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Why Traveling is a Must

If I could do one thing for the rest of my life, it would be to travel. Maybe it’s because I’m from South Korea so the desire to see the world is a package deal with being culturally diverse.

Stop – it’s not true. I’m not an international student. Let me just clarify the whole South Korea thing before any assumptions are made. I was born into the military lifestyle and am an American citizen by birth (Maryland baby, woot woot!). My dad retired from the military when I was a baby, so we didn’t move around like the stereotypical military family. We moved to Korea (I always mean South, not North) when I was still a baby, so I attended elementary, middle, and high school on a military base in Daegu, South Korea. When time came, I applied to universities and moved across the globe for higher education. In other words, I came to Florida only two years ago to start my freshman year. Now, to many of you, this may seem crazy. Move that far away from home?! I know, I’ve heard it before. It’s the norm where I’m from, everyone takes a 14 hour plane ride to go to college. It sucks not seeing my family for holidays and breaks (except summer) but, like I said, it’s the norm.

Now that that’s clarified – traveling.

I’ve traveled a lot for a 19 year old and my aspiration to visit the rest of the world hasn’t died just yet (and probably never will). I don’t know what it is, but I feel like every time I go somewhere new, I realize what I want in life. Let me give an example.

Before winter break in 2014, I really, really, really wanted to go to New York. I’ve never been before and I’m not really sure why I had the urge to go, but I did. I asked my boyfriend to go with me and after some convincing, he agreed.  The day after Christmas we flew to the Big Apple.


It. Was. Everything.

First, the cold air felt amazing. Florida, being the sunshine state, doesn’t get below 50F very often. Second, the buildings. The city I’m from in Korea has high rises on top of high rises. It felt just like home. Third, it’s New York. Need I say more?

I loved the lifestyle people led. I loved how everyone was always in a hurry to get somewhere. I loved that the city never slept. I loved being able to grab a cab, or if I wasn’t in a rush, take the subway. I loved the fashion. I just loved being able to say, “I’m in Manhattan.” It just felt right.

Being immersed into that culture made me realize that Florida wasn’t for me. Florida is amazing, but I’m just not a let’s-go-to-the-beach-everyday-because-it’s-summer-year-round type of gal.  New York is more my speed, and I don’t know if that’s where I want to end up, but if I didn’t visit I wouldn’t have realized that I’m not where I belong.

I also have plans to visit another place. I can’t say where yet because nothing is final, but just thinking about all of my possible experiences makes me giddy.

Traveling is really remarkable because you learn a lot about yourself. You experience a different environment than what you’re used to and that’s the best part. If going to Paris is on your bucket list, then go. Don’t think about the money, think about the experience. That was my attitude with New York.

And if it were up to me, everyone would spend at least 3 years of their lives traveling before making any life changing decisions. But it’s not, so take your first step, I promise it’ll be worth it.




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Cynthya is a sophomore at USFSP majoring in Mass Communications. She currently holds the position of Editing and Content Chair in her chapter. She aspires to work at Cosmopolitan and write to her heart’s desire. She loves to be adventurous and often agrees to try new things with a, “why not?” attitude. She loves the city life because she was raised in South Korea and sees herself living in New York among all the skyscrapers and cabs one day. She's destined to becoming a dog lady because she has so much love for every pooch. You can contact her by email at [email protected] or follower her on Instagram at @your_cynsation.
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