The journey of an aspiring fighter #59

Successfully mastering time travel, officially ticket of the bucket list!

As much as I love to travel, see new places, experience different ways of life, and meet new people, I HATE the process of getting there. What can be worse than being stuck on a plane next to a screaming baby on one side and a larger than life business man completely invading your personal space on the other?

Actually, a lot of things could be worse, but you get the idea. Let’s just say my preference is definitely the arrival rather than the travel. I left my beloved Phuket in the early hours of Wednesday morning and after just 6 hours, I arrived in my first layover destination, Korea.

The flight to Korea was better than expected – I bagged a double seat to myself so I slept peacefully for the majority of the flight. By the time we touched down in Korea, I was preparing myself for a boring 6 hour layover. However, I was given a pleasant surprise by the airport’s facilities!

Within minutes of walking through the terminal I saw a sign stating “Rest and Relaxation”. Assuming this would be an option reserved for those with a few pennies to spare, I kept walking. But thankfully my curiosity got the better of me. I figured it was worth taking a look the cost.

To my great surprise and fortune, I found about 30 lie down couches all lined up in rows. There was no barrier, no check in, no payment. FREE BEDS. Now, those of you who know me, will know how much I love my bed, and in this situation, one couldn’t be fussy. I found a bed not too near any snoring men and made my nest.

It was one of the best, deepest sleeps I’ve had in a long time. Admittedly I was a little confused when I awoke to find two Korean ladies lying on the beds next to me but that was quickly resolved.

As I checked out my surroundings properly for the first time, I spied another sign which put a great big smile on my face. FREE INTERNET. OK, let me get this straight. You’re giving me free internet AND a free bed? Gold star for you Seoul Airport.

There was a supposed 30 minute limit on the computers however for the most part I was the only person with a choice of 10 computers. The woman in charge didn’t seem to mind.

After hour and a half of surfing the net, it was time to find out about the next leg of my journey.

This was, without a doubt, easily the best layover I’ve had so far within my limited traveling experience.

Previously I had thought,”There can’t be that many people traveling from Seoul to Los Angeles?”

Apparently, though, I was wrong. Very wrong. The plane was absolutely packed, and guess who should I be sitting next to?

Of course, a business man and a woman with a baby (who had only booked one seat for herself despite her child being old enough to crawl/start walking). If I am honest, I was really dreading this leg of the journey.

Thankfully, the woman seemed like she had her head screwed on and probably saw the error of her ways. She asked the cabin crew if I could move to another seat so that she could let her baby sleep. Thank you kind lady. I adore children, but not when I am next to one screaming its head off for 12 hours straight.

I moved to a slightly less comfortable seat with grown up women and no children either side of me. Fine by me!

Within about 30 seconds of landing in Los Angeles airport I knew I was in America. The people seem a lot more eccentric, assertive and sure of themselves. In Asia, everyone is super quiet, polite, friendly and generally pleasant to be around.

America is a different story. Although the airport staff are all extremely friendly, they also want you to do things their way, or you’re not going in their country. They decide who jumps the queue. Sadly they didn’t choose me.

Then there’s the general public. They are a different breed all together. There’s parents screaming across the lobby at their (multiple) children, who are all climbing up a different seat/wall/barrier. I’d been sitting for no more than 5 minutes before my feet were run over by a push chair that the mother just couldn’t be bothered to look out for. No sorry, not even an eye contact. I know you know you ran over my feet lady, you’re lucky I was in such a good mood.

Security is a different story here too. I must have been through at least 3 or 4 barriers before I even got near my gate. I can understand why they do it. It does make me laugh though, when I think of the intense security involved at Los Angeles compared to the lack of security at Las Vegas.

I hopped straight off the plane and into a taxi which cost me $40.00 to get to the hotel! I’m going to have to get used to these prices.

The hotel is massive. You could probably legitimately get lost here for a week and no one would notice. The casino is on the way out to the rooms – how convenient – so I had to walk through it to get to mine.

I’m not sure why, and I’ve never noticed it before, but the casino just smelt of desperation. Perhaps I’ve just never spend any real time in a casino, at least not a big one. It made me realize how lucky I am to have found the one thing that makes me truly happy. No amount of money can buy that.

Here’s a crazy thought. Imagine, just for a moment, that the little girl from the small English town nobody has heard of actually makes it. Stupid right?

If no one believed in themselves, then how would anyone achieve anything? Maybe I’m just feeling inspired after watching ‘The Internship’, but the film does make some valid points. Some things seem impossible at the start, but the further in to a dream you are, the more possible it becomes.

You might mess up on the way. In fact, no, you WILL mess up on the way. Isn’t that just part of the journey? We all lose fights. It’s what we take from the loss that’s important.

Not everyone’s life has a Hollywood ending, and not everyone succeeds in following their dreams. So what is it that makes all the difference?

My support network has grown ten fold over the past few years. Previously I’ve felt completely alone, isolated within my own thoughts and fears. More recently I’ve felt that whatever obstacles I come up against, I will find the strength within myself to work through it.

Crunch time comes on Monday, and my next blog post will reveal whether I make it in to the TUF house or not. Keep those fingers crossed!


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