(Australia) What is like getting lost?

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After leaving Brisbane, Australia at the end of Oct 2020, I was cycling to the North. My plan was to cycle to Cairns, Eastern North in Australia. But why do I have to keep cycling when I am not interested in anything? After failing my dream, going back home through North Korea, I totally got lost. I couldn’t feel anything; nothing excited, but emptiness. I was too numb to feel anything. Then suddenly I was so frustrated when I felt deep loneliness sometimes. Not sure I was lonely because I was depressed or I was depressed that I felt lonely.
I thought if I cycled six continents without going back home, it would be a new record and I thought I could spread my peace message to all around the world and my country’s people about one Korea. (You can check my previous post about it) But, no, I was totally wrong. I couldn’t accept that I wasted my nine years on the road as I enjoyed every moment. I didn’t want to blame myself as the stupidest person. It’s just happened that I failed. I didn’t know even there were people who could understand what my dream meant. Just everything was failed.

 

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But this depression didn’t come suddenly in August 2020 when I realized I totally failed my dream. I was suffering from frustration(depression?) little by little since March 2020 when Australia started having a lockdown and I was stuck as all borders closed. Everything was unstable; I was not sure how long I could extend my visa in Australia, how to survive without working in one of the most expensive countries, how to deal if some racist attack me as I am Asian, how to pay if I get coronavirus as non-residence, what I should do after going back home suddenly after failing to extend visa?

 

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What was the meaning of the world trip last nine years? I didn’t want to finish my trip in this way. But I didn’t know how to go further than this. One of the hardest parts was the loneliness. But it was not bad in March 2020 cause I was not the only one suffering at that time. I could see many things were stopped in Australia due to Covid19. Then since June, Australia was slowly going back to their normal life and I could start traveling again. I felt I was the only one suffering in Australia. Australia was doing an amazing job at Covid19’s control. Every shop and gym was opened. Camping places and hotels were busy with local people. People whom I have asked always said they didn’t get affected by Covid19 except traveling overseas. I had no one to share how this situation was stressful as everyone looked just happy in Queensland, Australia. It made me so longliner badly. I was thinking about how it would be if I am stuck in Europe or America, then I would feel less lonely? Cause there is a common thing to share like lockdown endlessly?? I had searched from time to time about what depression’s symptom is and how Covid19 can cause it since March 2020. But a couple of symptoms were “irregular sleeping and abnormal eating habit” I actually ate well and slept without a problem so I always doubted that I was not suffering from depression. Then what was the thing I was suffering from since March 2020?? This bothered me as well.

 

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I wanted to get out of depression, but I had nothing; no one to talk to (When people wouldn’t show their mind, but only listen to me, I cannot tell and show my mind cause I feel disconnection.)  and no money to see a counselor. I was obviously an exception from getting a Pandemic subsidy from my government as I was overseas and from the Australian government as I was not a residence. I was totally alone by myself during the biggest crisis of the World Pandemic. I just went into my dark deep cave.

 

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I didn’t cycle much as I lost the point of cycling that I was moving slowly to the North from Brisbane. My situation was unstable that it was different from before. But people kept asking the same thing as before Covid; “Where are you going?”, “Where are you?”, “What’s your plan?”. When I was on Sunshine Coast, I found I lost hairs, the result of Alopecia areata because of too much stress probably. I was thinking to close all my social networks, but then let it open in case someone got bored during a lockdown and wanted to check the traveling blog. So I only deleted Whatapp, Instagram, Facebook page from my phone and I never check them again. Finally, I felt more relaxed from the pressure and I got the time to think about what to do for my life. (So sad that hairs don’t grow yet but look like the empty area going bigger a bit. Maybe still progressing. I researched that it would grow after six months. But not sure it would grow without seeing a doctor. I will see.)

 

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Then I suddenly remembered one of my dreams which I found on my trip. I was not happy about Social Networks that I wanted to make the better one that can connect people in a better way. Then I got the idea that how about studying App development first? I had thought it would be too difficult to learn before. But just by curiosity, I searched about it and it seemed it would not take years to start making the app.

