Kia: The World’s Longest Test Drive

Ok, so you all know I love Kia and their cars. Yes, yes but this is different! Kia is attempting to break records by doing the World’s longest test drive! That is pretty amazing if you ask me. I’m lucky enough to be one of the people taking part, so I am super excited about it.

The KIA RecordSetter World’s Longest Test Drive kicks off this Friday, 14 October 2016, in Durban (Hi there!) It ends at Cape Point on Thursday, 20 October 2016 – just in time for the official debut of the all-new KIA Sportage on Friday, 21 October 2016. Anyone else excited to see this beauty in person?? I was obviously treated to its beauty in South Korea last year, and it was especially significant because it was at the Kia plant where they make them!

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People were signing up in their thousands to get a chance to take part in this momentous adventure, more than 30 000 people to be exact! Who wouldn’t want to be part of a World Record. Who else is joining me?

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Kia has announced an exciting new partner for the journey.  Vida e caffè will be fuelling the crew and participants over their 7-day trip across South Africa. They will be using credited gift cards that can be used at all vida and Torrador coffee outlets at Shell service stations along the route. We all know I’ll be pulling over for a quick cappa 😉

“We are delighted to be aligned with KIA’s World’s Longest Test Drive,” notes the team from vida e caffè South Africa. “At vida e caffè, we are driven by one simple belief: ‘No passion. No point’. For us, passion is about energy – it’s more than just enthusiasm or excitement, it’s the essence of putting in as much heart, mind, body and soul into something as possible, and then taking it that little bit further. And that’s why we jumped on board. That quality will most certainly be needed for an endeavour like this. We wish the team the very best and all the paixão [portuguese for “passion”] to take it to the finish line.”

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David Sieff, Marketing Director for KIA Motors South Africa, is equally excited. “We all know how exhausting it can be driving for hours at end on the road, and we think it’s important that the team stays awake and energised throughout this exciting journey. We’re thrilled that Vida is happy to be of assistance in helping the team, including the hundreds of participants selected from the public, set the record,” he says.

 

Coffee and driving go hand in hand. Coffee and Life, basically! So it really is a match made in caffeinated heaven.

Follow the journey on Kia’s twitter account @KiaMotorsSA

Watch my social media channels on Friday to see my part in the KIA World’s Longest Test Drive!
Twitter: @gijane_zn
Instagram: @gijane_zn 
Facebook: Gi Jane SA 
Snapchat: @gijane_zn

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Gi Jane in South Korea: Day three 

So after a very lavish affair we were all pretty excited for day three of our exciting tour in South Korea!

After our usual croissant breakfast, we were ready to set off on a tour of Kia’s Hwaseong plant. We were SO excited to go see where all of our amazing cars were made. I don’t think I had imagined it would be so big. It was massive. To think this is just one of their factories. This is the second biggest automobile plant in Korea. We were treated to an introduction and history of the Hwaseong Plant and taken on a tour through the production assembly line. It was so fascinating seeing men actually putting in certain parts in the assembly line. They have something like 70secs (if memory serves me) to put their part on before it travels on to the next person. It was super cool! There are also these amazing robots that go around doing certain parts as well. I feel like that is definitely the future right there. Seeing how much care they take with each car, and watching them take each car out and test drive it, makes you so aware of everything that goes into the vehicle we use every day. They have a whole track outside with various obstacles that we could encounter each day and they test each car there. These range from cones to test the breaks, to pot holes to water and so many more. I didn’t expect a lot of them when we were in the back of a car testing it out, which is evident in the video I took! Be sure to watch it on youtube because it is HILARIOUS! I totally had the nervous giggles. You’re then taken on a 3km track which goes around the testing area and it curves on the sides like the Daytona track. We went SO fast I actually felt ill, again check the video for that one! It was so fun going in the cars and testing out the various elements.

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For me a highlight was obviously seeing and sitting in the new Sportage, which launches soon! I have been wanting a Sportage since I was 16, and had decided that this is the one I want. So it was very exciting for me! I am sure you can see by my huge smile. I love the sporty shape and the fact that it’s bum matches mine 😉 It was also cool to see the Sedan cars that we unfortunately won’t get here. They are SO fancy inside with so many features, that for the price of a BMW or a little above, it really puts them to shame! But sadly, we won’t be getting them here.

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We had lunch at the Hwaseong Plant with awesome views looking out over the area. While we were sitting there we started planning a little shopping adventure to town for the Friday because FOREVER21! We kind of mapped out the journey, but I’ll leave that story for Day 5 😉

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After lunch we headed to do the Hyundai Steel Tour. This factory is located in Chungcheongnam-do, Dangjin. We got to tour the factory that produces the steel plate components for Kia Motors, and had an introduction of Hyundai’s iron manufacturing history and witnessed the steel production process. Let me just say, that steel gets HOT! We were quite far away, walking above, and you could FEEL the heat. It was red hot and the heat given off was insane. It made you sweat straight away. It was so interesting seeing how they heat and then cool it with water, and then it gets rolled out and they repeat that until its this looooooong flat metal sheet. Quite impressive!

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Straight from there we went for a special dinner at Samwon Garden. This was a traditional Korean barbecue. Me and cooking meat, not amazing, so luckily the waitress comes around and turns it for you, so that was a help! It was so good though. You end up putting all of your toppings into a lettuce leaf and making a little parcel and eating it like that. I even did a little Kimchee (Kimchi) in some of my parcels! Kimchee (has other spellings too) is a traditional fermented Korean dish made of vegetables with different seasonings. Basically it is their staple food in Winter when the frost would wipe out their crops. They can make it in Summer and it ferments and is ready for Winter. It has quite a strong smell, and can be very garlicky, so many homes would have a whole fridge dedicated to Kimchee. Nation was loving the Kimchee!

