It’s an international scandal, as dumbfounding as it is unsurprising: flights more than 8 hours long do not promise planes with ample legroom for all.
I am researching flights to South Korea, my browser tabs shrunken and unreadable, with too many travel sites open. I click from portal to portal, gauging prices, assessing potential for misery. And yet, that frisson of excitement which accompanies great adventures is there, humming steadily in the background. Despite air travel’s propensity for inconvenience, it always amazes me that the far away places we daydream about and pin to “someday” boards are really only a few clicks and a credit card number away. Sometimes I think the most exciting moment of any trip is when you commit to the air travel that will get you there. The most important ones make you feel like you’re standing on the edge of a great precipice, and with a simple ticket purchase, you dive headfirst toward some new horizon bound to change you. You fall slowly towards your destiny at first; faster and faster as the journey nears.
Over 12 hours from SFO to Seoul; almost 11 hours coming back. Hmm. I’m not great on long haul flights to New York as it is, so to travel across our planet’s largest body of water feels like a journey in and of itself, never mind what awaits me once we land on terra firma. My hand retreats from the mouse and I stare at the monitor again, wondering, am I really doing this? I’m actually going to go to South Korea for almost two weeks, on my own? South Korea. What a funny place to plan your biggest trip of the year; no, the biggest trip of a lifetime. It was where I was born, and I have not stepped foot on Korean soil in well over 30 years. Actually, scratch that—I’ve likely never stepped foot on Korean soil at all, because I was six months old when I left the country. View more