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Moving on from Jeju Island. Decision Made!

Many are standing between the threshold of everything they dream to create and be, and the precipice of all they fear. Don’t look at what you fear anymore. Just jump toward your vision. Don’t think during this step. You can plan later. Commit. Leap. –Mike Klingler

I was sitting in a cafe here on Jeju Island and Barry Manilow was playing on the stereo.  One line caught my ear:

“You get what you get when you go for it.”

And I thought, You know what Barry?!  You’re right!  You do get what you get when you go for it.  It could be said that I went for it by coming to Jeju Island.  I couldn’t find much information about the Jeju Olle trail in English online so at a certain point I decided that I just had to go for it and try and figure it out.  Otherwise, I could easily get analysis paralysis.  Better, in my book, to make a wrong move and learn from it, then to make no move at all.  It turns out that it was sort of a maverick move and maybe not that wise but I couldn’t have known until I knew.

I figured out a lot by making mistakes, getting lost, meeting many wonderful people, being uncomfortable, lonely, HOT.  Did I mention lost?  In every way.  I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived on Jeju Island.  And after my arrival, I didn’t know what to expect any minute of the day.  No doubt it’s been stressful.

Now, my hope is that I can help improve the situation with my feedback to the Jeju Olle Trail committee so it’s easier for the next person.  I will be writing to the creator of the Olle Trail with some suggestions that I believe will truly make the Olle Trail a destination walk for an international crowd.  It’s not quite there yet.

Facing another four weeks on Jeju Island was not exciting me.  The stress is part of it, but the main reason is the heat.  Just as in Spain, where the locals were saying that it had never been so cold in late Spring, here the locals are saying that it’s never been this hot at this time of year and that the rains that are typical are not coming.  Climate change is real, y’all.

So I went about considering my options which are limited only by where I can get an award ticket.  I first checked the wikipedia page for the Seoul airport (Incheon) to see which airlines fly out of this airport and where they fly.  Many places are new to me, so this always leads to extensive research about countries and cities I know nothing about.  This time, Cambodia was high on my list because I have a friend there. Although it would be hot too, it is affordable enough that I could guarantee myself an air-conditioned hotel room.  However, I was antsy to make a decision and was warned by my friend that a national election was coming up and there was a possibility of violence after the results were announced.  So with that…I moved on.  And went through researching Australia, Fiji, Bora Bora, Hawaii, Thailand, Noumea, Macau and more.  For each potential destination, I looked at costs of travel within the country, general safety, things to do, and current weather.

And I finally decided on NEW ZEALAND, a place I did not expect to see anytime soon!  My award ticket was purchased with United Miles (the “price” was signing up for a Continental credit card (pre-merger) and getting a United credit card).  Those two credit card bonuses gave me 100,000 “miles” which will allow me to fly business class on two very long journeys to New Zealand and back via Singapore.  I will be leaving August 2nd and look forward to sharing news from Down Under!

(If you have any suggestions about where I should go (I will be arriving in Auckland and leaving from Christchurch) please share in the comments below.  Thanks mates!)

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