October 4th, 2017

Embarking on a Year of Travel, Part Two

I’m not quite halfway through my year on We Roam—this month is number six. But this month marks a huge shift in my experience, enough so to qualify as a second chapter.

I’m in Seoul for the month of October, which is a half day’s journey and a world away from Belgrade. After Seoul, I’ll move to Chiang Mai, Hanoi, Phnom Penh, Bali, Taipei…six months of Asia before going on to Australia. 

In the jump from Belgrade to Seoul, I’ve moved from a place that had some particularities but largely felt as home-like as New York to a place where many people don’t speak English and I have zero understanding of the written language, where I don’t know exactly what I’m eating half the time, where I’m asked to take off my shoes in the foyer of my apartment before proceeding. 

I’ve also joined a new group of people. We Roam is organized into itineraries—I began my trip on their first itinerary, Polaris, but with the move to Seoul, I’ve jumped to Lyra. October is the first month on this itinerary, so while a few people are moving over from Polaris and We Roam’s second itinerary, Orion, a large contingent of the group is just beginning their journey. 

So this is something of a reboot for me: new group, new continent. 

And for the most part, though I’m a little sad to have left familiar things and people and nervous about the new, I’m excited about the change. Asia will stretch my traveler muscles and coping skills in a way that Europe rarely does. I eased into that transition with a solo few days in Hong Kong (in the photo above) before flying on to Seoul—more on that trip soon!

After five months on the road, novelty has become routine. So it’s good to keep pushing the limits, to keep challenging myself. I didn’t sign up for a year of travel to be comfortable and complacent. So, as is becoming my mantra: onward.