When speaking with other expats before our big move to Korea, one of the most common things people told us was that you would make friends for a lifetime. The weeks before we left for Korea were a blur, lots of packing, lots of saying goodbyes, and lots of advice, so this “you’ll make great friends” stuff — if I’m being honest — kind of made me laugh. I kept thinking, I’ve got friends, and I’m sure I will make friends there, why do people keep telling me this??? Well, now I understand. Once you are completely out of your comfort zone, and I mean, COMPLETELY out of your comfort zone, you look to others in a similar situation and you just grab hold and don’t let go! You make friendships that are more like family, because these people are your family away from home. When you live at least 14 hours of plane travel away from your actual family, these are the people that will bring you food when you are sick, water your plants when you go on vacation, and meet the mailman so that they will finally deliver that long lost package from the U.S. They are the people that you see every day. So, when my friend Lara (who has now moved back to Houston, which makes me VERY sad) asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding this past September, I couldn’t say “YES!” fast enough! Granted, I didn’t think through the exact details of getting from Korea to you know, Sun Valley, Idaho until much later, but we got that worked out really quickly, after I convinced my parents to meet me in Utah for a road trip to Yellowstone National Park!
After an easy flight (sarcasm at its highest) over to Salt Lake City, I met my parents at the baggage claim! Side note, to get to Salt Lake I took a cab to the bus stop, took a bus to the train station, took the train to the airport in Seoul, flew to San Francisco (after a delay in taking off), sat on the tarmac in San Fran because another plane was at our jet way, ran through customs (thank you Global Entry), rechecked my bags for Salt Lake where the gate agent told me “oh, you’d better hurry!”, ran through security (thank you TSA Pre Check) and made it to my plane where they held the plane for a Korean family that was on my previous flight. #thanksunitedby