 

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I was thinking about studying and surfing on Sunshine Coast. But there was a crisis of lack of houses as many South Australians came to live in Sunshine Coast since they cannot go overseas. So I decided to go back to Brisbane cause there were more houses and it had a big university library to study. My plan was to stay one month there to study and then move to Gold Coast to surf. I spent my birthday in Noosa more up north from Sunshine Coast. But I was disappointed that surfing was not that good with full of seaweed. I couldn’t wait to go back to Gold Coast.

 

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After I came to Brisbane, I was studying at the library of the University of Queensland at my most of the time. It was really good that the opening hours were so long and a visitor could use a library freely even during Covid19. It was really amazing campus with nice libraries. It helped me to be productive. But I didn’t know how to program that it was so difficult to understand. And I was just learning from random youtube videos and websites. (If you are an Android Developer and have time to help with my errors, please send me a message!! Thanks!)

 

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At Christmas, I spent my time with a friend’s family and actually after it I felt better. So I thought “Oh, wow.. I am getting over my numb feeling!” But no, it was not. It just came back on New Year’s Eve. I could go out if I wanted to see the fireworks or find people to spend time together. But I didn’t want to do that. I had lots of fun every New Year Eve especially on the trip for the last nine years.  But this time I tried to sleep. (First time to miss New Year Eve Count since a kid) Unfortunately, I couldn’t sleep with too much thought that I just played music loudly on my earphone to ignore people’s happiness shouting to welcome 2021.

 

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I was a bit getting better in 2021. But suddenly Brisbane was in lockdown on the 8th of Jan, 2021 because of a strain virus found. I was so shocked although it was only for three days. My trauma of Sydney’s lockdown, March of 2020, came back. I heard there was a long queue at the supermarket with the panic-buy in the morning of the first day of lockdown in Brisbane. I was really afraid that if this lockdown goes longer, what I should do? I had to move to Gold Coast after two weeks. But I still didn’t have a place to move in. Now, who will accept me coming from Brisbane?

 

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Thankfully lockdown finished in three days and there was no more extension. In August of 2020, I applied for Covid visa. My visitor visa finished at that time but I could stay with a temporary visa cause I was applying for a new visa. It was actually good that it took so long to process Covid visa like forever. But the result just came that suddenly my staying was limited. I got suddenly a lot of stress that I have to leave Australia after a few months when I was not ready. And even I have to find a place to stay in Gold Coast in this unstable situation in a week.

 

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Then I was searching what kind of visa I could apply for next. It seemed like if I find a job in the Critical sector, I could extend my visa for one year. But I didn’t want to work at the farm anymore. I wanted to stay on Gold Coast. The only options left would be a food processing factory and care house. This would be my next big stress and challenge to find a job at a critical sector in Gold Coast or just apply the same visa again with no guarantee. Another next challenge is to make money through my apps as my money will run out at the end of my visa period. I will work so hard to survive as an app developer. I want to stay in Australia like until July? August? September? I am not ready to go back home yet. I want to make the app of Going Back to South Korea through North Korea. I couldn’t make this dream real, but at least I want to make this dream virtually. I love studying programming but I am very frustrated sometimes that it’s so difficult to understand. My goal is to go back home when I make my dream app, Going Back South Korea Through North Korea. Not sure when I can make this app as I realized it’s so difficult to make even a simple app. At least I am not anymore like 2020 losing the point of living.

 

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I’ve learned that what is like getting lost. Sometimes we heard suicide news from rich people or famous popular actors. Or sometimes people killed themselves when they were getting too much stress from the work. Or killing themselves when they cannot find the hope they want. Other people would say “How come that rich people gave up life? Why not just quitting job than killing self? Why they don’t try to find another life if they are depressed about it” I didn’t understand those articles as well.
But now I could understand why they gave up their life when it does not look very desperate.

 

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So what’s like lost of the point of life? Most people are too busy to think about what’s the point of living. But there might be a time coming one day hitting badly when they lost lover when they lost a job when they failed their dream when they had trauma accident and so on. Life is about to write the story in the book. Some books will go to the best seller and loved by everyone. But most of the book would never get any popular. The point of the book is not about being the best seller with the greatest story. The most important thing is to have the power to hold the pen to keep writing.

