Sunday, September 6, 2009

I went all the way to Asia to spend time with myself

I went on a trip to Asia with a friend. I thought it was going to be a wonderful girls trip. About 5 days in i realized that what I wanted to [do/see/experience] were different than my companions. So I broke off and made my own way. We would meet up at night or in the morning and share our days or our plans.

The trip was [amazing/challenging/tiring/fun/beautiful/disgusting/long]. Along the way I got to see so many wonderful things. I fell in love with three different cultures {China, KOREA & Japan}. I tried three unique cuisines. I saw ancient architecture, shopped in large and small markets and traveled by all modes we could think ok. By [Plane/train/bus/subway/car/ferry/taxi].
Along the way I learned something’s about myself.

I could travel alone and be ok: In Korea my travel buddies wanted to spend more time in beauty parlor than seeing the sites. Both of the ladies I was with had been to Seoul or Lived there. So I was pretty much on my own. I would get up early and leave before they woke up. I would stay out all day riding around the subway on my own, booking trips, eating local food, visiting site, the DMZ, and enjoying Seoul on my own.

At first I was a little nervous to go out on my own into a city I had never been to. It was so empowering to be out on my own, making my way on my own. I loved every minute of it. I took my trip into my own hands and did everything I wanted. I left knowing I had done everything I wanted in Seoul.

Down falls of traveling alone: you have to count on the photographic skills of strangers. You take most of your pictures with one arm. Occasionally you forget to zoom out.

I am adventurous: I have a nervous stomach. I once had parasites that messed me up forever. So I was a little concerned about eating the local food. BUT I DID! I tried it all. RAW horse, fish with a head still on, stinky tofu, Kimchi, Korean BBQ, lotus roots & silk larva.
Some of it made me want to gag. Other food I LOVED. It was fun to be adventurous and try everything put in front of me.

Stinky Tofu in China, Pumpkin Gruel in Korea, Lotus Roots in Japan

I am strong: During the trip I walked at minimum of 6 miles a day. Up and down hills, across town, over all sorts of terrain. I dragged my butt up and down thousands of flights of stairs in and out of the subway. Most of it while carrying my 30lbs carry on bag. Sometimes in the pouring rain. ALL of it high temperatures and 100% humidity. There were days I thought I couldn’t go another step, but I did.

I hiked up all 3937 feet up to the top of Namsam tower. It made for a long night after hiking around all day, and walking down the third infantry tunnel at the DMZ. But I did it. Even after the Buff guys walking down said “She’ll never make it”. WELL SCREW YOU I AM STRONG, and I made it!

I can make friends anywhere: While in Okinawa I booked a dive trip. I was a little hesitant at first. I was supposed to go diving with one of the girls I was traveling with. She bailed. I pushed forward. There were two things I wanted to do. See the great wall and go Diving in Okinawa. The great wall fell through, I wasn’t going to let diving slip through my fingers. So I went. I made new friends.
The trip ended up being a lot of fun. I made SCUBA friends! We spent the day chatting and diving, swimming and chatting. We exchanged emails addresses and are now keeping in touch.
I also made friends in KOREA! I wanted to see the demilitarized zone, so I headed out on my own. I made friends with some of the Army guys on the trip. We ate silk larva together and hung out in iteawon after the tour was over. It was fun to meet people from all over the world and the US. To make friends. To spend time together. To enjoy new people.

I felt strong and confident on this trip. I had no fear. It was the first time in a long time that I felt like myself again. I wasn't hiding, I wasn't bogged down with work drama. I was me. IT was refreshing to be back to my old self. I know I didn't have to go all the way to China to rememeber who I am. Or all the way to Korea to learn about myself.
BUT the trip didn't hurt! The experince was once in a life time. And it was just what I needed to feel like myself again.

♥ Single Girl


TeeTee said...

This post inspired me so much... thank you!

Single Girl said...

Thank you!

Womans World Magazine said...

I LOVE this post!!! YOu sound like an awesome chick!

Pearl said...

My husband lived in Okanowa for 3yrs. he was a army brat, and he has very fond memories there. The papa san and mama sans taught them how to get octypus out of the bomb pools with tobacco! It was a life enriching exsperience. Glad you had a good time!

Single Girl said...

That sounds amazing.