Gapshida! Packing, preparing, & flying to the UK

By Maangchi

Hello everybody!

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, gim (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!


  1. soko2usa Minnesota joined 4/09 & has 55 comments

    I can’t wait to see what you cook in England! I hope it’s some kind of pie!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,047 comments

      I cooked Korean food (squid soup and spicy chicken) in the UK, but Tanja showed me how to make her Thai mother’s easy and authentic recipes, which included hot and fresh green papaya salad (som dtum) and spicy Thai beef salad (laab).
      We filmed the recipes together and they’ll be posted later with my squid soup video, when I go back home.

  2. tomco1025 California, USA joined 9/11 & has 11 comments

    How exciting! I feel as if I get to take the trip too! It looks like you are very organized and busy. I can’t wait to start seeing your videos from everyone’s homes. Until then your blogs are fun glimpses into your journey. Have fun, Maangchi!

  3. korea4me South Korea joined 10/09 & has 54 comments

    That’s so typical of an English bus driver to say that. LOL I always travel heavy for some reason.

  4. powerplantop Louisiana joined 6/09 & has 70 comments

    Sounds like your off to a good start!

  5. KillDeer Hamilton, Ontario joined 9/10 & has 33 comments

    “Would you like cup of tea of coffee?” lol you must be busy you arent even checking your blogs for mistakes before posting? so did you have tea OR coffee? :)

  6. AstrosheepSter Massachusetts joined 7/11 & has 2 comments

    Our family is so happy for you! Although we are completely excited, we are still sad that we couldn’t be a part of gapshida… Who wouldn’t want to be a part?! But the very next time you have a meetup near your hometown, we are definitely going to make the trip! We look forward to watching your travels! Keep us updated!

  7. IvySeoul UK joined 8/11 & has 8 comments

    Welcome to the UK, Maangchi! I hope you have a wonderful time here. :-)

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