My passport arrived in the mail last week. I've been trying really hard not to be too giddy but the thing is, that little blue booklet is my ticket to the world and don't think I'm not completely JACKED (as my boys would say) at the possibilities.
Suddenly there are no barriers to just hopping on a plane and heading to London for Christmas or Paris in April. Well, okay, maybe there's that huge barrier known as money. But in the eyes of the state department, I can travel the world.
Much of last week was spent preparing for Korea. I wrote a presentation: "How Blogging is Shaping News Coverage," and I booked my flight. It's a long ways to Korea, 7,333 miles one way to be exact. I'll be leaving Cleveland at 9 the morning of Nov. 14, will switch planes in Minneapolis for a long flight to Tokyo (though I've just learned that two of my SPJ colleagues also will be on that flight, making the 12 hours seem not so bad) and then endure three more hours from Tokyo to Seoul, picking up a few more SPJ colleagues on that flight. We arrive in Seoul at 9 Monday night.
We've got Tuesdsay to get adjusted before the conference starts on Wednesday. My 82-year-old Grandma called me Friday night and told me that jet lag is all in your head. (Apparently she told my late Grandpa the same thing when they spent a month on their Grand Tour of Europe 20 years ago.) "Just get outside and keep to a schedule and you'll be fine," she said. Gram originally called me to say she wanted to join me on the trip. I think she's very nervous about me traveling that far, but she's also excited about the opportunities. I've promised to give her a a full report over lunch when I return.
Now on to the next big Korea challenge—what to pack...