One of the nicest things about teaching in Korea is the free flights. The schools usually pay for a one-way flight to Korea from South Africa, as well as a one-way ticket home at the end of your contract (unless you are renewing, in which case you get a free return flight home and back to Korea).
The oddest thing about this, though, is that the schools tend to insist that they will only pay for one-way flights, and will only reimburse half the price of a return flight, even if the return flight is CHEAPER than a one-way flight. I still can’t wrap my head around this one.
In any case, I’m in the last three weeks of my contract and I can now start getting excited about my trip home. I’m not renewing, so it’ll be a one-way flight for me. But I’ve managed to organise myself something interesting. Because there are no non-stop direct flights to South Africa from Korea, you usually have to stop over somewhere, usually in Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Dubai or Qatar. I like Asian airlines, so I decided to see if I could arrange a flight on Singapore Airlines. Last time I flew with them, back in 2006, it was awesome!
Luckily for me Singapore Airlines had some decently priced one-way flights (about 1,100,000 won, one-way). So my school was willing to pay for this. “Hang on,” I thought. “Hmmm…Singapore…close to Thailand and Cambodia…” and then it hit me. Beaches! Sunshine! Cheap food! Fresh fruit! Yes! Maybe, just maybe, I could arrange to stay over in Southeast Asia a bit on my way home.
And wouldn’t you know it, the Singapore Airlines flight home was pretty much the same price whether I flew straight home or stayed for a month. So I decided to try and arrange a month-long stay in Southeast Asia, and my school had no problem paying for the ticket. In fact I have already been reimbursed. Awesome!
So on 1 March I’ll be landing in Singapore, and on 3 March I’ll be in Cambodia enjoying Angkor Wat. After that it’s off to Thailand’s beaches for a nice dose of sea and sand. I have a grin on my face already. The best part is, because of the free flights, I should be able to get away with less than R5,000 for my accommodation, transport and food for more than a month in Southeast Asia. Un-be-lievable!
So long, Korea, and thanks for all the flights.