 

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I was not like losing power to hold the pen. Just I had been shocked that I couldn’t write anything and I was afraid that I cannot write any further. But here I am getting over it and start to write a new chapter of a programmer.

 

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One of the things that helped me was statics from the Australian Lifeline.
-Nine Australians die every day by suicide. That’s more than double the road toll.
-1 in 4 Australians are lonely and have no-one to speak to.
-Each year, over 1 million Australians reach out to Lifeline for support.
(And so on…)
It just taught me that I would be not only one depressed during Covid19 in Australia. Now I am getting out of this dark cave. Still, I have lots of challenges like visa extension, financial, learning programming by myself, and so on. But I don’t feel numb anymore.

 

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I am not sure when I will lose this color again. Anyway, I am writing a new chapter of my life book. If someone is suffering at the moment, I hope my post helps a little tiny to tell that you are not alone. Hope we go through it.  If you are not suffering, then better not to give me the advice nor cheering up message, but just pretending you didn’t read it.


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26 Comments
  1. Your travel story’s have been inspiring. I wish I had the courage to do just a little of what you have achieved.
    We all go through some dark times in life and sometimes go off the rails but the just keep believing in yourself and your dreams.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I had missed your Insta stories and often thought how your going.
    Take care and be kind to yourself, your an amazing human.
    And come visit west Australia, we would love to see you and share our amazing state and it’s wonderful people.

    • Hello Darlo,
      Thank you for your messages.
      I start updating Facebook and Youtube, but I don’t know why I don’t update Insta much. haha.
      I love to go to west Australia! I miss taking airplane.
      Hope I get the time to visit west Asutralia!
      Cheers,
      Jin

  2. I often suffer from depression and watching your videos over the years has always cheered me up many times. You are such a resourceful person. I am sad that you are feeling depressed. It is fantastic that you are taking practical steps to understand and overcome your situation. Please don’t give up. Your fans will always be interested in your activities. Remember how much joy you give to such a large number of people. If one plan doesn’t work out, believe that there will be another.

    Good luck. You have many people around the world who wish you the very best of everything.

    • Hello Adrian,
      Thank you for sharing your feelings and telling me the hope!
      I am getting better now. Hope you are staying well.
      Thanks,
      Jin

  3. Hi Jinn! I started my so-called “biketouring” on November 2019, at Hawaii to the U.S mainland. I was so inspired by your journey and another bike-tour Bulgarian-Canada, that I quit my 8 years job. I didn’t managed to go far, I was worried of financial issues, the cold weather, the lack of gear, and racism news … and I stay a bit longer, then covid-19 came. I’m still here in U.S, I do a bit of online job as a system integrator, designing a website, joining free online class studying Arabic.. Similar like you, I’m not ready to go back home too. (My hometown is in Borneo). I also worry of my status of staying, although I did apply for extension of stay — I do hope I could stay a bit longer until I could figure the next move or courage or miracles of dream.
    God bless ✨

    • Hello Nina,
      It seems like we are in the same boat.
      Everything is unstable. I wish at least I solve the visa problem.. this problem is coming again ..
      Glad I found a similar person!
      Thank your for sharing your story.
      Jin

  4. Thanks for your post. I am experiencing the numb feeling right now, I wish it would go away and I know it will, it’s just really terrible when you dont see hope, I feel when you believe so strongly about a certain goal and achievement and something bad happens which you cant control it becomes your fault, I blame myself right now, and i dont want to carry on. I guess it is depression and very lonely and dark place I remember to do the little things throughout my day.

    • Hello Kevin,
      It’s terrible to feel numb cause it made no point of living.
      Hope the time comes you start feeling little by little.
      The time would tell us.. we just need to be patient.. but that’s a really hard part.
      Hope you are getting better little by little.
      Thank you for sharing your feeling.
      Jin

  5. Hey Jin
    I just want you to know that your adventures have been an inspiration to hundreds of people around the world. I look back over your blogs and photos and videos from six continents and can only think: “Hmmm, she is a bit lazy… she never went to Antarctica”, haha.
    Best wishes for the future.

    • I lived up North in Canada with lots of snow for eight months.. that’s similar to Antarctica. haha… That’s enough! 😉 Cheers mate!

