The Red Ginseng Country

My dream came true!!!‘.

That’s the first thing I’m going to post on my social media account if I ever landed at Incheon International Airport, South Korea. Lol.

I remember the first time I began to like korean drama, Full House (2004). The story was too sweet! I fell in love right away with the love-hate relationship of Han Jieun & Lee Youngjae. I was in junior high school at that time. Years after that, I began to watch more Korean dramas like My Sassy Girl, Goong, etc. I was still normal back then, lol.

On 2010, I began to like Girls Generation (SNSD) because of their beauty, lovely songs, and perfect sync in dancing! That’s the first time I was ever exposed to K-Pop. At that time, my friends kept telling me to watch recent popular variety show, Running Man, because SNSD’s member appeared on the show. So I watched it. Then, bam! I was crazy about the show. It was hilarious, fun, thrilling, and showed a lot of fun places around Seoul & South Korea. That was the first moment I told my self, ‘I’m going to visit South Korea one day! I’ll make sure to visit those places in Running Man show! I have to!

Time flies and I got deeper and deeper in my passion for South Korea. I began to like Bigbang, watch more variety shows, watch more Korean dramas & movies, learned Hangul on my own from the internet, and even took 6 months course of basic Korean language. I began to understand few Korean conversations from dramas & variety show. I was so drowned in their culture. I’m in love with it.

Everyday I thought that going to South Korea would be impossible unless I could get a free tour or training from my company (like the one I got to Fujisawa) or continue my study there using scholarship money. I would need at least 10 millions rupiah to have a vacation there. I just joined my company for 9 months, my salary wasn’t enough to cover the trip South Korea, saving money for my wedding day was a pain to my bank account already, I just thought that going to South Korea is only possible one day, when I’m old enough to earn much money, when I’m married and have children. However, I kept telling my self that one day I would go there for sure.

Until one day, my friends, Adzani & Deri asked me to have a vacation together to South Korea. I thought ‘It’s impossible, Ky. You got no money.’ But I couldn’t resist the thought that it’s now or never! I may get married soon and when that happens, it would cost double to visit South Korea or even triple cause I have to bring the family all along. I finally found my self some courage to say ‘Yeah, let’s do it!

Long story short, we bought ourself tickets already! We got lucky cause we got around IDR 5800k for round trip ticket to Incheon International Airport due to the promotion fare (thanks to Deri Ardia! normally it could be around IDR 7000k to 12000k). It was only five months before the departure date. We were so thrilled.

Life after that was a bit (too) tough for me cause I had to save more and more money. I even had to save ALL the THR (holiday bonus) money I got from the company. Actually it was a good thing for me cause saving money has always been difficult before. But for this trip, I had to make it happen! I bought the ticket already and it’s going to be waste of money if I give up on saving money now. I kept telling my self, ‘if you want to do it, then you’re gonna have to do it right. Keep struggling but remember that you’re gonna have some fun soon!’ I struggled so much, but everyday I read a lot about other people’s South Korea trip on blogs and it gave me strength! So yeah, it happened. Five months saving money with those below average salary and big determination, I finally got enough to have 6 days trip to South Korea including visa application.

I’ll never forget the day I landed at Incheon International Airport for the first time. It was the first country I’ve ever visit for a vacation purpose only. Moreover, with my own money.

I’ve been to some Asian countries before but never for a vacation purpose. Never with my own money. Frankly, I was too burdened to ask my parents to fund me to go abroad without a necessary purpose. Either I have to join a cultural program, conference program, or training purpose. At least I have to make them feel that I went abroad to learn something, to give me more value-added experiences. I applied a lot of times to those kind of programs, wrote long essays, got rejected a lot and luckily accepted several times. So having a vacation abroad is really something big for me and I’m really glad that I worked hard to make it happen.

I was able to visit South Korea, the country I’ve been longing to visit so much. The country that I thought I could only visit one day. I’m beyond happy. Finally that one day has already happened in September 2015.

I visited a lot of places I could only seen on the drama & variety show before. I made memories with my best friends. I went to see Bigbang’s YG entertainment head office, took pictures, learned about Korean’s history & culture, ate street foods, even spoke korean language with locals! I smiled a lot. I had so much fun. It was beyond of my expectation. Of course I got to thank Adzani, Deri & Nana because it was all possible because of them, too!

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Myeongdong street

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Cheonggyecheon area

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The National Museum of Korea

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Ehwa Womans University

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Seoul Namsan Tower

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Gyeongbokgung

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Bukchon Hanok Village

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Naminara

I got to admit that I was really moved of my self cause I’ve never been so strict on my own money. (Ha.) I become more responsible and more aware of my daily outcome. I also learned that if you have a strong commitment to your goal, you’re going to work hard, really hard, automatically, to make sure you’re gonna reach that goal. Even the impossible one. You just need to think that if you work hard, then you’re getting closer each day. Good thing, right?

The Red Ginseng country doesn’t only make me passionate about one country’s culture, but also taught me a lot of lessons in life. I mean it. People may laugh at me or the others whose are really passionate about this country, because it may seems so silly and so cheesy to them. But I’m really glad that I did it. For once in my life, I finally believe that the impossible thing may turns to be possible only if we work hard to make it happen.

And you, my friend, should know that the impossible thing is closer than you think. Take a lesson of my story and the Red Ginseng Country. Who knows? You might be able to change your life once you believe it. So yeah, be silly and dream high!

P.s.
Been two years already since my last post. Glad to be back.
I’m employed and 24 already!!!