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    Seoul: November 2019

    November 1, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 0 °C

    (Written March 17, 2020)

    {Note: It's been a crazy week, and the Gairs are now homebound. Schools are canceled and Martin is working at home since we were in Summit/Eagle counties last weekend: The mountain communities are apparently the hotbed of Colorado COVID-19 cases in Colorado right now. I'm trying to concentrate on the things I SHOULD be doing. However, it is time to do things I have wanted to do too: Namely, a travel journal of my trip to South Korea in November of 2019}

    I arrived at UCLA in 1991 thinking I knew it all, as all 18 year-olds tend to think. I met new people and made friends, many of whom were fellow chemistry nerds. One of those friends, Alice, had immigrated from Korea just 5 years prior. To an 18 year old, 5 years is a long time ago. To me now, 5 years is nothing. I love to travel, but I have always been too timid to travel to Asia. I can't even read the signs! I always told Alice that I wanted her to show me Korea and that I would accompany her if she ever went back. In May, Alice planned her trip for early November. November? No way I could go...Kids are in school. November is just before the holidays. There was just no way. Fast forward to early October, and a genius thought came into my head, 'I should go. I know it's expensive, but I've never regretted taking a trip ... ever.' About that, I was right. 10 days in South Korea was probably the best trip I've ever taken. I was actively planning my return trip before I even ended my first. It has influenced the food I eat and the TV shows I watch. It's almost like I have #ConvertedToKorean. Now that we are in a worldwide pandemic that is limiting all travel? I am so glad that 'crazy Maria' didn't let 'reasonable Maria' make any decisions.
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