{서울} the story behind my trip

8:50 PM sians 6 Comments

i promised photos and stories about my trip to seoul, south korea but i've postponed it this long mainly because i was overcoming jetlag (that took a whole week, dammit) and i had to take over some responsibilities of a co-worker who is going to be away for six weeks. so work has been extremely busy. now that things have slowed down a tad - i'm trying to figure out how to split my blog entries to cover my 9 day trip to seoul!

part 1 :: the story behind my trip to seoul <3

if you read a couple of my previous entries, more specifically the ones with korean recipe, i wrote a note about entering about "discover korea's delicious secret" contest, sponsored by korean food foundation (kff). i told my family and a few of my friends about this news - but to those who didn't know, i was chosen as one of the five lucky winners which includes a trip to seoul and an opportunity to meet my favorite k-pop band of all time, super junior {슈퍼주니어} !!. <3

super junior happens to be the official ambassadors for hansik! good thinking, kff with 슈주 leading the global hallyu wave which is so huge around the world right now.

taken from google image

to be honest, SJ is probably one of the main reasons why i entered (besides the trip to korea and the chance to try my fav korean dishes at its origin, of course.. i've wanted to go to korea for the longest time now and even planned for a homestay trip end of this year) - the possibility of meeting them motivated me to submit recipes for this competition. in fact, i tested, tried, cooked, photographed and submitted five recipes (to heighten my chances) and i think the whole thought, planning and cooking process itself took almost two weeks. add another few days to type them out and submit them on the website.  

you can't imagine how thrilled i was when i received the news.. sponsored trip to korea (love!) + super junior (double LOVE! and omg LEE DONGHAE! *swoon*) + food :: THE most amazing highlight of the year (possibly decade)!

if you're wondering who lee donghae is >.< (my bias from super junior)
this is also an excuse to include his picture in my entry ^^ *swoon*
taken from elle girl korea photoshoot and instagram-ed by yours truly :)

i think i had a couple anxiety attacks the day before the results was announced - i kept refreshing the contest website (i think i might have killed my crtl+r button that day) and my heart was racing out of my chest throughout the night due to sheer nervousness  ~ secretly hoping and praying i was one of the winners. i've seriously not felt like this before except for important job interviews.  i almost couldn't fall asleep from the nerves but still forced myself since i had to work the next day.

the next morning...typically i check my twitter account when i wake up and that was exactly how i found out i won ~ someone tweeted a congratulatory message. i literally jumped out of my bed and checked the website to make sure it was true!

OMG one of the best feelings ever - all tingly, excited and a smile stuck on my throughout the day that ppl probably thought i was mad. whatever... i was just sooo ecstatic! ^^ definitely was in cloud nine.

the only thing that i was concerned about was that i knew that korean trip is scheduled to be sometime in february but there was no news about the date until about a week later. at the same time, i also had a trip planned since december to go to california (flight tix purchased) so i was keeping my fingers crossed that it didn't fall on the same day. (it was two weeks after my west coast trip so it worked out perfectly!) regardless, if it fell on the weekend as my california trip, i would have forfeited my flight ticket.  

btw, the winning recipe is 'bibimbap in the form of kimbap' which kff renamed as "kimbap-shaped bibimbap" i'll share the recipe one day ;) if you are wondering what is the inspiration behind it :: my first ever korean food tried & adored, the bibimbap rolled into a convenient snack/meal to go, the kimbap - mimic-ing the delicious flavors of the former.

i think the coolest thing was that while kff were sponsoring the return flight tickets and accomodation for 4D 3N, we were allowed to choose our own return flight date - all the other expenses are our own, of course. i decided to only extend 5 extra days (kinda regretting that i didn't extend it longer) because i had return to work and it felt like i was taking too many vacation days.. what i didn't mention was there was a whole lot of madness during the period of times between knowing the results to receiving the winner's email to planning out the trip.

a few other suprising news when i read the winner's email ::
o1 | i had to do a cooking demonstration on the day of the event ~ i was taken aback for a moment.. but figured it wasn't gonna be too bad (i'm lying - i think i was most stressed out about that before the trip..lol)
o2 |  there was an award ceremony and i'll be getting a trophy..those... i also did NOT expect >.<

i guess they like to throw us suprises! haha

good thing was i managed to get in contact with two of the other winners (the one from germany and another from malaysia) and we started planning out our post-event travel plans.  planning the trip on such a short notice had me panicked at a few occasions but thank goodness i have a korean co-worker at work who offered his help. i also have a childhood friend who is currently working in korea who said he would meet up with me in seoul. i have not met him for almost 9 years so i could not wait to catch up with him!

packing was both interesting and challenging - i took a whole evening deciding what to bring on top of trying to fit it all in a luggage bag. AND i took a whole day to decide what to wear for the event since it was semi-formal.

making sure i had everything in hand, esp my passport and all the official documents, i headed off to the airport on monday morning to catch my direct asiana airlines flight to seoul ^^

anywho, this would be the first part of my story. don't fret, part two is coming sometime this week (i promise!) and finally post some pictures of seoul! till the next entry, here is another photo of donghae <3 i'd like to share  >.<  enjoy! hehe

taken from elle girl korea <3 and instagram-ed by yours truly

p.s. i apologize the for fan girl-ing moments. but i don't careee! haha
p.p.s happy white day! <3  해피 화이트 데이!


mun said...

fish-eyed donghae :D

sians said...

omg so cute right?! hahaha
*swoooon* DH my DH...sigh...

the other surprising thing i've found out about myself is i've not fangirl-ed this much for a very long time. lol >.<

JingHan said...

Oh my. Sian Mei. If there is ever a Super Show 4 in USA, we have got to meet up for the concert! I didn't know any friends here in the states who like them until I saw your posts!

sians said...


OMG i know right? I can't really fan girl except with some other ELFs online!
who is your bias??
i hope ss4 will be either in chicago or nyc cos ummm well california is too far.

JH said...

:) Haha. Me too. Good thing I got my sis liking Siwon so I have somebody to spazz with. I really like Hee Chul's bizarre personality.. Siwon's acting/looks, Hae and hyuk's innocent+dancing, Leeteuk's shows + KRY's singing. Kyuhyun and Yesung's voice!! SO...as you can see, I can't really choose.

I love when they are in SJM, having activities in Taiwan. Those are hilarious. I guess I just like SJ's entertainment in general.

SS4 Chicago would be awesome. But I don't really care where because I am definitely going! =D

sians said...

but if it was all the way in california, the flight is crazy expensive ><

hae for me all the way ;) hahah.. i suppose you could tell haha.