In Korean, the literal translation is “go and come back,” and you use it in instances such as “go to the store and come back” or “I’m going to the store and coming back.” In English, we really don’t have a direct translation for this phrase, but I like to think of it in a broader sense — in the sense of “go travel and come back with fresh ideas and new perspectives.”
I believe strongly that travel can cure most ailments, anything from personal problems to global issues. I also believe it’s vital to growth — personal growth and the growth of Jefferson City.
There was a time in my life where my biggest goal was finding culture shock. I wanted to experience it and feel it. I knew there was more to learn out there, and I only went places where I would find people and customs so different from what I knew that I’d be gifted with culture shock.
Plus, travel exposes us to other things that just make sense, like:
- In Korea, there are buttons on every table at restaurants that ping your server when you need them and keep them from coming over when you don’t.
- In Japan, you can get hot meals out of vending machines.
- In Europe, their hot water pipes double as towel warmers, and there are no top sheets.
- In more than 30 countries around the world, they use polymer banknotes made from plastic.
More Reasons to Be Thankful
Upon returning home from these trips, however, I didn’t expect the reverse culture shock that followed. And what a bonus that was! I can always count on coming home and seeing Jefferson City in a completely different way than I ever had before, being shocked by things I’d never noticed. It’s an invaluable experience that only comes from fully immersing myself into a different lifestyle.
One reverse culture shock, for example, is the sheer amount of choices we have. Do you need laundry detergent? Here are a dozen different brands all with multiple variations of the same thing. Hungry for chips? Here’s an entire aisle. Have at it, folks! There was a time when that felt just insane.
One of the best silver linings of going and coming back is that it allows you to miss things you never knew you cared about, and therefore it gives you a new appreciation for the things we have here. I remember having a newfound appreciation for my hometown and being so incredibly thankful for all the color we experience in the sky everyday. After living in Asia, I realized how much the colors in the sky affect my happiness. Before, I took most sunsets for granted.
Money Is Best Spent on Travel
OK, this is a personal preference, but it’s something I live by. This summer, while you’re weighing your options on what to do with your time and money, I encourage you to get out and travel — no matter how close you stay or how far you go. Learn something new, meet someone with a new perspective, and then come back with a renewed sense of appreciation and gift to give to our community. It’s our responsibility to continue learning, growing, moving forward, and playing a part in creating an enjoyable place to live. Taking inspiration from this issue is the perfect place to start, and we are so excited you’ve picked up this magazine!
If you’re interested in where Sarah and I will be traveling and what we’ll be learning this summer, follow along on our Instagram for our newest educational marketing series “Tag Along” at @dogwoodsocial.
Missy Creed McFerron, Publisher