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!


  1. Great tips Juno! Nice to read some very helpful tips from someone who loves to travel but realizes that doing so isn’t always convenient. There are MANY city people who desperately need your advice in all walks of travel! I know – I’ve met them! 🙂

    • Thanks Jeremy! Glad to hear this could be great tip! 🙂 Yes.. I met many ‘too afraid to do anything’ type of people and I felt so bad for them. Well they are probably happy to be themselves but not for me though. 🙂

  2. Thanks for making it so beautiful Leslie! 🙂 It’s my honor to write for Downtown Traveler! I’m not an exter or anything, just saying what I think of. 🙂
    Great! Happy #TravelTuesday!!

    • Thanks Juno! It’s our honor to have you as a contributor. I have to admit, I used to be a city girl who was afraid of camping and wildlife. Going to Alaska and camping in Denali National Park changed my mind! Now I love to camp 🙂

  3. Great post Juno and I totally agree that there are far worse things you could have on your hands than dirt!

    • Juno

      For sure..!! 🙂 City is .. Untrustworthy. Haha!

  4. There are two kinds of dirt- the organic kind and then there’s the kind with germs. Avoid that at all costs. I travel with a small bottle of 100% pure lemon essential oil to sanitize my hands. It works well, is not chemical and is easy to carry- even meets the 3 oz rule.

    • That’s good! 🙂 I usually bought a small bottle of sanitizer at the airport or something. I still got some left from Siem Reap. 🙂 Lemon essential.. good idea. Thanks!

  5. Great post Juno 🙂 I love your thought that you will live anywhere you travel to, just in a different way. very true, and I love to get my hands full of dirt as well.

    Leslie, congrats on the blog redesign and launch!

  6. YOU ROCK GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • You too Andi!!!!!! 😀

  7. Great post. Juno seems like a down to earth girl too. I love her last note about be yourself. Good post!

  8. woohoo! go my sista! GO JUNO! great post girl.. thx for being a part of my life! so glad to have met u in the blogging world:)

    • Me too! 🙂 Thanks for being in my like. 🙂 hehe..
      Wait for me at KL!

  9. Great tips for those that might be fearful of adventure travel. Once you are on the road you realize it is exciting to be without convenience as you learn to improvise with what you have. Exceptionally well written. 🙂

    • Agreed! I think the hardest part of adventure travel (for city dwellers) is diving in the first time. Then you get used to the dirt and inconveniences!

      • Agreed. 🙂 Actually, I think ‘get on the plane’ is the hardest part in the first place. Difficult to leave but, we are all okay, right? 🙂

  10. Maria A

    So adventurous, so fun! Nice article.

  11. BE YOURSELF, this is the greatest gift you can give people. Being your true self is easier with travelers you meet along the way, I agree with Juno that these relationships can be the most intense. All the trappings of “who you are” ( your job title, the city where you live, ect ) can fall away and what is left is the pure affinity of travel and the coincidence of the meeting.

    sweet post

    • I agree, Juno has a great message! I admire how she strives to be true to herself.

  12. Dirt won’t kill you — so true :p But those caterpillars WILL!! (jk, I’m deathly afraid of them)

    • My kryptonite is geckos. And they’re everywhere! 😉

      • Whaaat? Geckos are so cute!!! 😀

        • Not when they are crawling on your pillow! lol

  13. Travelling can provide one with so many experiences which can become learning experiences for life. To gain maximum benefit from ones travels a keen sense of observation definitely helps.

  14. still love reading this post:) happy Friday girls:D

    • haha I saw your comment late! 🙂 Thanks Ciki, again!! 😀

  15. Very interesting post Juno, sometimes I wish to add some adventure in mine travel but for that i require proper information. Your tips and experience is very needful for me when I go for such kind of travel.

    • Thanks for the kind words Jenny. And glad my post helped you to think about something. 🙂 Good luck with your further adventures!

  16. i like your writing style…=) i don’t have experience in traveling so far but reading your piece make me want to.

  17. Z

    After the Visa approval (I hope) – I’ll be on the plane & hope to meet u in Korea Juno! hahaha

    you are an inspiration! ^_^

    Keep posting!

Trackbacks / Pings

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Page not found - Sweet Captcha
Error 404

It look like the page you're looking for doesn't exist, sorry

Search stories by typing keyword and hit enter to begin searching.

Read previous post:
Hotel Perks: Ben Folds Five Concert at the NYC Westin Grand Central

What can you get with 5,000 hotel loyalty points? If you're a Starwood Preferred Guest, you can now get VIP...