It has been a long time since college students lost their relaxing leisure time and romance of college life. Today in this never ending competitive world, it can be confusing whether today’s college students are brave youngsters, full of hopes and dreams, or elderly people, not trying but compromising with the world all the time. In particular, since college students have been through the fierce competition of the admission policy, it would be best to try new hobbies and challenges that they couldn’t tackle during their high school years, planning and drawing their life maps. However, the reality is not likely to let this happen easily. College students once again start the new war of GPA and clinging to resumes, which cannot be often distinguished from one another, for the goal of being accepted by a dream company. However, even in this fiercely competitive and colorless world, there are some people who live completely different and special lives, enjoying themselves with new realization. Let’s look at what kind of life lessons they could gain from their brave attempts and challenges.
The Woman Wondering on the Ocean? Who Is She?
Leaving Los Angeles in 2010, passing Mexico, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama, and the Galapagos Islands, a woman is sailing the Pacific Ocean. This woman is Emily Richmond, and she has been to Malaysia and Thailand, crossing the Pacific and is heading to Africa. She has been traveling around the world for five years with her small boat. She dreamed of traveling abroad by herself after graduating from her college, but before she actualized her dream, she was just a normal Los Angeles citizen. In the big city of Los Angeles, after finishing college, moving from one occupation to another one, being in a whirl of business and being addicted to state-of-the-art technology were the everyday life of people. However, a book she read became the biggest motivation for her in deciding to start traveling around the world. This book was the autobiography of Tania Aebi, written when she succeeded in sailing around the world as the youngest person ever, at the age of 21. Emily was impressed
by this woman and began to cultivate her dream of sailing around the world in her heart. In addition, her mother was working as a librarian and reading magazines such as National Geographic, would have contributed a bit to her dream. After graduating from college, she prepared for sailing around the world on her own and raised money she needed for the trip by using fundraising websites such as Kickstarter.
Full of Danger, Traveling Alone
Her Best Friend Bobbie
Sailing alone, Emily’s only friend is Bobbie, a boat purchased in San Diego. With its length of 12 meters and weight of 10 tons, it is a very heavy, small, old boat, made in 1976. Ironically, the outlook that is not very splendorous could have saved Emily from a number of dangerous situations, and its heavy weight could have endured wild and rough rain and typhoon. The boat generates electricity by solar power battery and even has an emergency satellite telephone. Some have questioned that Emily must be so lonely by being alone in the vast expanse of water. She answered not at all because each day passes fairly quickly because she has many tasks to complete such as managing and fixing the boat. When food in the boat runs out, she catches fish with a spear and creates drinking water using solar power. When she passed the Panama coast, she even discovered a huge plastic island that has not yet been reported. She showed concerns and regret that people these days do not spend enough time in nature and only try to protect things that they value.
Am I Jesus?
A tribe in Papua New Guinea, who had never met a white person, fervently welcomed Emily, thinking that she was Jesus. In one cult of New Guinea, people believe in a black Jesus and that when people die, they are born again with white skin. Since the tribe had never seen a white person, the appearance of Emily was probably a mind blowing experience. Thus, the tribe cut a pig’s throat and threw a big festival and dance party. They even presented gifts to her, but she repeated “That’s not me!” and felt uncomfortable and bewildered. Even this might have been a bit of a ridiculous and funny story, the spiritual leader sobbed when Emily had to leave the cult.
The Confrontation with a Pirate
There can be numerous moments full of danger when a woman travels by herself. Needless to say, Emily also faced pirates on motor boats, without any fishing equipment, while sailing the ocean. Fortunately, the pirates did not threaten or attempt to kill her. This was possible because Emily disguised herself as a boy wearing a worn out piece of clothing and acted like a man. Her boat did not contain any expensive material such as a big radar or high technology navigation system. Her shabby and rusty boat also played a role in evading dangerous situations.
Emily’s Future, and the Change
Emily’s original plan for sailing around the world was an adventure throughout the 24 months, but her traveling has already lasted for more than two years, and her traveling is still on going. She finished sailing the Indian Ocean, and her next destination is Tanzania in Eastern Africa. She claims that she has learned patience and gained inner peace without rushing. Back in Los Angeles, she used to shout “faster and faster,” and spend a series of bustling days. However, as she relies on a motherless boat sailing only with the help of the wind, she once stayed ten days in one spot. This kind of experience has completely changed her way of thinking. She began to relax more and gain inner peace and patience in living her life. Her endless curiosity is a big motivation for her traveling around the world. She explains that meeting new people and learning in the world, interacting with new culture and tradition is very joyful and exciting. She wakes up every morning full of anticipation and feels the richness of life more than ever.
Tracker Kim Dong-woo: Walking around the World
While there is a woman who sails around the world using a boat, on the other side of the globe there is a man trekking mountains around the world by using his own two legs. His name is Kim Dong-woo. In order to travel around the world, he quit his eight years of life as a journalist and chose to face this brave challenge. The motive behind this decision was the repetition of an endless and meaningless routine and extreme exhaustion. Meanwhile, he decided to take off his mask and try something he really desires and put the plan into an action. Like this, he began traveling around the world, which placed the first priority on his bucket list. After selling his house and car and closing his installment saving account, he finally departed Korea on April 30th 2012, leaving his family and friends behind.
His passion for hiking and trekking was truly amazing and he had already climbed famous mountains throughout Korea and even Annapurna in Nepal. This time, he began from Tiger Leaping Gorge in Yunnan Province, China, reached the summits of Wadi Mujib in Jordan, Mountain Sinai in Egypt, Mountain Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, and even crossed to South America and North America. As it was a route that is often avoided by many, this journey was not smooth all the time. On Aconcagua Mountain of Chile, the wind was so strong, to the degree of toppling the tent, he had to give up reaching the summit only after fifteen days, and he once suffered from chronic enteritis and Malaria. He had to go through chills and a stomachache, became feverish and even vomited. However, with the dream of conquering the summit of Mountain Kilimanjaro, he overcame the illness, and could witness an entrancing golden sunrise that he would never forget.
The Changed Life after the Travel
On February 20th 2013, Kim Dong-woo finished the rough but happy trip around the world in 297 days and came back to Korea. Due to the arduous traveling, he lost 8 kg, his stamina hit rock bottom, and his knees had problems. Furthermore, since he didn’t have money to use right away, he had to get a credit line, but at least he didn’t feel the burden of reality. Instead, his face beamed full of energy, and one could feel confidence and a sense of composure from him. He realized that traveling is “not seeking an answer but the procedure of finding another question.” He took as much time off as he wanted and published a book Around the Globe with Trekking, featuring his journey, thus actualizing his second priority on his bucket list. Since last March, he has been wandering around all the beaches of Korea and tells the world about Korean beaches, as he works for the PR department of the National Federation of Fisheries Cooperative. He had to give up so many things for the trip around the world, but he said that he gained much more. Through his journey, he has learned the importance of living in the present rather than worrying about an uncertain future.
In this time of the emphasized value of hurrying up and going head first, a person who can keep himself away from the competition and keep composure is happy. In this capitalistic society, the financial need for living cannot be completely ignored, but when obsessed with worldly values such as money, power, and fame, it is difficult to realize the true meaning and beauty of life. Would you go by the standard procedures that everybody pursues without enthusiasm, or go for some new challenges that make your heart throb, and face the bigger world? Since you are the main character of your life, the choice is yours!
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