Fried chicken and beer are famous in Korea. If you are not aware of this, I’m in the same boat as you. I’d been told that it is popular because of the 2013 Korean TV drama, “My Love from the Star”. Fried chicken and beer was the favorite meal of the drama’s heroine, who had the line of dialogue: “It’s snowing. How can you not have chimaek?” Chimaek – “chi” for chicken and “maek” for maekju, Korean for beer. It’s also a culture for Korean guys to socialize over chimaek after work, which likes a sigh of relief after a long day.
During my trip in Korea, I went to a recommended place beside the hotel for chimaek. I ordered a half-chicken in garlic flavor. Unlike KFC, the chicken was oven roasted, the meat was tender and juicy. I don’t drink often and my face usually turns red after a glass of beer. I originally thought that it was a good sign that the alcohol was breaking down. But it actually indicates that you may have a problem liver and this was proved in my last blood test. Sometimes no matter how healthy you live, sickness will still find a way to attack you.
I walked back to my hotel room after the meal and tapped my access card. But the door didn’t unlock. I tapped the card again and the door remained locked. “Can’t be drunk like this after a glass of beer,” I thought. I looked up and checked the room number was correct. Then I found instead of the room access card, I was holding my credit card! At that moment I burst out laughing. People would give me a strange look if they saw me laughing out loud outside a hotel room.
We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us. To travel is to live. Travel is not about how many scenic spots to visit, it’s about the temporary relief from the burden on your shoulder, go with the flow and observe the world as a kid once again. Although it’s great to spend vacations with family and friends, traveling alone can also be incredible. When you fall, you pick yourself up. When you get lost, you find your own way out. There is no one besides you to help you. You make decisions on your own and take accountability for what you’ve chosen. So travel alone at least once in your life. You will laugh at yourself and learn to enjoy being alone. It will make you a better person and the effects will last for a lifetime.