As the departure loomed closer and my post-vacation workload piled up, I began dreading my decision to go to Seoul.
I looked closely at the itinerary and realized I had agreed to spend 15-plus hours flying in coach each way for two days of sightseeing and one day at the Korea Tourism Office's Luxury Travel Mart.
What in the world was I thinking? It's the same question I ask myself before most long-haul trips in economy, which are the norm rather than the exception. It's what the social media world refers to as #firstworldproblems.
Getting here, of course, was miserable. But as usual, it wasn't as bad as I built it up to be.
The dread lifted the moment I checked into the Signiel Seoul, which begins on the 79th floor of the 123-floor Lotte World Tour, the fifth tallest building in the world. The ultra-luxe, ultra-modern hotel -- with exceptional service, smart decor and sweeping airplane-like views in all directions -- was an immediate reminder of how Asia continues to raise the bar on luxury.
I was also immediately reminded of Asia's leadership in smart room technology when I opened the door to the private stall in my large marble bathroom to see the lights come on, the toilet seat pop up and its automatic rinse function kick into gear. It made me laugh every time I walked into the bathroom.
So, like any normal person, I grabbed my phone and immediately posted a video to Facebook and Instagram.
Then I looked at the floor-to-ceiling windows offering a 94-story view of Seoul from both the bedroom and bathtub and realized how lucky I was to even be experiencing this, and why I keep crawling back into those miserable coach seats for more.
I took advantage of the bath with a view then immediately crawled into bed.
The next day I would be reminded of one other invaluable perk of my job: making another round of new friends (or maybe this time I should call them fellow captives) on what would turn into an interesting but nearly impossibly jam-packed attempt to experience the wide range of things to see and experience in Seoul in just two days.