The Wanderer Who Wonders

The only impossible journey is the one you never begin. - Anthony Robbins

Thank you, 2016.

2016 was a year of change with lots of wandering and wondering. It was painful to go through those changes, but now thinking back the year, I realized how much I have learned and grown. 2016 gave me the opportunity to learn about myself, find my lost identity, discover truly what I am passionate about, and more importantly gave me the opportunity to meet those amazing people around the world and reconnect with the people who were always there for me, love and support me no matter what.

So, I want to use this time to appreciate all the love and care I’ve received this year.

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38, still wondering and wandering…

It’s my birthday again.

The first day of my thirty eight had an unusual start. Miguel and I are heading to Santorini this morning by ferry, so we had to wake up super early after only 2-3 hours of sleep. It has been nonstop packing & unpacking for last few days, fortunately (or sadly), this will be our last destination and we’ll be staying in Santorini for three nights, so only one more unpacking and packing is left. After the packing craziness, we were able to make it to the ferry terminal in Pireas port.

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서른 여덟의 시작

또다시 생일이다

38번째 맞는 이번 생일의 아침은 좀 특이하게 시작했다. 두 세시간 쪽잠을 자고 일어나서 정신없이 다시 짐을 싸고, 아테네 도심가에서 남서쪽에 위치한 Pireas 항구에서 산토리니로 향하는 배를 탔다. 페리라고 하기에는 정말 큰, 크루즈 정도 되는 크기의 거대한 배를 타고, 지중해를 건너가면서 생일을 맞이하는 것도 나름대로 운치있는 듯… 31살 때부터였던가? 20대 때에는 재미있던 생일 파티라는게 지겨워지기 시작하면서, 생일 파티 대신, 생일 때마다 안 가본 곳을 여행하겠다고 마음 먹고서는, 32살 때에는 이태리 투스카니 시골의 한 마을에서, 33살 때에는 시애틀에서, 34살 때에는 시카고에서 맞이한 생일지난 두 해에는 사정상 건너 뛴 만큼 올해 만큼은 꼭 안 가본 어딘가를 가보고 싶었다. 그리스를 선택한 건, 그야말로 막판에 한 결정…  꼭 아테네나 산토리니를 가야겠다고 마음먹은 건 없었다. 그냥이번 생일에는 정말 특별하게 내가 나에게 좋은 시간을 선물해 주고 싶었다

중학교 때 처음으로 세계사를 배우면서 정말 푹 빠졌던 그리스의 역사그때부터 꿈꿔왔던 그 곳에 진짜 왔구나

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Music: Forest Fires by Axel Flóvent

I don’t remember when was my last time crying from listening to a music.

When I listen to this song, I feel like he is touching my soul. And I’m waiting for him to come near, even if he can’t make sad thoughts and fears disappear, I am waiting for him to show me a beautiful painting of my memories that will comfort me.

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13 years in Canada

It’s 7:30 pm on a Saturday night. This is exactly the time I planned to have a big party to celebrate my 13 years of Canada with all my friends.

Instead of wearing a korean dress with a glass of wine on my hand, welcoming all my guests to arrive, I’m sitting in the St. Michael’s hospital emergency room waiting for my turn.
Fortunately, I never had to be here last 13 years which I am very grateful. Even now I finally made my appearance here, I’m also grateful that my condition is not anything threatening so I could just walk here myself. I’m thinking the bright side, it’s good to learn how this emergency system works in Canada anyway in case for the real emergency.

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Book: The Little Prince

One of my all time favourite books. I remember buying this post card in Lyon and how happy I was writing these cards to my precious friends. If I ever have kids, this will be one of the first book I’ll buy for them as soon as they can start reading.

Le renard se tut et regarda longtemps le petit prince:

– S’il te plaît… apprivoise-moi ! dit-il.

– Je veux bien, répondit le petit prince, mais je n’ai pas beaucoup de temps. J’ai des amis à découvrir et beaucoup de choses à connaître.

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Lotus Flower: My First Tattoo

So, I got my first tattoo today.