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After dinner we headed back to the hotel to chill. I showered, washed my hair and got into my onesie to chill. Then all of a sudden a message on our whatsapp group. Please imagine me in my onesie, with a towel wrapped on my head, in the bed about to watch tv. Oh no, the boys were heading to the mall and I should come, if I feel like it. Obviously it was the furtherest thing from my mind, but then again you are in South Korea. I threw on some clothes and went out with my hair SOPPING. It was against everything we have ever been taught, and I looked ridiculous, but I got a second wind and even did dancer leaps across the zebra crossing. The looks we got were priceless! Sorry boys 😉 We walked around, and saw some amazing shops, Gavin got some coffee (of course) and I got some Krispy Kreme donuts (of course). It was so fun to just get out with the guys and walk around chatting and having a laugh.

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If you haven’t watched the video of day 3 watch it here!

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Kia Global Ambassador

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Kia motors like to reward their most socially active customers and ambassadors. I was recently recognised as the number 1 Kia Global Ambassador and treated to an awesome package of Kia goodies!

I share my passion for Kia because not only do I LOVE my car, but I love what they represent. 

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How cute are these models!

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So many goodies!

I was lucky enough to go to South Korea last year as one of 4 #LoveKia competition winners. It was the most amazing experience! I honestly wish I could go back. The people are incredible. You really can see that they genuinely love their brand and care about their customers and their safety. Every night at dinner we had one of the directors sitting at our table. They chatted away and asked so many questions about us, our car, our lives, our thoughts, everything that pertained to us. I really loved how down to earth they were and that they took interest in US. They have been running their Kia Global Ambassador program for years now, and you can see they really enjoy the event!

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Having a look at everything!

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I have wanted these models since they were given out in Korea as prizes

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Such cute models!

 

And here are all my prizes! I’m a stationery nerd so these were right up my alley!

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You can never have too many USB drives!

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These wallets are 100% genuine leather

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These smart key holders are leather and so clever!

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Because I’m #AlwaysCharging LOVE this one with the cord attached

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Beautiful mother of pearl!

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Love this for the car seats!

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This awesome phone speaker also doubles up as a phone holder

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This mouse is amazing! Carpel tunnel for what?

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The Kia Tigers are a professional baseball team!

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This trunk organiser is life! I always have so many things in my boot, so now they won’t roll around!

Thank you Kia for recognising those of us that support and promote you. Fan for life!

 

Follow Kia South Africa on Twitter and Instagram

Have a look at their Facebook page

If you own a Kia leave a comment and let me know which one 🙂

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Gi Jane in South Korea: Day Two! 

Our South Korea trip for Kia continues!

Let me just say that the hotel we stayed in was amazing! We stayed in the Lotte Hotel World in the Jamsil area of Seoul. It has been recognised as Koreans’ favourite hotel, and I know why! It was so beautiful, and right in the heart of town where we could walk to the most amazing shopping mall.

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After arriving and settling in, we went downstairs for dinner. It was such a nice way to get to know each other and chat about the week we were expecting to have. It was so surreal for all of us, we still couldn’t believe it.

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Day two started with breakfast at the hotel, which is a buffet. If you know me you will know that a buffet breakfast is my BEST! Hard to believe for a trainer, I know, but the poor boys. Shame. I have a bit of an obsession with pastries, so I totally had pastries every morning. Sorry, not sorry. We were all about coffee every morning too! Luckily Gavin is a wannabe barista so we eventually had him making us cappuccinos 😉

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From breakfast we enjoyed a Conference at Kia Motors Global Headquarters. The Program included an Introduction to Kia Motors, a brief explanation of Korean culture, a Photo session and an HQ Lobby tour. It was so interesting learning all about Kia and the history behind this incredible company. My biggest takeaway was how much they genuinely care about their customers. You really can feel it.

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Lunch was at DioDia, which is an International buffet. Yup, you had me at buffet! It was amazing trying out all of the Korean food, as well as the most AMAZING sushi. The boys got more adventurous than me. Pink sushi?! A yes from me.

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After lunch we went to the Korean Folk Village. This is a Korean folk village where you can experience traditional Korean culture, including their lifestyles, beliefs, and customs. We were able to view traditional architecture, watch traditional ceremonies and participate in traditional folk games. It was so fascinating to see how their houses were built back in the day, how they cooked and how they lived as families.

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After the Korean folk village we went back to the hotel and got ready for the welcome dinner! The Welcome Dinner was at Lotte Hotel World and it was an official welcoming dinner party for all participants. WOW! We were told to dress smart, but I didn’t expect a proper fancy gala evening. It was incredible. It was so nice to mingle at the cocktail portion of the event, and then we found our table in the hall. We were mixed around which was nice. We were seated with out friends from Israel as well as a Director from Kia. It was so nice getting to know the team from Israel and break the ice for the rest of the trip as they were on our bus. We were treated to a vast amount of courses and they were incredible! There were a few speeches and then some awesome Korean dancing. All in all it was a fantastic evening.

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You see! #AlwaysCharging

And then onto the FOOD! Nation and I kept having to remind each other to take pics before we ate! My soup wasn’t so lucky as you can see.

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Can we just have a moment for that dessert? Right up my sweet tooth alley.

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All of us all together! Such an amazing bunch of people from so many different countries.

 

Off to bed tired but excited for day number 3!

Watch the highlights of Day Two here

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