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It was my fourth time at John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport when I waved goodbye to my family members prior to turning my back on them to face the safety verify. There have been 3 other situations previously in which I departed from the airport to travel to South Korea, but my family members members had constantly been by my side. 

Specific concerns and feelings kept circulating from my brain to my physique, stiffening my stroll as I awkwardly strutted previous the higher-finish style brands. My expenditures have been only one particular of the worries that have been stuffed into my head. I was generously offered $200 from my parents to be made use of for leisure, but no matter whether the feelings have been unnecessary, I couldn’t aid contemplating my situation for this trip. 

1 concern that was particularly bugging me was how I was going to get about. It appears a small nerve-wracking to be in a position exactly where you have to use an unfamiliar program of transportation by your self. 

Nonetheless, my nerves have been only distractions to my excitement: Navigating the subway stations and bus stops with no aid was an expertise that permitted me to prove my independence and really feel confident. It proved that I could rely on myself and deal with feeling uncomfortable in order to attain my location.

I certainly wasn’t going to miss buying at Seoul’s Lotte Planet Mall or going to the palaces, just since of a small siren inside my head.

Fortunately, the comforts of technologies will constantly travel with you in your side pocket. Google is the most valuable travel buddy I will ever have. 

The largest benefit of solo traveling is the total freedom to discover the new globe set out for you. Who is there to inform you exactly where to check out, how extended to keep and what to consume? It might appear daunting to have each and every choice count on you, but I relished it. 

I was capable to take my time at every single piece in a museum, unwind for hours at coffee shops and stroll by way of the narrow streets looking for the subsequent shop to check out. I consider I did a favor to the men and women who might’ve traveled with me – sitting subsequent to me when I create in my journal is some thing that wouldn’t be in their best itinerary.

Everybody prioritizes a specific aspect of traveling, no matter whether it be meals, scenery or buying. For myself, it was a objective to document my experiences so that months and years later, I can relive them by way of my words. 

But when there is a stark distinction in opinions on what to do, complications arise amongst close friends or family members. Although meeting up with a buddy from back dwelling, I realized the predicament I could’ve faced if I had traveled my personal way with a further particular person or group.

Alongside the trendy streets of Garosu-gil in Gangnam, I sat down at a trendy cafe with her right after ordering a cup of Earl Grey tea underneath the pink lights and flowery decorations. As we have been chatting, she talked about how exhausted she’d been, going from one particular spot to the subsequent in Seoul with her family members. 

When I asked if there was any time to herself, she told me about the tight schedule her father came up with, which incorporated all these unique historical sights. This barely left her any time to unwind or check out the locations she wanted to. 

Although it is valuable to have a basic list of issues you want to see and consume, I identified that it was the small detours and distractions that permitted me to immerse myself in my travels. There have been lots of experiences I wasn’t capable to come up with by merely producing a search on the internet. 

For instance, right after a lukewarm check out to Myeong-dong, a buying district catered to vacationers, I came across an off-track road top toward a hill — a small neighborhood I’ve in no way heard about referred to as Jaemiro. 

To my surprise, the buildings have been painted with murals of cartoon characters and there have been a number of unique cartoon-themed cafes. Inside one particular of the cafes, I was capable to get an iced chocolate drink with a character of my decision drawn on the foam. I enjoyed it when gazing at the colorful paintings on the roads and walls.

You might consider that traveling solo will lead to loneliness in an unfamiliar globe. But for me, the bustling streets and fresh encounters overwhelmed all my fears prior to they could slow me down.



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