Saturday, December 16, 2017

Two months and counting until the big trip

Last Friday was a bit of a landmark day in the journey toward the trip to Korea for the Winter Olympics. Dec. 8 marked exactly two months until I will be on a plane headed for Seoul.
I have to admit that the recent political climate certainly doesn’t have me feeling great about the way things are shaping up for this trip. Back in 2014, when I was heading to Russia for the last Winter Olympics, there was a lot of questions about the political climate in Russia but as it turned out, everything was okay on the Olympic end of things. I am certainly hoping that this runs the same way.
However, last week brought a great headline that certainly didn’t make me feel at ease, as the headline on the front page of the Union Leader was a warning from a Washington official to get all dependents out of South Korea, due to its proximity to North Korea and all that’s going on there. Didn’t exactly stir my confidence in making this trip.
While there’s been a lot of questions about Pyeongchang and the entire Korean peninsula, I’ve never really doubted that I was going to go, since I’ve put a lot of money into this trip. Of course, saying I put a lot of money into the trip is a bit of a misnomer, since I’ve got a lot of help in paying for this trip. The only thing I’ve paid for myself at this point is the flight, which in and of itself is an interesting bit.
After looking around for the best deal, I found a flight on Air Canada that takes me from Boston to Toronto on Feb. 8 and then after a short layover, I will fly over the North Pole on a flight that will take more than 13 hours into Seoul, arriving late in the afternoon on Feb. 9. The return flight is even more interesting, as I leave Seoul at 5 p.m. in the afternoon on Sunday, Feb. 25, and fly through Toronto again, landing in Boston at 7 p.m. So in essence, the flights will take a whopping two hours although I’ll be on the planes for well more than 14 hours.

There are plenty of questions about Korea and the state of the Olympics moving forward, but as of right now, the plan is to be in Korea on Feb. 9 and stay through Feb. 25. My hope, like in 2014, is to see a little bit of everything during my time there and report on it through blog posts and articles in the newspaper each week. I will also try to see all the local people and those who have local connections. If you know of people with local connections that I might not know about, feel free to let me know so that I can try and catch up with them while in Pyeongchang. Olympic qualifiers are coming up in the next month or so, at which point I’ll have a better idea about what local athletes will be in attendance.

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