I remember so clearly leaving JFK Airport in NYC thinking how far off South Korea was; as it was the last leg of my journey. Yet, here I am snuggled into a cozy hostel in the heart of Seoul’s Jongrogu district.
The past few months have been unbelievable in more ways than I could ever put into words. I have met people from all over the world, seen sights that were built centuries ago and learned more than a typical classroom could ever provide.
Growing up in a small town it was sometimes easy to think that there was no one else who thought the way you did or had the desire to explore. This trip has proved to me that I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Just a few of the people I met along the way - a woman who was 69 and had planned a trip around the world with her husband who had unexpectedly passed away and in his memory chose to travel the world herself. I met a young man from Ohio that wanted a change so he packed up his life and decided to take up permanent residency in Italy after starting his own English speaking tour company for the major sites in Rome. I stayed with a woman who opened her home in Northern Italy to all travelers passing through and kept a detailed record of their names and stories. I met a middle aged man that had just returned from the Philippines where he studied jujitsu for 6 months, aspiring to become a professional fighter despite his age. I met a man in his seventies who owned over 30,000 nativity scenes from around the world, because he thought the expanse of religion was a truly remarkable feat.
These people are just a sliver of the amazing friends I have made on my journey. Each one of them with their own past, their own future and a story of how they got there, each one brought forth various knowledge, different from the one before them.
Sitting here thinking about all the people I have met only further solidifies my path. These people, their stories are why International Business is for me. For me it represents the melding of minds and ideas, of changing perspective and learning to work together to achieve common goals. This trip has sparked a new passion for my future job and one that I hope will always burn with the same fire as today.
As the backpacking portion of my trip has come to an end I am filled with both a sigh of relief and a longing for more time, but South Korea awaits and I know there is much more in store for me.