Posted by: C. Cali Martin | October 6, 2009

A Tentative Plan…

While I’m in Korea and working for Avalon, I will not be able to travel much–except within the country. That doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to do in Korea, however. Quite the opposite. There is a traditional village, Gyuong Ju (something like that in English), about an hour’s bus ride from Daegu. It takes about an hour and a half (one way) to get to Jeju Island from here (take the bus to Busan, fly a teeny plane to the island). On the KTX (super fast train!), it takes two hours to get to Seoul. There is an ideal place to ski in central South Korea (can’t remember the name), so that’s on my to-do list. And of course, there is always Busan (about 45 minutes away on the KTX and where I’m traveling this weekend!), and all manner of villages with green tea plantations and the like. That’s enough to quench my thirst for travel for a year! I’m not sure even exploring Daegu will get old!

So–what am I planning? Excellent question. I came over here hoping to travel a bit, but seeing as how my scheduling works, I’m only slightly disappointed. I won’t have the time to make short trips to Japan, Vietnam, China, or wherever during my stay. I just wouldn’t get anything out of a two-day journey when half the time I’ll be in the process of getting there. Instead, I’ll be doing my traveling after my year is up! I will have two options of returning home: the school will pay for my flight from Daegu, or I can take the cash. I think I’ll opt for the cash (even though it will, of course, be less than a flight would normally be). Oh well. So what will I do? The plan consists of this thus far: the Trans-Siberian Railway!!!! I’ll be able to catch a ferry from Seoul to Beijing. I’ll spend a couple days there, observing the Chinese way of life; then, off to catch the train! I guess I will technically be taking the Trans-Mongolian line, since I’ll be traveling through Mongolia. The different is in the starting point: whether you go through Siberia or Mongolia. The train out of Beijing goes through Mongolia (for those geographically challenged, as I was prior to my research). The shortest trip is six days–but who wouldn’t want to stop along the way? I found one tour that is 16-18 days, depending on how many days you spend at one place. I can go to the Gobi desert, visit where Ghengis Khan’s campgrounds were, and even stay with a local village for two nights! Of course, I haven’t quite decided on a particular route, or time-span, or anything–BUT THIS WILL BE DONE! It’s pretty much the only thing on my journey I HAVE to do.

After my what-will-be amazing venture through China, Mongolia, and Russia, I will take a couple days in Moscow to explore the city. Then, hopefully, I can board another train to Berlin, where I will (again, hopefully), meet up with my foreign exchange student from 2003, Katja. I’ll spend some more time in Germany (can’t wait!), remembering how to speak German once again (or getting by on broken phrases), and maybe hop over to London for a couple days. You see, the majority of foreign teachers at my school are British, so hopefully I can bum a room for a couple nights in England. 🙂 Again, this is all conjecture – and seeing as how none of my plans ever work the way I imagine, I’m not sure this will happen. I will, however, travel on the Trans-Siberian on my home from Korea. If anyone feels up for a grand adventure on the Orient Express, please do feel welcome to join me!

Blog originally posted Tuesday, Septmeber 1, 2009 on a MySpace Blog.
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