  6. Hi Jinn! You have faced a lot of challenges during your tours so think of this time as another to overcome. You are stronger than you think,

    Wish you the best!

  7. While I was on my computer I say to myself I have not heard about this Korean lady cycling around the world for a while and wondering how & where was she doing now. I jumped on your FB page and no post thinking that’s weird and did a bit of searching and came across your journal here. Jin I just want you to know that your cycling story has inspired me a lot. You are a brave & inspirational lady and I can only imagine if I could achieve 10% of what you’d achieved on your cycling journey I would be happy 🙂
    While during this Covid19 lockdown, I am Australian with no visa issue & a stable income access to a relatively ‘free’ health care I was suffering severe lockdown mental stress too so I can only imagine what you are going through. I am glad to read your recent post again. You are NOT alone during this trying time but please don’t give up. There is always light at the end of the tunnel you just need to hold on tight & believing in yourself. I want to welcome you if you ever visit Victoria. Australia is a welcoming country & the racism is a world disease not just confined to Australia alone & they are in the % of minority. They are a lot more of beautiful people with kindness out there. Your fans would love to see you enjoying life & doing what you love! God Bless!

    • Thank you for your lovely comment! I just bought a surfing board and enjoying Goldy. haha. It’s a lovely place. Enjoy the summer!
      Cheers mate!

  8. Hi Jin,

    Got sent one of your videos from a friend and spent the last 2 hours watching alot of your youtube video. You are an amazing and inspirational to me and millions around the world. I wish i knew off you early and had an opportunity to meet someone like you when you were in Sydney. I wish you all the success in your life and don’t ever give up on your dream about crossing the border to the North. Alot can change in the many years to come just give it time.

    All the best,
    Kien Ngo

    • Hello Kien,
      I feel shy (or cringe?) to watch my video with someone cause it’s really far from a good video. So I cannot believe you watch for two hours! Thank you so much for spending your time on my travel stories. Yes, never know the future how it would be changed. Hope the hope comes in the future.
      Cheers,
      Jin

  9. Hi Jin,

    My name is Calum, I’m a fellow cycle tourist. I was actually cycling from Malaysia to Scotland in 2019-2020 before COVID happened and ruined my plans too. I want you to know, I really can resonate with what you are feeling. Depression, loneliness, questioning the meaning behind our travels. I am still feeling like an island in the middle of an ocean; alone with my plans, dreams, ideas… in the middle of an ocean of otherwise closed borders, no hope, and a bleak future.

    Jin, I am from the Gold Coast. I would love to catch up with you sometime and buy you lunch, trade stories, and offer any kind of help I can.

    As I said, my name is Calum, I’ll leave my e-mail attached to this reply, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. I was stranded in France during COVID and then again in Britan, I know how it feels to be lonely, a long way from home, and off-course with original cycle/round-the-world plans.

    • Hello Calum,
      Thank you for sharing your experience. It made me feel I am not alone. I felt usually other world travelers are happy just roaming around their places during Covid19. So it was difficult to express my feeling cause it made me feel just complainer. I sent you an email. Check it out. Thanks! Jin

  10. Have you got any further plans for riding in Australia? I see that you didn’t make it to the Vic High Country or Tasmania.

  11. Hello Jin,
    What an incredible trek you have accomplished so far! Bravo!! And your adventure is not even over yet. Saw some of your YouTube videos and read some of your blogs. Thank you for sharing all those experiences with the world. Amazing how you were able to travel to so many places while most are afraid to venture outside their own town. Can’t wait till the pandemic lockdowns are over and we could go back to somewhat normal again. I miss cycling and running with my friends!
    May peace be upon you Spacetraveler and may the sun and stars guide and protect you on your journey.

    ~Ricky

  12. Hello, Jin, I am so proud of you and your journey. Such and inspiration to us all. Keep up the great work and keep your spirits high! 🙂 I also ride and live near Lake Tahoe, so beautiful trees and wonderful lake you will have to look it up! 🙂
    Todd

  13. Hi Jin do you have a surfboard rack for your bike? if you learn to surf the only riding you will do is to the beach. surfing is great for depression and lost dreams. But it does take longer to learn than to ride a bicycle, i have a spare surfboard if you need one.

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