I have been putting off writing this last trip planning post because I am so deeply sad that it is the last one I will be writing, but the show must go on. Our final month abroad takes us to South Korea and Japan, two of our most hotly anticipated destinations. We were able to snag a great deal on accomodation in Seoul, but only if we booked for 10 days, so we will be staying here for our entire time in Korea with some hiking day trips outside of the city. In Japan we will be visiting Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. I would have loved to explore more of Japan and see places like Okinawa and Sapporo, but our limited budget and time made it difficult if not impossible.
After spending the last three months in Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia it has been a bit of a shock to encounter US level prices here in Seoul and what we expect to be NYC level prices in Tokyo. In some ways it is a limiting factor on what type of activities we can engage in, but I've actually come to see that traveling on a budget can be a huge benefit. In no place was this more obvious than in Hong Kong, an expensive city that I was nervous about planning for financially. Yes, you can drop $200 in LKF every night in a blink of an eye, but in cities that large and diverse you can find so much to do, see and eat for $10 or less. It is proving to be the case in Seoul as well - we've already had some incredible meals for quite reasonable prices and Jenny has been able to shop up a storm at Korean cosmetic stores for a fraction of the price those brands cost in the US.
One of our final activities we have planned for the trip is a visit to Tokyo Disney Sea. We both adore the Disney World parks in Orlando and are thrilled to get a chance to explore one of the more interesting Disney parks abroad. It is always fun to check out an American fast food restaurant abroad to explore some of the differences the local culture brings, but an entire theme park is going to be such an awesome adventure.
We fly to Alaska for a wedding after our time in Japan is over and then we are finally back in the Midwest, couch surfing until we can find jobs in some of our target cities. I wish the trip never had to end, but it does and it is time to start grappling with that reality. In many ways I am more prepared than ever to settle down and build a home and a life somewhere, but a part of me will always be yearning for the next trip to the far corners of the world.