When we met Chloe in Malawi we first thought she was a tourist. But we were totally wrong! We asked her :”So for how long have you been traveling?” and Chloes answer was very surprising: “Malawi is the 53rd country and I have been traveling since 2010.” Of course we wanted to know more about her journey. She has already traveled to Europe, the Middle East, North America, Central America and Asia. Furthermore Chloe has visited many countries in Africa by now and on the 5th of May she flew to Mexico to discover South America – there’s no end in sight.

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Chloe visiting Namibia – photo by Chloe Park

Interview with Chloe Park: “I will continue my journey as long as I can.”

Why did you decide to go traveling?

After having worked for 4 years, I felt bored of my life. All of my friends got married before turning 30 years old. What I had to do is getting married, too. Then, by chance, I looked at my wish list that I’ve made when I was 15 years old. There were 3 things left: buying a sports car ( a Mercedes SL55), getting the M.B.A and traveling around the world. It was a tough decision to make. 4 month later, I quit my job, sold everything I had, booked a one-way ticket and left with my backpack – that was all I needed.

For how long did you plan to travel?

There was no specific plan on this journey. I wanted to travel until I see the whole world – that means more than 200 countries.

What do your family and friends think about your decision to travel the world?

My family wasn’t that excited about my decision but my older sister supported me to go for it with all her heart. Unfortunately, my mom is still not happy with my journey although the rest of my family are quiet proud of me now.

“It didn’t matter where to start. It just mattered that I travel.”

When did you start your journey?

I quit my job in Jan 2010 and traveled to Asia in April 2010 for a month to see how it is like to travel as a backpacker. Afterwards I came back to South Korea to prepare for my long journey. Then I flew to Frankfurt on July 2010 and I’m still on the road.

Why did you fly to Frankfurt first?

There was no special reason to choose Frankfurt. I just booked the flight the day before with my flight mileage. It didn’t matter where to start. It just mattered that I travel.

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Testing German beer at Oktoberfest – photo by Chloe Park

What was your first impression of Germany and did it change later?

Unfortunately, the place I booked in Frankfurt was in the red light district. It was scary and unpleasant. A prostitute was sitting downstairs and a drug dealer was standing next to her. But I really enjoyed the Oktober festival in Munich, though. I wore traditional clothes with a candy necklace and danced on the table with a huge beer glasses. Also I went to a house warming party in Berlin that lasted 3 nights and 4 days – it blew my mind. I had no idea how they stayed awake for so long, now I do know how.

“Traveling alone is a totally different experience you will get but I would recommend it to other people.”

Have you been home for holiday, since you started?

During my journey I had 3 times food poisoning from Mexico, Cuba and India. My condition was horrible and fragile so I decided to fly to Korea for recovering. As soon as I got my energy back from home food and care, I started to travel again.

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