Busan, South Korea: Solo Travel Photodump with Life Realizations HAHAHA

I just got back from a month long stay in USA. Yep, another set of my "adventures" that I should post here aside from the looooooong list of backlogs I've accumulated in the past years. I am not writing about that yet though, I'm currently fixated on my one month stay in Busan which happened September - October last year (2018). I know it's quite late, like most of my posts are, but I wanted to write something personal again. I don't remember the last time I did that here and it isn't supposed to be like that especially when sharing my thoughts is the main reason why this blog exists in the first place.

I am often asked about how am I able to travel alone and I would answer people that it's because I don't like asking people to go with me. I mean, I have several travel buddies and unless they told me that there's this particular place they want to go, I don't talk of plans nor plan something with someone. But it wasn't really like this at the beginning - I was also scared to travel in an unfamiliar place back then but I slowly changed.

This brings me back to my solo stay in USA three years ago. That was my first time travelling alone and though I have two constant travel buddies that time, I had two other flatmates and several acquaintances living at the same apartment compound. 

You see, when I first went to the States, one of the main goals was to see as much as I can. It wasn't possible on my own because traveling in the USA, unlike Busan, is difficult and expensive unless you have your own car. Anyway, things happened and I found my two travel buddies and we went on our memorable mini adventures together. My two flatmates had different interests and even though they would tell us how we don't invite them whenever we go out, we did try asking them whenever it was only the Las Vegas Strip where we're going. 

And for the rest, we would hear them talking about how we're taking advantage of people for our personal interests. It was somehow a toxic environment back then but I had to be civil about it. A lot of people may call me shallow and selfish for wanting to travel a lot but what can I do? This makes me happy. And for the record, it wasn't taking advantage. We were all there as people with the same goals of seeing new places and we're fortunate to have met each other. On the good side, it was during those times when I learned how to stand for myself and not let anyone's opinion of me affect how I want to spend my days. 

Three years ago, I cried on my way to Los Angeles International Airport and just this month, I realized that I didn't cry 'cause I didn't want to leave. I cried for the freedom and strength I thought I was losing once I go back to the Philippines. I didn't realize that the independence and strength were with me all along since then - they became part of my identity.

I guess, the independent and the maabilidad person they talk about when they describe me is partially a result of those three months.The pictures, stories, and the way I see things that I share here are testaments on how I changed and grew as a person. 

I haven't been blogging a lot these past months because I lost the "will" to blog and because I was going on adventures after another that I didn't have time to process and let things sink in. But still, I feel grateful that at several points of my life, I've had these experiences. 

September last year, I seized the opportunity of staying in Busan for a month. Okay, Park Seo Joon has a lot on influence with how I chose the place for this Sojourn because it's the location of his drama, "Fight For My Way." Although it wasn't all because of him, of course, it's just that some parts of the drama resonates with the struggles and problem a person can have in his/her life that while repeatedly watching it, I told myself that I want to see the places in person. If you get what I mean. 

And if you find yourself wanting to try traveling alone, I can suggest that one of the best places you can do that is in Busan, South Korea. 

Unlike my USA trip when I had no choice but to rely on other people's help especially on the travelling part, it was all on me when I was in Busan. Transportation was efficient that you can go anywhere taking subway and buses and it's safe that you can just go walking around alone should the place you're heading to is close by. It's definitely not a perfect place but it has all I wanted at that point. I like walking so I don't know if it will be the same for some but in Haeundae, everywhere is walking distance - beach, market, mall, mountain, grocery, church etc.

I went there not knowing anyone or anything but I really wanted to try living in South Korea even for a month. I was holding onto my hostel confirmation and my return ticket back to the Philippines that if I won't like something then I'll be home in no time anyway.

I kept on thinking that I was alone most of the time because of all the places I visited alone but I failed to recognize immediately that I wasn't. In fact, I may be alone for three hours or so but definitely not for the whole day. I had my new found friends with me almost all the time when I was there. I can count the times that I ate a meal alone and it's because I went hiking without asking someone to accompany me. A completely different environment than my experience when I was in the States. 'Cause here, in a hostel full of people from different nationalities who are arriving and leaving on their own schedule, I found a home and a family. 

No, it's not the I will always talk to you kind of relationship even if we're away 'cause obviously it's difficult to keep in constant touch these days but still, it was a shared life right there. 