Life is interesting. I’ve never thought I would ever have any tattoos on my body. I just never associated myself with this type of brave people who can express their feelings or thoughts through tattoo arts on their body.

It was not an impulsive decision. I’ve been thinking about this from last year after I finished my trip of 100 Days of Wander. I wanted to remember the learnings from the trip and have been thinking about what would be the best design to memorize this. I’ve done some research, collected lots of inspirations and consulted with my tattoo artist, and this unique creation is the final outcome. I simply love it.

What is the meaning?

Like the lotus flower, which grows and beautifully blooms in muddy water, the lotus seed symbolizes spiritual growth and the ability to rise above obstacles. Also said to increase one’s devotion, peace of mind, and inner beauty.

And personally, it has two important meanings to me.

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The day after the silence: My Experience of 10 Day Vipassana Meditation Course

So, I’m back.

I completed the course resisting the countless thoughts and attempts of quitting. It might have been the most quiet yet painful 11 nights and 12 days of my life. Like the teacher said, it’s like an operation. It cuts your stomach open and takes out all the bad stuff. It’s going to hurt so bad, but that’s the process of healing and you know that you need it to live a happy life for the rest of your life.

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The day before the silence…

So tomorrow is finally the day, when I start my 10 day silence meditation course at Vipassana.

Instead of busy packing or reading instructions for tomorrow, I’m just lying in my bed for few hours transitioning from a freaking out state to a frozen state having “My brain is frozen and stopped functioning. I can’t do anything right now, so I’m just going to do nothing” moment.

I really don’t know why, but I don’t think I was this scared and nervous even when I was packing for 100 days of traveling to strange places that I’ve never been. This 10 day seems way longer and scarier than 100 days of traveling.

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FILM: THE MUSIC OF STRANGERS

I’ve always in love with Yo-Yo Ma’s music, but this documentary made me respect him even more as an artist & human not just for his music. The film makes you think what role music plays in the world and how amazing it would be if music can bring us all together overcoming the cultural and language differences to bring the true peace in the world. A great movie with lots of inspirations and interesting aspects of world music & history.

The Grammy-nominated documentary The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, follows members of the Ensemble as they gather in locations across the world, exploring the ways art can both preserve traditions and shape cultural evolution.

Learn More: http://www.silkroadproject.org/s/arts-strangers

 

Film: The modern life of Bushmen – How we changed their simple & happy life into tourist spots

Do you remember the movie Bushmen, The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980)?

I remember watching this movie when I was very young and just laughed at the man who was so shocked and amazed with the coca-cola bottle he found in the bush. And then, that was pretty much it. The memory of the fun movie disappeared along with all other fun memories of my childhood, until I watched this documentary Ghostland yesterday at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema.

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7 years + 30 days

So this morning, I realized that it has been a month ever since Joel and I ended our relationship.

Some days it feels so much longer and some days, it feels like it just happened yesterday. It has been a very tough month, but I am getting so much support from everybody around me, I’m doing better and better every day. Now again, I know I have enough strength to get through this and make my life even better than before.

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Day 55: Cabo de Gata에서의 마지막 날…

어느새 카보 가타에서의 마지막 날이다

웬지 떠나기 아쉬운 마음에 오늘 하루는 정말 가장 길게 보내야지 마음먹고 4시간의 짧은 잠을 자고 아침 일찍 일어났다. 10시부터 문을 여는 La Goleta 식당을 기다렸다가 아침을 주문했다. 어느새 입에 약간 익숙해진 것들을 어려움 없이 스페인어로 주문했다. Cafe con leche y zumo de naranja 그리고 약간 새로운 메뉴인 Sobrasada con queso 시켰다.  

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Day 50: My small thoughts in Day 50

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It’s already the 50th day of my 100 days of Wander. I’m writing this post while sitting in a patio of an apartment in a small town called Cabo de Gata near Almeria, a place which I’ve never even heard of before, drinking my new favourite drink Tinto de Verano feeling the summer of Spain, listening to my old favourite song Bitter Sweet Symphony. The white wall and the blue painted window frames looks very peaceful along with the simply beautiful blue sky. Who ever knew that I would be here in Spain, enjoying the summer with Ana, a friend who I didn’t even know merely one year ago? 

