5 Things to get When Traveling 1 Month in the USA Alone

Trees in Yosemite National Park
Trees in Yosemite National Park
“Harmony”, in Yosemite national park, 2016 — photo by myself

For someone who hesitates to take new challenges or who struggles with too many concerns, I would like this short writing to give them courage. I hope to keep coming out fun and interesting story through other people.


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It was the day that I have decided to live differently. I was a common employee in Samsung, which means I’ve been hardworking and spending a tough time in South Korea. The more I work every single day, the worse my health and mental get because I worked overtime almost every day.

“Tail wagging the dog.”

“주객전도(主客顚道)” we would say in Korean.

주객전도 [Jugaekjeondo]: The situation the owner became th eguest and the guest became the owner.

I have the feeling that the company took away my daily life. During the past 5 years, I just thought that working hard was considered as virtue as most other Koreans do. As I realize that something is going to be wrong, I thought that it’s the right time to make a new action on my own. In the meantime, the company I worked made a voluntary vacation system for individual language education. I finally acquired a vacation chance for 7 months to restart something to do breaking out work.

Breaking through my boundary could be very dangerous, but we might get things done than I have never thought before. That’s very adventurous and makes our lives more abundant. I am sure that colored things are waiting for me somewhere.


One thing that I set goals first is to travel abroad by myself for 1 month. I really want to have English skills to be able to communicate with foreigners not to get scores in a written paper. The goal is pretty simple and it goes this way, “To experience new in unfamiliar places, not the native language, during a certain period of time.” I made my own plans for English trips not how people do it in a common way like joining an ESL program served in certain colleges. The key point is to experience real life in the United States.

My Plans

I planned to visit the main 7 cities in the US from San Francisco to New York.

These are the cities I’ve been to :

  • San Francisco
  • Los Angeles
  • Las Vegas
  • Chicago
  • Ann Arbor(Michigan)
  • Washington D.C.
  • New York

How to move :

  • By flight
  • By bus (Megabus): cost-effective bus service. you can get tickets for only $1.
  • By subway
  • By train (Armtrak)
  • By cablecar (in Sanfrancisco)
  • By Uber, Lyft :)
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Transportation 7 days Pass in San Francisco

I usually stayed at a youth hostel. The main reason is it’s very cheap and they serve various local tour programs for free. Also, I can meet new foreign friends in traveling :)

The picture below is my actual schedule sheet.

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Time schedule sheet for a trip

What impressed me

Whenever I go for a travel, we mostly would meet the situation we’ve never predicted before. I would like to share the moments I am impressed about.

“ Meet people from various countries ”

Before traveling, I only imagined I will meet some Americans. But, there are lots of people from other countries with their own purpose: for study, for work, for business trips, for travel.

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With the blossoming children in Chicago, 2016

I happened to have lunch with elementary students who were taking classes in this hostel. They were asking lots of questions about our country. They were so amazing that the Asian woman was speaking in English. “What was the English sentence that you’ve learned for the first time?” It is a common question they asked.

“ Eat a French Dish”

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French food, 2016 — photo by myself

I can’t remember the name of the dish. The hostel has a kitchen so that the tourists will have a place to cook. A tourist from France staying at this hostel cooked something. I was thankful that the tourist offered me some. It tasted great. What a surprise! French-style food here.

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Thrilling riding 2016 — photo by myself

“A kind favor for a poor tourist”

I had a plan to ride over to Sausalito village through the golden gate bridge in San Francisco. After I reached Sausalito village, It started to get dark really fast. The bridge is longer than I thought. I had to go back to San Francisco in a hurry, but I don't have any safety equipment like lights to ride at night. One driver in one big car passing me pulled over the car and talked to me. He told me that it was very dangerous to ride at night. He drove me and helped me to go back to the entrance of the golden gate bridge. So, I was able to go back in safety. I thought for a moment “Will I act the same if I am in Korea?” I was very thankful to them.

“Romance of campus in university”

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Campus Romance, 2016 — photo by myself

In South Korea, It is considered a campus romance to read books while lying on a wide lawn. When I visited UCLA, I was reminded the time when I was a university student. Our university is very small and we don’t have any room to rest. So, I tried lying on the lawn like UCLA students, I felt freedom for a moment. I also kept thinking about, “What if I am a student here, What do I do now?” It’s like yearning for studying abroad. When I saw those students from UCLA, it seemed that they were studying enjoy and hard.

On the other side, I happened to meet one girl who looked like a student when I was waiting for the subway. I asked her if she was a student. She said, “Not a student, just working at an outback family restaurant.” Actually, It’s a very common question in Korea. Young people in Korea usually go to college. That means we are forced to go to college even if we don’t have any purpose. But I realized that It was not essential to go to college at this time. “Why have we been thinking to have to go to college?”

“Opportunity for anyone to Enjoy”

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It is available for free to use a couple of museums in Washington D.C. Even in some museums and exhibitions in New York open on a special day for free. In the case of the MoMA museum, I was able to see the artworks for free last Friday. The variety of artworks exhibited there were all interesting. The picture I listed seems like fusion things combined with the Korean traditional window.

What I’ve learned

This trip was very successful and worth it. I can have an experience I’ve never expected. First of all, I have confident that I can do anything from now on. I was very impressed to meet friends who have challenged their goals.

5 things I’ve learned :

  • Live life in the fullest! — I can’t forget people who always smile.
  • Give life! — Be thankful for our lives, and learn to give and help other people.
  • Have a passion for challenge! — Age doesn’t matter. Dream it again!
  • Mingle with unfamiliar things! — Learn English because it is way to destroy the barriers between countries.
  • Be humble! — Learn to be humble in the face of Mother Nature.
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Grand Canyon, 2016 — photo by myself

It’s time to start your story. The sky is now open for us!

Written by

UX Designer | Pilates Lover🧘‍♀️ | South Korea🇰🇷

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