The Wanderer Who Wonders

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

100 Days of Wander – The Beginning

I just had my 37th birthday few weeks ago. The beginning of 37th was not exactly what I expected. Few months ago, I thought I had everything in the world that I needed to be happy & successful, at least, it seemed like it. I had a great job in an executive position with good salary, was well respected at work, had an amazing team, got engaged with the love of my life and was busy with all the marriage preparation stuff.

Today, I am sitting in a plane flying to Korea. I don’t have a job and I am not getting married. Instead of the original itinerary of going to Korea to get married, I now have many one way flight tickets without any confirmed return flights. In my luggage, I have a backpack, clothing ready for different climates and comfy sneakers instead of wedding dress & fancy shoes. Today, I’m starting the journey of 100 Days of Wander to travel the world that was not planned before.

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100 Days of Wander: Travel Itinerary

Here is the high level  itinerary of 100 Days of Wander. I think this might be my version #11 in last two weeks. I’m still working through the detail and will keep this updated as I make changes.

Last updated: July 1, 2016
Version: 13

100 Days of Wander

Download PDF Version: 100 Days of Wander

100 Days of Wander: Photo of the Day

One day, someone asked why I was taking so many pictures, even if they were just small random stuff. I answered, “Because it bring me the whole memories of the moment.”

In last few years, I’ve noticed that I had a tendency of remembering only few selected incidents, some big or critical events, or others that are rather sad or upsetting. My therapist recommended me to take pictures of each day even if it’s something very small, to remind myself the small but happy time I had that day that are easily forgettable. Since then, I believe the power of recording the visual memories. It brings me so much more than few words that I can write, it reminds me not only the memory of what happened but also how I felt. It may be impossible to pick only one picture from an each day during this trip. But I’m sure the one picture I select will bring all other memories of each day.

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. 

50 days ago, when I began the journey from a sudden urge of traveling anywhere after a long depression, I didn’t know what would happen and how my days would go by. Now, thinking back the last 50 days, my heart is getting filled with lots of different emotions. 

During last 50 days, lots of things happened. I’ve seen so many different things, visited beautiful places, met many people all around the world and created a lot of beautiful memories. But right now, some of those small but striking moments are passing through my mind.  

Korea… when I ended up crying in front of my parents and family with a broken heart filled with unresolved feelings…

Hong Kong… after spending a fun time with friends despite the super humid and hot weather, coming back to hotel alone and getting drunk lonely looking at the beautiful night scenery of Hong Kong in a stormy night… 

India… Feeling the overwhelming emotion and guiltiness from looking at the dirty streets of India filled with poverty… And suffering from the food poisoning and the extreme weather… 

Dubai… Visiting the rich city where it was completely opposite of India… The luxury and clean streets felt fake to me without any true love and freedom… and the memory of traveling the extremely hot desert while suffering from flu and cold…

Barcelona… Arriving in Barcelona so sick and tired and trying to sleep in a 6 people dorm hostel by blocking the noise using my towel and cloths to cover my small bunk bed…and having regretful thoughts… What the hell I am doing here? 

The overwhelming emotion when I visited Sagrada Familia… Feeling so blessed and grateful…praying to the God to appreciate for giving me the opportunity to see this beautiful creation.

Madrid… Finally having my own space and enjoying the lazy day having Korean instant noodles & watching Korean TV shows… Wandering around the city every evening and enjoying a glass of cocktail while people watching… Having an intellectual conversation about Spanish history and arts with friends… 

Day by day…little by little… I felt the broken pieces of my heart were slowly coming together… and was able to notice the smile on my face again…not the fake smile to pretend that I was ok and I was strong… It was a real smile coming from the happiness. I was able to breathe again… I felt free. 

Then, once a while, when I felt stressed and pressured again, I stopped thinking and just looking at the beautiful sky, reading a romantic love stories or histories of the places I’ve visited, walking around the streets to feel the energy of the people, or enjoying a glass of cocktail while people watching. Then slowly my thoughts were gone but only left with this feeling. ‘I am truly happy. It’s good to be here…’

It was long and short 50 days. My small dream of making 3 new friends came true already and I met over 40 people from all around the world. Those magical moments filled with coincidences created interactions and relationships with people that helped me heal and feel myself again. 

I don’t know where I will go next…how I will feel, who I will meet, what I will do, where I will live…I don’t know if I will be able to find the new goals and meaning of my life at the end of this trip…but one thing that I am certain is that this period of my life will be very precious to me and I’ll enjoy the every single moment during this time. 

Estoy muy contenta! 

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.😂

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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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The design of the aircraft

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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The view from the fort

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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Girls @ Lan Kwai Fong

Day 9: Second Day in Hong Kong

If Day 1 was filed with lots of walking & sightseeing, Day 2 was all about food & shopping.

I ate 26 different kinds of food just this day alone! It was so delicious! I feel full just thinking about it.

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Beautiful city view

Day 8: 1st Day in Hong Kong

Day 1 in HK was filled with so much fun & adventures. I went to so many different places including the Central, Causeway Bay, Mid-level escalators, the Peak, Temple Street Market, etc.

This all happened with only 2 hours of sleep… Oh man, I was so tired. 🙂

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Day 7: Last day in Korea

Day 6: Relaxing time with my sister

Day 5: Welcoming Xiao Family

Day 4: Lovely time with my nieces

Another birthday party with my nieces.

Day 3: Sick Day

Unfortunately, I got very sick after the birthday party with my parents. I don’t think I was ever that sick before. I ended up throwing up whole night and had to go to see doctor next day.

So…. Today, I don’t have many pictures to post. But I’m glad that I was sick while I was in Korea, not other countries where my parents are not there to take care of me!

Sick day...

Sick day…

Day 2: Birthday party with Mom & Dad

My mom & dad planned a belated birthday party for me with such lovely flowers & birthday cake.

The video turned out perfect but the sound was not recorded for some reason… Too bad, but still I’m happy to record this moment forever!

엄마 아빠가 준비해주신 깜짝 생일파티! 엄마와 아빠와 함께해 더욱 소중했던 시간을 기록할 수 있어서 너무 좋다. 안타깝게도 소리가 녹음이 안되었지만,  그래도 너무 좋아요! 🙂

Day 1: Leaving Toronto

100 Days of Wanders: The Inspiration

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I remember watching this movie over 10 years ago which inspired me to learn new languages, meet new friends and travel around the world. Coming to Canada and taking an ESL course was one of the most fun & exciting experience for me. And I’m excited to do this again in Spain even if it’s just for few weeks, and my Spanish will never be that great.

If you haven’t watched this movie, I highly recommend it for you. I found the full movie available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xjkP9iL2qY