Favorite Travel Destination

By: Hye-Sun (Alyssa) Choi

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The first thing that comes to me when I hear the phrase “favorite travel destination” is usually one of those shimmering, stunning cities that attract visitors with their food, culture, and architecture. However, as I think of my favorite vacation destination, I was more preoccupied with what I was feeling than with the area’s shining surfaces and ways to revitalize myself for my return to work and I have realized this throughout my traveling experiences.

I adore visiting new places and towns, experiencing their distinct cultures, and creating memories with my family or friends; fortunately, my entire family enjoys doing the same. As a result, my family travels to a new country at least once a year. 

My family got the chance to spend a week exploring Europe last year. My expectation of Europe was to be relaxing and calm like enjoying nature and sunshine. We visited Italy, Switzerland, and France while on our travels. Even though I had a nice time and valuable experiences that I will keep in my heart forever, I did not have much relaxation at the time since changes in a tiny part of the environment, such as food, the taste of the water, and occasionally even people, made it difficult for me to relax.

For instance, it is typical for tap water in Europe to contain some iron. However, most tap water in Korea is just as clean as drinking water, which is accepted as usual. Therefore, even though using tap water with a small amount of iron is not entirely dangerous, it was uncomfortable for us, especially Koreans, to use that water when washing since the obvious part of our lives changed. Aside from that, our family members also enjoy spicy food, which is common among Koreans.

We typically ate pasta, pizza, and bread during our time in Europe, repeating the same the following day. It was enjoyable at first but on the third day, we started to miss some of those provocative and strong-tasting foods. Last but not least, Italy is also one of the nations with the highest pickpocketing rates. Pickpocketing, however, is rarely ever seen in Korea. Due to the possibility of pickpocketing, we had to grip our luggage closely and remain alert wherever we went. This brought us some discomfort during traveling, and it was difficult to unwind and take in the scenery. 

Furthermore, not even the small environmental change, but also my energy is often taken away while traveling. Like I said I love traveling. However, I’ve found that traveling leaves us feeling quite exhausted and overextended. Sometimes the time difference was huge and so our family often struggles with jet lag and some of them had to take a nap every time we ride or move to another place due to it.

This was especially true when we traveled to nations on different continents because the time differences were frequently very great. A few years ago, my whole family traveled to Japan. Since Japan is a country that is near to Korea, the environment and foods were similar and some were even more delicious than our country. However, since it was “traveling” we had to move around with a specific schedule every day.

At first, it was enjoyable since we were all excited because it was our first time visiting Japan so all of us were curious about the country. But as time passed those enjoyableness exponentially decreased and tiredness came along with it. Accordingly, when we all came back, even though we had a great time and special memory there, our body was tired as zombies.

Additionally, even though there is a universal language spoken around the world, not everyone is proficient in it. Therefore, when we had to converse with Japanese people while making purchases or placing orders in a restaurant, we frequently used English. However, in my experience, it was difficult for both of us to understand one another’s English pronunciation, so we had to type all of our words into a translator to communicate. We struggled with several aspects of this kind of discomfort when we were traveling. 

With all of that being said, my favorite travel destination is my home. Home is where I feel most comfortable and relaxed, where I always recharge myself, and where I feel the most me. When we travel, we come back with all of those memories. In my case, the most precious memories are the ones that all happened in my home. Often, the word travel gives us the energy of hope, happiness, and shininess.

One of the traveling companies that I’ve met in Europe told me that traveling is when you recharge yourself to work hard again. For me, walking near parks around my hometown and recharging myself by spending more time with my family in our comfort zone is the catalyst that charges me to work hard again. Thinking back, as I think of my home as my favorite travel destination, I start to think of my home as a place of hope, happiness, and shininess that always comforts me.

By: Hye-Sun (Alyssa) Choi

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