Women who desire to travel alone often hesitate to do so due to fear and worry. In such situations, within the NomadHer community, many female travelers often suggest a helpful tip: if solo female travel seems challenging, consider traveling with others. Nowadays, many solo female travelers are starting their journeys and meeting new friends of varying nationalities, languages, and ages by joining female travel camps.
This article features an interview with Myeong-su, the host of the Jeju Chujado camping trip in South Korea. The trip has become popular among both local and international female travelers since its launch last year. As a member of NomadHer and the owner of her own eco-tourism travel agency, Myeong-su shares her story about how she fell in love with eco-travel and became a camp host for NomadHer.
Meet the Outdoor and Eco-Travel Specialist in Jeju’s Chuja-do Island Camping
Could you introduce yourself to the NomadHer members?
Hello! I’m Kim Myeong-Su, the CEO of Travel Masters. Our travel agency specializes in organizing outdoor tours that offer a deeper connection with nature through a range of activities like backpacking, surfing, kayaking, diving, and more. Our programs are designed to engage all of your senses and help you fully immerse yourself in the natural world.
We heard that you used to work as an engineer for a company.
Yes, I have a degree in computer engineering and worked as an engineer for a significant period of time. My role involved managing the overall process of creating production systems, such as knowing how to attach wheels and arranging the parts in the correct order.
However, the challenging aspect of this job is that everything relies on the assumption that every component is functioning correctly. Even a slight problem could bring the entire production line to a halt, so I needed to be highly vigilant to prevent errors. Even if I did a great job on nine out of ten tasks, one mistake could have a significant impact.
I began to feel somewhat restricted because I felt that my skills and energy were only being utilized to prepare for potential accidents that might not even happen. While it was an essential task that needed to be done, I wanted to explore something where the results were more evidently linked to my individual efforts.
Finding My Passion in Travel
How did you discover your interest in the outdoors at first?
Initially, I participated in many outdoor activities as a solo female traveler and attended brand events to unwind and spend time away from work. It was during this time that I applied for a program where I wrote travel itineraries for countries I had never been to before. It was during this program that I realized how much I enjoyed this type of work.
Since then, I have continued to travel on weekends while working at my company. I didn’t have any plans to make a career transition in this field initially, but over time, I gained more and more outdoor experience. Through the network of instructors I met during my travels, I was able to start my own business.
Discovering the Joy of Doing What I Lov
When do you feel happiest while organizing a travel camp?
When I first started my job as a travel leader, I felt a deep sense of gratitude and responsibility for the trust and support people had placed in me. Despite the best planning, even city trips can be unpredictable. Outdoor activities, like hiking and camping, are even more susceptible to factors beyond our control, such as weather and terrain. As a travel leader, it’s my job to manage these all situations and ensure the safety and enjoyment of everyone involved. While this responsibility initially felt like a burden, seeing the happiness of participants after a successful trip made it all worth it.
My travel style is not the typical tourist experience of visiting landmarks and taking photos. Instead, I love taking people to hidden gems that only locals know about, places that truly showcase the beauty of nature. When participants discover and appreciate these secret spots, I feel an immense sense of pride. Even during the Georisan Dulle-gil Trail trip, where we faced many challenges together, we were able to form deep connections through our shared experiences.
For me, the greatest reward of being a travel leader is seeing the joy and inspiration on people’s faces as they connect with nature and create memories that will last a lifetime. As I continue to lead more trips, I feel like this is a path that truly aligns with my passions and strengths.
For now, the Women’s Jeju Chujado Camping trip is open and will be held in June. I will be leading female travelers on a journey to soak in the stunning scenery of the Jeju Chujado camping trip. It will be a chance to immerse yourself in nature and take a break from busy minds. (Get the early bird ticket on the app now.)
Why Every Experience Matters
As I continue to plan and lead numerous trips, I find myself accumulating valuable experience on how to handle unexpected situations when they arise. When traveling, there are often situations where I need to make crucial judgments, taking into account the overall situation and the condition of the participants traveling with me.
During my recent trip to Jirisan Dulle-gil, I carefully calculated the distance that everyone could enjoy based on factors such as the participants’ physical condition and their expected return time. As a leader, there are numerous critical decisions, both big and small, that need to be made on the spot. Some may see this as being overly meticulous, but looking back, I think my habit of planning and controlling every situation without making mistakes, which I developed when I was an engineer, is beneficial in this line of work.
Travel Inspiration Starts with Me
When planning a travel camp, where do you usually get your inspiration from?
When it comes to planning travel programs, I draw my inspiration from my own passions and interests. I believe it’s important to create programs based on my own standards and what I truly enjoy. By following my heart, I can consistently produce work that reflects my passion and enthusiasm for travel, which others can see and become inspired by.
For those who may be unsure of their interests or passions, I encourage them to take the time to observe themselves and explore different activities. Interestingly, I used to be a homebody who enjoyed reading and writing. Hiking was not something that I was particularly fond of. However, as I started spending more time in the mountains, I gradually discovered a new side of myself and began to draw inspiration from nature. Now, I am working to deepen my connection with nature and become someone who is truly at home in the great outdoors.
What are some of the most memorable episodes from your outdoor trips?
