Through travel, we experience various cultures and ideas, understand ourselves and others more. Our experiences are precious and we are driven to preserve them as best we can Yoo Dong-woo is a student who held a photograph exhibition of his 500 day journey around the world. The Inha Times met Yoo Dong-Woo, who traveled 42 countries, from August 2015 to December 2016, to talk about his journey and most precious memories.
The Inha Times (IT): Introduce yourself, please.
Yu Dong-Woo (Yu): Hi, my name is Yu Dong-Woo and I am a student in the Department of Media and Information Studies. I finished school this year and now I'm preparing for my job.
IT: Traveling to 42 countries became a big topic on a campus - what made you decide to undertake such a long journey?
Yu: My experiences backpacking in Thailand when I was 20 years old and the feeling of discovery, of seeing a new world was my inspiration for this trip.
IT: What is your most memorable travel destination?
Yu: I get this question every time I’m interviewed. Many countries are memorable, but if I have to choose one, it will be Pakistan. I had a feeling of being treated like a member of the family by complete strangers. In terms of the 'people', I think it is the most memorable.
IT: Did you have any difficulties during your trip?
Yu: Maybe, it was loneliness. But loneliness is the reason why I travel - it gives me time to reflect about myself. So, the reason why I travel alone is that I can get the opportunity to be lonely. Though, when the loneliness became too much, I would make friends in towns or lodgings where I was staying or visit my favorite stores.
IT: Do you have any countries you want to recommend to us?
Yu: Armenia is the place to me. For example, countries like France are very well known and much visited, but Armenia is a country that is not well known, so it feels more unfamiliar and special. Armenia is a country located in a mountainous region and has a wonderful landscape. Also, it looks like Europe but the prices are cheaper than most European countries.
IT: You held an exhibition of the photographs you took while traveling. What is your favorite photo?
Yu: If I have to choose one of the many photographs, I like the photograph of the driver in Armenia the most. As I traveled, I came to know the pleasure of thinking about what people are thinking. I think this photo is my favorite because of the unique look of driver’s.
IT: How did you benefit personally from your long travels?
Yu: I think that I have got confidence that I can do anything. When I was about to start something, I was afraid and there were many things that I could not even attempt. But now, after my long journey, I think that fear is gone.
IT: What would you like to say to the students at Inha University?
Yu: My trip seemed complicated and difficult on the surface, but when I got started, I knew that it was not going to be as difficult as I thought. Just as there is a saying that the beginning is half, it seems to be important to start with confidence once in a while.
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