First World Problems: Wanderlust

by Jane Moneypenny

I’m going to preface this entry by saying these problems are incredibly first world and I feel guilty even having to speak about it, but I needed to vent out.

My initial plans for Chile fell through, and after hitting up a few other friends for their plans, I’ve come down to going back to Taiwan (after 7 years away) to visit family and friends. Good news is I can fly stand-by 1st class (for a standard economy flight price) internationally which is a DREAM since my aunt works for an airline and I’m going to visit her. The bad news is that it’s stand-by so who knows if I’ll ever get on.

Second: As much as I love Taiwan, there is absolutely no way I can spend two entire weeks through without going insane. Between the constant jabs at my singledom and my “obesity” (yes, I’m very normal by American standards, but was considered obese 20 lbs ago by Asia), I don’t think my mental state, no matter what strong it is this year, can handle it. So I will flee to another Asian country.

Third: Lucky me! An old friend will also be in Taiwan suffering through the same questions about being 29 and single. We talk about escaping. I discover her parents, for some reason, have nixed her going to “less developed” (or as they say “unsafe”) countries. Countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma, Mongolia have been killed automatically despite being like most other countries: safe if you’re smart. Because I’ve already been to Japan, Thailand, Singapore, China and Hong Kong, it has come down to South Korea.

Now, I love Korean culture, love the food and visited when I was five and remember nothing, but I have this nagging feeling it’s somewhere I can always go in the future with family. It’s not somewhere I’m really up for being so young and still up for backpacking to “less developed” countries, so it’s always been low on my list. My friend has also rarely traveled (and we all know my spring adventures with newbie travelers) and keeps asking about tour groups (gag). I worry out travel styles will clash. I worry that I scream if she has to check-in w/ her parents every possible moment. I worry that I’m not living my life to the fullest (this is clearly an ongoing anxiety for me).

So what do I do? I really do love traveling with the right people and would rather not doing it alone. First world problems, I tell ya.