Adventure #18: Made travel plans

I have struggled with the idea of traveling Asia alone after I leave Korea and go back to the States. Although I came to Korea alone, I had contacts in place immediately upon arrival and quickly made friends with people in my training group. Traveling to different countries alone is different than moving to one alone where you have a job lined up and where the natives welcome foreigners. There are so many unknowns when traveling alone. I considered just going to China to walk on the Great Wall and then heading home to Chicago. I figured if I could make it to China for a few days that I wouldn’t really be alone for a long time.

I guess this actually was more about me just wanting to hurry home and settle down. I mean all of my friends are doing it, so it seemed like the next step. But then I had an epiphany. I am single. I am young despite what society tells me. I have no children or husband holding me back. Not that having a husband or children would be a bad thing. But it’s just not my life right now. So after much self-reflection, almost a year’s worth, I finally came to the conclusion that my life is happening right now, and I need to really live it. I should embrace my single life and stop being concerned with societal norms. I was actually feeling lonely and depressed for a bit thinking about how I’m alone and how everyone I know has a significant other. And then I realized that there is absolutely no reason to feel bad about being alone. And that I was only feeling bad because I’m 28 and society tells me I should be married and maybe having children. I’ve never been able to actually admit that I want to be married someday or have children. I think maybe I only thought about it because that’s just what people do. And it’s normal. Maybe someday I will want these things. Maybe someday they will just happen. But for now, I’m content with being alone. And it’s not so much that I needed society to accept that. I needed to accept that for myself.

So after contemplating possible travel destinations here in Asia and deciding to take the plunge and travel alone, a friend of mine in Korea mentioned that she was going to travel at the end of the summer to most of the countries that I wanted to visit and wanted to know if anyone was interested. So I guess this was one of those scenarios where the universe again gave me exactly what I needed when I needed it. Her and I are now going to travel to China, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia for a month. My last destination before I go home will be to stop by California and visit my best friend from high school and her husband. Then I will head to Chicago…but not to settle down. I’m going to spend some time with my family and friends and then possibly hit the road again and come back to Korea for another year.