Backpacking 28 countries for 8 months…

Erika Y
 

“I told a lie to my father that I was going to travel in Korea for a week. That’s how I started backpacking 28 countries for 8 months alone. As growing up in a conservative family, that’s the only way to convince them. At that time, I was stuck in the situation of my family’s obligation and working pressure in Japan. One day, I lost my family member after long care, and then I felt that I need some break before losing myself. At the beginning of my trip, I didn’t know how to enjoy my first freedom that I haven’t got for long time. For example, whenever I felt happy, my tough memory in Japan flashed back. I felt that “old me” was monitoring me with jealousy from the sky, and it made me feel guilty about my decision. In China, people mistook that I was a lost child, so a lady kept holding my hand. In Wales, I missed a bus in mountain; my first hitchhiking attempt was succeeded because a kind family picked me up. In Laos, when I visited a small village without electricity, the moon was bright enough to allow me to walk in the forest at night, and rice fields were shining all over place by reflection of the moon. The great nature and people were enough rehabilitation for me to heal. In Vietnam, I had a motorbike accident and lost my memory. In Morocco, I was chased by young guys with knives. Although I faced dangers in my trips, I didn’t regret my decision, because every single moment was precious for me. It was my first and biggest rebellion in my life. Looking back now, I never thought that I had a hidden power to continue 8 months backpacking. Before the trip, I was very weak, powerless, and I sacrificed my life for somebody’s sake. But what I believe now is- you are the one who find your hidden power inside you, not by someone. You have to be bold and courageous to change your situation even if it looks impossible to do so. During my trip, one traveler told me such “Don’t live somebody else’s life”. This still keeps motivating me. Women tend to sacrifice their life for somebody. But you have to be a main character of your life”.

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The courage to share with the world…

“Empowerment – the word means different things to different people. For me, the road to empowerment means challenging and overcoming my fear of criticism. Looking back over my younger days, I remember some crucial moments when I let my fear of criticism get the best of me. Literally my BEST evaporated under the stress of fear and humiliation. My younger, less confident formative years were filled with a debilitating fear of criticism. But around the age of 15, I started to find my courage. In our high school, we had a Friday night coffee house set up in the library, for aspiring folk singers like myself to take the stage and entertain the crowd with a couple of songs. Continue reading “The courage to share with the world…”