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Betting on Yourself To Get Yourself There

sesungguhnya realiti itu tidak indah;

They say that every twentysomething should try traveling alone at least once in their life. if you googled that sentence, Buzzfeed can give you up to 19 reasons. I'll be honest when I tell you that it was pretty naive of me to believe that I would discover all 19 would be true, but anyway I packed up my bags and bought the first ticket to South Korea.

Even though reason number 9 states that most people come home changed after their solo trips, as someone who is used to taking care of herself, I didn't expect the trip to be life changing in any way. 

this was a mistake, of course. 

If you were to ask my friends, they would definitely tell you that I am never a person to take risks. I prepare weeks and weeks before doing anything, there was even once I actually got to the airport at 6 pm even though my flight was at 11.30am the next day. I'm sure that my friends would not believe me now when I tell them that on my last day in Korea, I decided to go all the way to Nami Island which is 3 hours away from Incheon airport.

but as reason number 8 states: 

Being alone – a.k.a. being free of any judgment whatsoever – will inspire you to get out of your comfort zone and do things that you wouldn’t usually do.

By the time I was ready to leave Nami Island, (10 minutes after I arrived) which on that Saturday had more than 3,000 people visiting, the buses did not come, and traffic was not moving. I had approximately 3 hours to get to the check in counter before it closed. What followed for the next 3 hours would be the most adrenaline filled time of my life. 
As traffic wasn't moving, running to the station seemed like the best chance. 

It was through the running that I experienced reason number 10:

You will let go of the anxiety that comes with meeting new people

Even though I did not find myself talking much with people during my stay, the run to the station got me saying hello to everybody. Telling everyone I passed that I needed to rush to the airport, and strangers wishing me good luck and giving me advice as I ran, gave me an extra push. There was a train that could get me to the city in just one hour, instead of two. I felt relieved but it didn't stay that way when three Malaysians I met told me I wasn't on the express train. With no internet, it was impossible to find out the schedule of the next express train and I was stuck with a decision that I had to make in 4 minutes. 

1) stay with the Malaysians, at least I feel safe and just find another way to get to the airport with them.

2) get off at the next stop, and pray to god that there is an express train coming in the next 10 minutes. 

It might seem petty, but every minute that passed was excruciating because every decision I made would determine If i would get on that flight or not. 

So I got off.

I was crying by the time a sweet Korean girl told me the next express train would leave in 12 minutes. She helped me buy my ticket and assured me I would be fine. I would reach Seoul at 6.43pm, but Incheon was still and hour away from there.

As the fact that for the first time in my life I would not make my flight sank in, I cried on the crowded Korean train. I cried and blamed myself because there was no one else to blame. But along with the crying, I knew that I couldn't give up just yet. I needed an hour to reach the check in, and I had exactly an hour. No more no less. I had to bet on myself, that I could get myself there.

with crying eyes I asked a Korean girl if she could check the train schedule for Incheon Airport, and she told me that the fastest I could reach was at 8.00pm. I had to be there by 7.45, but she told me it was impossible, unless I took a taxi, that would also usually take an hour. I said thank you, but still upset because it didn't seem to change the situation.

But what she said to me next moved me deeply.

'I'll run with you' 

Her friends wished us luck, and once the door opened we ran up and out of the huge station to the long queue at the taxi stand. Cutting everyone in line, she ran across the street and stopped the first taxi she saw and ask me to get in quickly. 

'She needs to be at Incheon in 40 minutes or she will miss her flight! Get her there, go! go!'

 is what I assumed she said in Korean to the driver. 

I will never forget her face and what she did for me. 

When I reached the airport, the taxi driver pointed at the time on his dashboard

'7.41pm!' he said happily as I rushed out with the biggest and most thankful smile on my face. 

I wished I could go back and tell them thank you. I wished I could tell them that thanks to them, I got on my flight. That their kindness had helped me a great deal. Kind of like that scene in How I Met Your Mother when Ted ran back and hugged everyone who got him to the curb at the exact right moment. 

If I did learn a big important lesson from this solo travel, is that everything comes down to you. It was much easier to make decisions when the only person at stake is yourself. There was no time to think about other people, or what people would think of you, or if they judged you. There was no space for pride. So what if you were crying and asking for help. 

Reason number 18 says that you will learn that there are things you want to change about yourself, and you’ll doubly embrace the things you don’t.

I risked my flight just for 10 minutes at an island. Sounds stupid, and a waste of time but it was beautiful and I will never regret the decision that I've made. It seemed like my end point was the flight. The flight resembled my happiness and whatever happened I just had to get there and there were two options, to live life the safe way or to take risks. 
I guess I did care a lot of what people thought of me. Then again who doesn't. We always say we don't but deep down we know we do. You know how they say that you should always do what's best for you? I think I really know what that means now. It might sound selfish at first, but 

when it comes down to your happiness, who else are you gonna count on but yourself? 

1 comment:

  1. this surely is the most exhilarating story i have ever read. such an inspiration! if i were someone on the train and heard about your misery, rather than said 'I'll run with you', i might end up crying with you instead. and yeah by reading this i nearly cried. thanks ayzie for sharing :) hope you had find what has been missing all this time by this quite a journey of yours. welcome back and happy study!


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1992; Part time writer, full time dreamer. A person who writes for comfort and is learning how to become a kungfu master

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Dilema Sekuntum Bunga


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