest I’ve ever packed for international travel, and it’s weird how routine it’s all becoming to me. It makes me appreciate all the strange choices I’ve made in my life to get to this point all that much more. I can’t imagine going back in time and explaining to my ten-year old self pitching hay over a fence to feed goats that in 20 years I’d be doing things like just nonchalantly heading to Korea. It’s amusing looking back to how ridiculously over-packed I was when I left the country for the first time. Now I just check to make sure I’ve got my passport, foreign transaction-friendly credit card, and iPhone.

I suppose it’s a product of shedding that American highly xenophobic fear of the unknown. Everywhere I’ve been outside of the States has actually been better than the USA, so it’s not really worth stressing out about not having something as in my experience the foreign equivalent typically is better. That’s the case in Europe, anyway, and I can’t wait to see if the same holds true for Asia. All the stress leading up to this trip has been entirely related to just making sure my presentation is as awesome as it can be. The actual travel part? That’s just as simple as sitting on a plane for a while.

I even surprise myself with how, “Eh, I’ll figure it out” I’ve gotten in recent years.