A city girl’s guide to adventure travel

Korean travel blogger Runaway JunoToday’s featured writer is Runaway Juno, one of our favorite travel bloggers. She’s a backpacker, mechanical engineer and free spirit based in Seoul, South Korea.

Juno lives life to the fullest, whether she’s scaling the ruins of Angkor Wat, trying local foods in New Zealand or exploring the beaches of Jeju Island.

She is passionate about travel and proves that city girls can handle any type of adventure!

Follow Juno on runawayjuno.com and Twitter (@runawayjuno).


A city girl’s guide to adventure travel

Korean travel blogger Runaway Juno on an icy adventure

Juno explores the Franz Josef Glacier in New Zealand.

I was born and raised in Seoul, the capital city of the Republic of Korea. I lived in another city, Suwon, for University. Just simply, I’m a girl from a big city.

Someone asked me, does this fact stop me from having wild adventures? My answer is no. I’m a backpacker. “Adventurous” is the main word that could describe me. Growing up in the city doesn’t make me who I am; I found a non-city side of me over the last 20-something years. During many of my travels, I became a fan of the countryside more than big cities.

As a city girl and a born backpacker, if you ask me, “Can city girls handle adventure travel?” my answer is “Hell yeah!”

If you are a city girl and are afraid to go on an adventure, there are three main things you need to get over.


Korean travel blogger Runaway Juno at a hot spring in Beppu, Japan

Juno visits a hot spring in Beppu, Japan

First of all, there’s the biggest issue of all– convenience. In the city, I can get whatever I want in a snap. From tiny little things like a Barbie pin to some big thing like electronics, there’s no limit. If something is broken, or something just pops up in my mind, I can get it in just a second. There are convenience stores on every corner, a huge mall, and all the street vendors.

On the contrary, when we travel we have to walk several blocks to get a bottle of water and we sometimes have to go out to town to get a 50 cent stamp.

If we have a travel mindset, this doesn’t matter. We are not at home, so we already expect some level of inconvenience, right?


Korean travel blogger Runaway Juno gets up close with a cute dog on her travels

Juno gets close to the wildlife in New Zealand.

Some city girls think “nature” equals “unsanitary.” Dirt is the biggest enemy, and they can’t even imagine touching bugs with bare hands.

Fortunately, I’m not obsessed with being clean. I’m not dirty, but I just don’t mind. My family went on lots of trips to mountains, riverside and countryside, and we wandered around to catch butterflies and cicadas in the woods.

One of the things I was very impressed by in New Zealand was if you have dirt on you, wipe it off with grass. Not a baby wipe or tissue. Grass is nature’s tissue. I think that is more hygienic than any chemical measure.

Dirt won’t kill you. It’s just uncomfortable, that’s all. So don’t worry too much, you will be just fine.

Be yourself

Korean travel blogger Runaway Juno explores Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Juno travels to the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

When I am in a wild place, I have to be myself. You could think, “Well, I’m always being me! So what are you talking about?” But that’s not what I mean.

When I am in the city, people want me to fit their expectations. That leads me to pretend to be something. Not in a bad way, that is just how we live. However, when backpacking I am the only one who can protect me and I am the only one who can power through a situation. So I’m really just being who I am.

That is why the friends I meet on the road are way closer than city friends, even though we just meet for a few days. Because we are just being who we really are, it’s more intense than any other relationships.

In adventurous travel, there are so many things to think about before we leave. But as an adventure junkie, I just know that I will live. Wherever I go, it’s just a place with another way of living. I realized that.

I drink tap water but some people have to get bottles of water in a store, miles away. I usually wash my hair everyday but sometimes I can’t do it for many reasons. I generally don’t eat seahorse but some people do. If those things don’t kill other people, they won’t kill me either.

Korean travel blogger Runaway Juno tries street food in Beijing China.

Juno samples meat on a stick in Beijing, China.

As an adventure junkie and a city girl, I want to say: City girls, you can handle it. Grab your backpack and get on the plane. I will meet you there!

About Juno Kim

"Runaway Juno" has backpacked her way across Asia, North America, New Zealand and Europe. Juno is a lover of craft beer, street art and science. Follow her on Twitter at @runawayjuno!