I started my Gapshida journey on Oct 1, 2011. Since I pitched it to the YouTube nextup competition in April 2011, I’ve dreamed about this trip many times, and spent many hours planning it out. Even though I organized it all by myself, I’ve had a lot of help from my YouTube audience and my readers. The name Gapshida was suggested by my readers, and the places I visit was decided from my readers’ submissions.
Thousands of people liked my idea and invited me to cook with them. “I want to cook and film with Maangchi in my house and I’m willing to invite people who love Maangchi!” Wow! I am the luckiest person in the world! Most of those who submitted their forms won’t have me this time, but they are not disappointed at all and let me know they are looking forward to seeing the videos and stories that we make.
I’ve been backpacking since the 1990s, but this trip is a lot different from the kinds of trips I usually take. First of all, I’m staying in better hotels because I need wifi. While travelling, I’m still maintaining my website.
Secondly, I’m carrying heavy bags, the maximum weight allowances the airlines will allow me. Am I kidding? I never like to carry heavy stuff, but I have no choice on this trip. The bus driver who lifted my bag in the UK asked:
“What’s in it~?”
I said, “Lots of rocks.”
Thirdly, I’m focusing on filming, cooking, and meeting with my YouTube audience and readers rather than enjoying sightseeing. I can come anytime for sightseeing but this trip is very important to me.
I’ll show you what’s inside my bag. Each item has a reason for being there: kitchen scale, measuring cups and spoons, hot pepper flakes, a bottle of fish sauce, 2 cans of perilla leaves, rice, roasted hot pepper paste, sesame seeds, cup ramen, kim (dried seaweed), universal power strip, electric chargers, cords, adapters, dual voltage electric cooker, cooking foil, a few side dishes, a can of kimchi, clothes, 2 hats, a halloween costume, a dress, and 2 pairs of shoes.
In my carry on bag I have: a camcorder, a digital camera, lights for filming, my cosmetics, neck cushion, and my baby laptop!
My first airplane was Virgin Atlantic from JFK to Heathrow London. Once I got to Heathrow, I would need to take a National express bus to Canterbury to meet Tanja and those who will come to see me! I fell asleep for a while on the plane and woke up to a flight attendent’s strong English accent voice:
“Would you like cup or tea of coffee?”
It was still early morning 5 am New York time, but I saw bright daylight coming through the window.
England! My trip had started!