My first solo trip ever. I mean of course I did my first Zim to Melbourne trip alone. But that was different, I was coming to uni and there were people ready to meet me and help me settle in when I arrived. Seoul on the other hand. Solo. Me myself and I. I knew no one, couldn’t speak a single word of Korean and…I’m black. Interestingly, the locals didn’t care too much for my blackness which I found strange given not a single black person was in sight for the first 24 hours of my trip. I would later realise however that there is actually a large community of black Americans living in Seoul, so most of the locals just assumed I was black American I guess, well till I opened my mouth that is. The Aussie ‘twang’ come through strong! Now before you roll your eyes. Let me explain. I can handle ( to a certain extent) people assuming that I’m poor or that I don’t speak English because I’m black but what I can’t handle is people assuming I’m American because I’m black and I’m travelling. I mean hello!? There are a whole lotta black people in the rest of the world (eg Africa) who are quite capable of travelling or being on holiday in a foreign country! Hence, situations like that bring out my Aussie twang. I mean I could go strong Zim accent but that would be too easy. A Zimbabwean with an Australian accent, now that’ll get em! Lol the look of confusion when they ask “so where you from” and I’m like “oh I’m from Melbourne”…They’re like.. as in “Melbourne, Australia? ” Eheka!
Back to being solo in Seoul. A few things I learnt about myself. Firstly. I actually enjoy my own company. I started talking to myself again. Something I used to do a lot of when I was younger (only girl and the youngest with 3 older brothers, it can get lonely). I mean full conversations here, laughter included. Secondly. I realised I really do love fashion. I probably spent about eight hours a day looking at clothes and combing through racks, piece by piece, feeling the fabric looking at the finish of each garment. I would walk till my back ached and my feet started to blister. If I wasn’t doing that I was attending shows at Seoul Fashion week, taking it all in, searching for inspiration, learning how the Koreans put looks together. I also learnt that I’m a really good communicator. I mean I knew this, but being in an environment where pretty much no one spoke English and still being able to (eventually) find my way around showed me that I’m a communication BOSS. Never be afraid to ask and never give up on searching for what is it you want.
Lastly and above all else. I love being Tapi’s wife. Our little family. That comes first. This became very clear five mins before I boarded my flight to Seoul and couldn’t control the lump in my throat. Home is where my heart is. He has my heart. Ultimately, if that is my only calling in this life, then mission accepted.