Why I constantly want to be on the road? At first, the reason was simple: I wanted to get out of here. So I left. What I didn’t know was how many great people I was going to meet, and how that would change me.
People on the road
Maybe because I lived in a dorm room while in university, hostel life has never been strange to me from the very beginning. Soon after I arrived at my first hostel, in a whole new world, I felt a very strong connection to their vibe.
Travel is a series of interactions with people. Locals, fellow travelers, street vendors, bus drivers, people who stare at you in the street and many more.
Exciting adventure is always welcome but connection with people became ‘the must’ on my travel list.
I usually travel solo, but I’ve never been lonely. Quality conversations I had with fellow travelers are a few of the best highlights of my ‘life’ I would say. When I am on the road, the connection is much more intense compared to the amount of time we spend together. Sometimes just a half a day together, but the relationship lasts for a long time.
On the road, I had fun and interesting experiences with total strangers: I played guitar and sang a song in Korean with a random group of people in Franz Josef hostel in New Zealand. Somehow I lived with a family in Auckland and our families became friends. From a dorm mate I met in Siem Reap, I could glimpse at the life of hippies. And I experienced the worst hangover in my life in Kuala Lumpur with local friends and learned my lesson.
And many more…
After I committed myself to the travel community, worldwide conversation became a very common but super cool routine of my day. From the connection through Runaway Juno, I met friends that helped me planning the ‘Juno-go-round Tweetip-Couchsurfing RTW’ itinerary. It feels like I belong to a very supportive and intimate group but it’s just worldwide. We are on the same boat the size of the earth.
The meaning of ‘Friend’ changed so much since the development of the Internet. Physical closeness is not a key point to connect with people. It matters, but it is not a deal breaker anymore. We say good morning and good night like five times a day due to the time zones, and talk about plans, funny things, basically talk about life. Among this huge community, I was lucky enough to get close to a few friends and we are really talking about most of things. That could be hard to understand to ‘outsiders’ but I am totally enjoying it.
Tweetup is the new word that was created from ‘tweeter‘ and ‘meet up‘ (Is it in the Oxford dictionary yet?) Basically it is the combined form of the two words.
Even though physical proximity is not that important as much as it used to be, the intimate level spikes up after just one meet up. Since we already knew each other pretty well, and share the biggest interest in life: travel, there’s nothing to go wrong.
I had a few tweetups in Seoul when traveling tweeps were passing through. I was really curious what is it like, meet someone in person after only talking through black and white. But it felt natural. We, cool tweeps I met, talked like we knew each other for a long time, laugh while talking about our mutual friends (don’t worry, we didn’t say anything bad!), share big and small plans of life, and much more.
I made really great connections through those few tweetups I had, and still have pretty good relationships with them. Well, as long as we are on twitter, I don’t think it’s going to end anytime soon!
So yes, if you give me the sentence ‘Wild about….’ I will fill the black with the word ‘people’.
Jiyeon Juno Kim or affectionately known as Juno, is an avid traveler and writes a travel blog entitled “Runaway Juno”, describing her love for traveling, food and seeing the world. Her favourite quotation pretty much sums up her life’s motto – “Travel is not New. People have never been happy to stay in one place .. – on the wall of Chch, NZ Museum.” Juno is based in Seoul, Korea and has recently left her job to travel the world.