Life is simply magical…filled with lots of coincidences and unexpected adventures. That’s why I feel that this moment is even more special. 

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Day 50: 평화로운 스페인의 어느 작은 마을에서의 단상 (斷想)

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여행 50일째…. 나는 스페인 알메리아 근처의 Cabo de Gata라는, 태어나서 한번도 들어보지 못한 작은 마을에서, 우리가 일주일동안 빌린 집의 파티오에 평화롭게 앉아서, 내가 평소에 좋아하던 The Verve의 Bitter Sweet Symphony 음악을 들으면서, 요즘 내가 흠뻑 빠진 스페인의 여름이 담긴 Tinto de Verano라는 칵테일을 마시면서 이렇게 글을 쓰고 있다. 건물의 하얀 벽과 창문 근처에 사각형으로 파랗게 칠해진 페인트가 맑고 파란 하늘과 함께 아주 잘 어울린다. 불과 1년 전만해도 전혀 알지 못했던 친구인 Ana와 둘이서 이렇게 집을 빌려서 함께 이곳에서 소중한 시간을 같이 보낼 것이라는 것을 누가 알았을까…

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Day 15: Indian Headshakes | What do they mean?

Today is the “Take it easy” day and I’ve decided to share this video instead of my travel log. I started noticing the head shakes and got fascinated by it. However, I had no idea what it meant. This absolutely entertaining video explains it very well.?

Day 14: Sightseeing in Hyderabad

Here are finally some sightseeing pictures from Hyderabad. Joel was working on weekdays, so unfortunately, we were only able to go few places over the weekend. Also, due to the Ramadan holiday crowds and recent terror attacks in Hyderabad, we were not recommended to go many places. But I have to say, the places we visited were beautiful and the history was very interesting. I hope to study more about Indian history during this trip and want to write a post about it soon.

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Day 13: The Streets of India

My second day in India was very intense. There was so much emotion I felt throughout the day… I was shocked, sad, amazed, happy, annoyed, scared… By the end of the day, I was so exhausted. I think that’s why it took me a very long time to decide what I want to write about Day 13, my second day in India.

If anybody asks me after this trip, what the most memorable thing was about India, I’ll answer that it is the streets of India without any hesitation.

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Day 12: 1st Day in India – 24 hours of unexpected adventure

When I landed in the Hyderabad airport, I was very tired, a bit anxious, but very cautious, probably more than ever in any airports I’ve been, doing my best to be prepared for any unexpected incidents. Who knew that only within 24 hours, I’ll be experiencing an emergency clinic, crazy night club and residential life of Hyderabad? Definitely hands down, this first day in India beats all previous 11 days of my trip so far.

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Day 11: In Transit – Flying with AirAsia to Kuala Lumpur and Hyderabad

Day 11 was pretty much a whole day of traveling. Now that I’m a budget traveler (ok, excluding the itinerary of HK. I spoiled myself a bit in HK.), I picked AirAsia despite of the bad reviews and records. I consulted with Joel before I picked them and his answer was,

“It’s pretty much impossible to experience a flight crash, so if you want to save money, just pick the cheap one and don’t worry about it.”

I guess he was right because I arrived safely and am still alive. And I did save a lot of money, but the experience was definitely something else compare to any other airlines I’ve traveled with. So I thought it’s definitely worth to record my spectacular experience with AirAsia in detail.

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Day 10: A Day Trip to Macau

The third day in Hong Kong was unfortunately raining most of the day. It was the first day in HK I decided to travel without our local guide, Hasiya. Mainly because I wanted to practice to travel alone and get used to getting lost, but also because Hasiya & Helena already went to Macau two days ago.

For this last day in HK, I decided to take a quick day trip to Macau. One of my goal of this trip is using public transportations as much as I can and trying not to depend on the internet. So far, I have been traveling without roaming, so I’m pretty proud of myself.

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