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Coffee Truck Traveler, Kim Hyeondu

   In this issue, The Inha Times interviewed Kim Hyeondu, who traveled with a coffee truck for over two years. He traveled across the country along with the aroma of coffee and met different people. His story is heartwarming and worth your interest. 

 

The Coffee Truck In Jeju Island

The Inha Times(IT) : What made you start ‘traveling with a coffee truck’?

Kim Hyeondu : I had worked hard for 7-8 years. When my father died suddenly, it seemed that a part of my life had disappeared. So I decided to shut down current life to rest a while. At first, I planned to take a year off from work, but when I considered how I had spent my twenties working, I decided that I would quit my job.

Not long after, I read a book about a street vendor selling hand drip coffee and I thought ‘that’s it’! I’ll try to travel with a café and sell hand drip coffee. That’s how it all started. I had originally planned to travel for a year – that was two and a half years ago.

 

IT : The title of your book ‘To Explore Man (Sarameul yeohaenghapnida)’ is so impressive! It seems like you have met many different kinds of people during your travels, so who have been the most memorable?

Kim Hyeondu : Luckily, my travels are characterized by the fantastic rapport I’ve had with my customers, so it is difficult to choose only one person. One time, I met a 17 year old girl who was traveling alone with a large backpack. She was a great traveler. I still can picture the girl and her spunky personality. I envied what her future might hold. I also met lot of flakes. But, mostly, I just met ordinary people. There are a lot of people who think of themselves as being one of a kind – they manifest not only a love for themselves but also a sense of superiority. So I always try to focus on living a normal life, to travel through a life I share with lots of people.


 

 

IT : You must have had some incidents or unexpected experiences while traveling. Do you have any especially memorable episodes?

Kim Hyeondu : Yes, that’s right. A lot of things occurred during my travels. There’s no place like home. I once snuck into a camp site public toilet one summer so as to wash with a disposable cup. Once, I was sleeping in a tent and suddenly heavy rain fell, so I broke camp and stayed up until the wee hours in my truck. At various camp sites, many campers came to my coffee truck, even early in the morning. Such excitement!

As soon  as soon I woke up, I could earn money and pleasantly talk with people.

 

IT : I think it must be lonely to travel alone for over two years - how did you combat the solitude?

Kim Hyeondu : Loneliness always exists. And everyone in the world is lonely. I think there is no way to combat such loneliness. However, maybe to forget for once rather than disappear? Through delicious food, beautiful landscapes or just a cup of coffee at the end of the world, loneliness is not a thing to combat but a thing to leave as it is. We cannot to look to others for salvation but must find it in our own essence. Solitude is peace.. I hope that you meet solitude at the end of the loneliness. It isclearly helpful with life.

 

 

IT : You said you started your travels because of your dream in life, so did you find the answer to your dream?

Kim Hyeondu : Well, it isn’t as if I tripped over and still don’t know what is right. Maybe because finding an answer has never been foremost on my mind, I decided to create a playground with a friend from my childhood. Last fall, after much hard work, I finally created a space for a café or cultural facility in my home. I am really satisfied with it. I think this satisfaction is true happiness.

 

IT : What do you want to do with the rest of your life?

Kim Hyeondu : I don’t want anyone to plan my future. I might take pictures of the countryside, work as a barista in villages or open small bookstores in cafés. I want to live based on my ideas and my passions.

 

이지은  dlwldms0014@gmail.com

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