As someone who’s been on many solo trips, I’ve definitely had my share of memorable experiences. One that stands out was when I rescued a paraglider in Nepal. I was there as part of a trekking team in the Nepalese Himalayas, but I arrived a few days early and went to Pokhara Lake near the Chitwan National Park.
One day, I went kayaking on a lake near a mountain, enjoying the peaceful scenery. Suddenly, a dark cloud appeared out of nowhere, and I started to head back to shore. That’s when I saw a paraglider fall out of the sky and into the water, unconscious. I rushed over to him with my kayak, caught him, and helped him breathe.
I used one hand to hold onto the rescued person and the other hand to paddle, but the waves were high, and the kayak was not moving forward easily.
Thankfully, a motorboat arrived after some time, and I asked for their help in rescuing the person. However, they didn’t take me on their boat, and I had to figure out how to get back to shore on my own. Despite the waves still being too strong to move forward easily, I paddled my kayak back to shore while shouting “I can do it!” Although it was challenging at the time, the experience gave me the confidence to know that I could survive even in the middle of the Pacific, and was like gaining an additional ability.
A Travel Camp with Like-minded People
Do you have any memorable participants?
For me, it is the reactions of the participants that make me feel like I have really done a great job and am doing well with this trip. There was a participant on the Ulleungdo island trip who had lived abroad for a long time. She was amazed throughout the trip. She exclaimed “Wow!” at every moment — when we boarded the cruise ship when we saw the sea from the boat, and even when we walked around Ulleungdo. Thanks to the happiness that this person exuded throughout the trip, the team’s mood was great. There is a saying that happiness is contagious. Just being around a bright person can make you laugh without even realizing it. This person’s happiness made the other participants happy, even in small moments, and they started to admire and appreciate Ulleungdo just like her.
Also, there is someone who still has a great influence on me to this day. This person has participated in over 70% of the trips I have organized so far. He is someone who enjoys new experiences very much. Even if I offer the same program, he always says that the atmosphere is different each time, and he wants to come again. He has even trekked through the valley three times with me.
Whenever he comes, he says it’s always new and exciting. He immediately applies whenever I open a program, saying that he trusts and believes in my program. Seeing someone who willingly invests their time and money in my program gives me a great sense of power, especially during tough moments.
At last, I also remember ice climbing with my friend Susan from Nepal, who appeared on the TV program “Abnormal Summit.” He contacted me first and said he wanted to learn, and we had fun doing it together. I was so grateful that he also took the time to write a sincere review.
To be honest, there are times when I want to take a break for a week or so while doing my job. However, there are people who are curious about what kind of travel I am preparing next and watch over me. I think this is why I can keep going steadily.
Jeju Chujado Island Camping Trip in South Korea for female travelers
How did your partnership with NomadHer come about?
For me, the most important factor when partnering with someone for travel programs is their attitude. With such a wide range of outdoor activities available, it’s essential to approach planning from different perspectives to create unique experiences. When partners can collaborate and fill each other’s gaps, it can result in great synergy.
Collaboration is about both parties striving for success, but it’s inevitable that there will be challenges along the way. That’s why trust is crucial in any partnership. To build that trust, it’s important to understand each other’s approach and perspective. That’s why I’ve been working with NomadHer on Jeju programs since last year.
I had the pleasure of meeting Hyo-Jeong, the CEO of NomadHer, the top female travel app, at a startup event, and I was impressed by her dedication to creating a global community for women in the travel industry. As a woman myself, I’m also passionate about supporting and empowering other women. Together, NomadHer and Travel Masters are organizing a Jeju Chujado Island camping trip from June to October, and it’s always an experience that I eagerly look forward to.
What Kind of Travel Do You Dream Of?
When it comes to outdoor and ecological travel, my vision goes beyond just personal enjoyment. I believe that it’s crucial to consider the global impact of our travels. By exploring and immersing ourselves in nature, we can develop a deeper understanding of the world around us and discover how we can take action to protect it.
That’s why I’m dedicated to creating ecologically-focused travel experiences that help people connect with and appreciate nature on a deeper level. Through these trips, I hope to inspire and promote a healthy outdoor culture. I would be thrilled to have you join me on the upcoming Jeju Chujado camping excursion!
Upcoming Jeju Chujado Camping Trip With NomadHer
Join us for the Jeju Chujado Women’s Camping Trip with NomadHer this coming June 10th! This program welcomes all female travelers, including those who have never been camping before. If you are a beginner, don’t worry about preparing too much — all you need is an open mind.
It’s natural to feel anxious or unsure about what to expect, especially if you’re not familiar with the equipment or what to bring. However, there’s no need for perfect preparation to get started. The most important thing is to take the first step and try it out. Through the experience, you will learn what you need to improve and grow.
With an open mind, you can have a unique and meaningful experience that will help you grow as a person. You will also have the support of the other solo female travelers participating, creating a strong sense of sisterhood. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to connect with fellow female travelers and explore the beautiful nature of Jeju Chujado Island. Sign up for the early bird event on the NomadHer app today!
🌈 Are you looking for more tips about a trip to South Korea as a solo traveler?
More about NomadHer :
NomadHer is an app for female globetrotters to encourage solo travelling safely. NomadHer has a vision of empowering women through travelling.
To join the community of female globetrotters, you can download NomadHer App on IOS & Android. Follow NomadHer on Instagram: @nomad_her.