This is the reason why I wanted to compose this 'cause sometime last month, a friend whom I met in Busan told me about the "parts of our lives that we lived together and our priceless memories." It didn't occur to me immediately that their memories of Busan has me in it and mine has them in it. When we think of Busan, we immediately think of our crazy days together and not just Busan the place where we spent a month in. 

Probably the reason why I still wear that bracelet until now is because I always want to remember our shared moments of bliss. And the reason why 운명/fate has become my favorite Korean word is because when I let things be, life happened. Busan taught me simplicity - that pleasure can be as simple as a night by the beach with bottles of soju while contemplating about our choices in life. 

 I'm pretty sure I've become a better person after all these travelling but I am also sure that there's still a long way to go and more chances of becoming a much better person than who am I now. I've got a lot of stories with me and that's something I take pride in. 

Something that I want to remember and live by that Busan made me realize is that no matter what happens in the future, I'll try to stop and ponder about the things my experiences are teaching me. No matter what the world tells me about the things I would need to be happy, I just have to look at the things I currently own. Although this is debatable 'cause currently, I don't really like spending money on stuff and I still focus on saving up for travels. 

I don't know where this life will lead me but I'd somehow get there. Regardless if the future's going to be like, the goal is to come out a better and stronger person who's appreciative and grateful for the cards she has dealt with. 

I had these trekking places to myself if I'm lucky and I had someone to walk with me if I'm luckier. But the difference is that on the first situation I went there on my own and for the second, I asked someone to go with me. I learned the importance of reaching out and asking others what they want instead of shrugging it of all the time and go by myself. It's just a series of learning and re-learning, isn't it?

I never liked explaining myself to the other people. Oftentimes, I just let them think whatever they want to think about me but I realized how lucky I am to have my own support group of friends who accept me as I am. It wasn't always a nice experience though 'cause I encountered people who are not worth mentioning anymore but taught me something about relationship the good ones won't ever be able to teach. Still, traveling makes you trust strangers over and over again. So far, the good people have been outweighing the bad anyway.


Do you think that we're at fault if we're feeling alone and lonely in this world? 


Sort of.

 Like what I've mentioned above, we're responsible for most of the things that happen to us. I mean, maybe feeling alone is more of like the way we perceive ourselves when we deal with others. I heard people saying that it's possible to feel alone in a room full of people but then when you think about it, we're alone 'cause we didn't reach out to even just one person from that room or maybe it's just because we're on the wrong room. These days, whenever I think about feeling lonely and alone, I say to myself that I should just enjoy the quiet times by myself. It's not always going to be like that anyway.

It will not always be happy, life won't always be pleasant but as long as we hold onto those "moments of bliss" then I guess, we'd have enough strength and good memories to think of as we endure some trying times.

"The world doesn't owe you happiness, health, love, respect, or money. You are where you are today because of your decisions, not because of your circumstances. Stop whining and stop being bitter. Take responsibility for yourself."

The world owes us nothing.

I don't know what's the purpose of this blogpost. I touched on a lot of topics that I lost what I wanted to say or probably I didn't really have a specific something to say when I started composing this. I just wanted to look back on my experiences in Busan and USA. I just wanted to write everything that comes to mind here. I just needed to let these out. 

We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.

I stopped thinking of how people will think of me. It's now take it or leave it from someone who tried her best to please everyone and I can say that I like it better this way. It's tiring to have to take other people's opinion of you especially if those people can't understand where you're coming from. I learned how important it is to socialize with people who have the same interests and mingle with people who inspire you to become better. I also learned how important to show these people who I really am rather than try my best to be liked by them. We meet the right people at the right time, I guess. I've been lucky.

At the end of it all, we all have our unique experiences that help us grow and change and it's all up to us how we react to those things. It doesn't have to be in Busan, USA, or in another place but it's up to us to decide on what we want and what we don't - who we are and who we want to be. And regardless of who and what we're surrounded with, as long as we know what we want, we'll have things figured out someday. Hopefully, we look back on this part of our lives and we tell ourselves that this is exactly what we need at this point.

Have faith in your journey. Everything has to happen as it did to get you where you're going next. 

God bless!!

Cheers to becoming a better and stronger versions of ourselves <3

Places to visit in Busan, South Korea link: here.

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