The trip finally hit me in San Fransisco, as I stood in the Korean airline check-in. I felt this wave of anxiety wash over my body as everyone starred at me because I was the only Caucasian in line. This is the exact moment that it all hit me; I am submerging myself into another world, and I will be VERY different from everyone else. To be honest, I have never been the minority in an Asian crowd. But this will be the journey for the next several months. The plane ride was treacherous. First from Denver to San fran, a little over 2 hrs. Then San fran to Seoul Korea, which was the hefty 18-20 hrs. Then the last one from Korea to Manila, about 4 hrs. All in all, it ended up being a 3 day journey in a tiny little airplane seat. Somehow I woke up at 5 am sunday morning and didnt arrive in the Philippines until Tuesday at 11pm. I have to give compliments to Korean Airlines~it was the best service I have ever received from an airline. In the states it seems like they are minimizing everything during the flight (paying for headphones?) but this flight (both ones out of the country) was the exact opposite. If felt like the 60's where the stewardess' were all dressed in similar uniforms. Regardless of the fact that I did not sleep, they did everything to make the long journey comfortable. Food & drinks constantly, tons of free crappy movies to watch, and smiles from ear to ear. I fancied the Korean language in that little time I was there.
My first sunset on the other side of the world was greeted to me by the Korean coast, as I boarded my 3rd plane of the long day.. It was extraordinary, and set me up for the great sunsets/rises I will be seeing in the near future.
The last plane ride to the Philippines was simply a burden, after that 20 hr plane ride I was SOOO over it, but I kept on truckin. A little Filipino boy had the same idea as me as we both sprawled out on 4 chairs between the two of us. I finally fell asleep for a little bit, then I woke up to a ding and the captain saying we were landing in 30 minutes. I sat up, dizzy & cross-eyed, put my face into my hands and smiled so deep that it penetrated my soul. I MADE IT!
I made my way through immigration & customs with a sense of accomplishment-that ride was a commitment. As I was grabbing my bag I heard my name over the PA, the woman told me "some man is waiting over there for you." I grinned and walked out the doors and FINALLY met up with Matt. As soon as I turned the corner everyone else blurred out and he was the only one I could see. I had been anticipating that moment for a month...
Again, we were united!
We eventually found a cab, but cars were all over, people were all over, it was a cluster-fuck! Manila is a big dirty city with strip malls, strip clubs, & quick & easy food all over. It hit me again that I am in another world, but by this time I was on overload. We are escaping Manila today and headed for the island life of Palawan/Puerto Princessa. But for now, I am spoiled laying in an air-conditioned room; preparing myself for the heat of the hostels yet to come. Matt is sleeping by my side as I lay here reflecting & grateful.
I cannot sleep, I am too excited!!