Yes! It's really happening. Yangkyu and I will be going to Korea in April.
We bought our tickets a few weeks ago and we have been spending any free time we have building a list of places we want to visit.
Even though Yangkyu and I are both from Korea (born there), we haven't got a clue to any of the places that are popular tourists spots. I haven't been to Korea since 1998 (19 years - and I immigrated to the US in 1986) and Yangkyu since 1994 (23 years - this is the year he immigrated and he hasn't been back since). And so you can see we are a bit outdated with our knowledge.
Yangkyu's brother lives in Korea and his sister in law engaged some netizens in an online cafe to ask for recommendations on where we might go to eat and sightsee. The list was enormous. The Korean online community always seems to come together and pool their knowledge in the most amazing sort of way. We hope to spend some time in Seoul and nearby outskirts of the capital and Jeju Island. We thought to maybe squeeze in Busan as well but we most likely won't have time.
To help us get a better understanding of Korea now, Yangkyu has been showing me videos from the Korean Englishman YouTube channel. Have you guys seen any of them? They are absolutely hilarious and quite informative. What is most striking though is the love of everything Korea by Josh. It is endearing and touching when someone from a completely different country has this level of interest and love for another country's culture, language (he speaks amazing Korean) and traditions.
Needless to say, Yangkyu and I are quite excited to be going.
One of the first things we squared away though, even before purchasing our tickets, was ensuring good care for Bartles while we are away. It's stressful finding care for an elderly pet with medical issues (and one who has to take a lot of medications, supplements - some that require a bit more time and handling) but thankfully his former foster mom offered to look after him while we are away. HUGE relief. Bartles has been with her for 8 months and she is just an amazing dog person and so we are so thankful for her and her care.
Our trip also isn't all about just sightseeing. We'll be going to visit family who we haven't seen in a long time. I'll visit my grandfather's gravesite and see my 92 year old grandmother who recently took ill and went to the hospital (she has since been discharged and is doing well). But my pops told me that he thinks her time is limited and because I wasn't able to see my grandfather before he passed, I wanted to make sure to see my grandmother before it was too late.
Originally we had planned on a Korea/Japan trip - 2 weeks in Korea and 1 week in Japan. But we can't bear to leave Bartles for 3 weeks. And so we have slated Japan for another time (we have been putting Japan on the back burner for so long that when we finally do get to Japan one of these days, we think it'll be just really freakin amazing).
Have a wonderful weekend everybody.