Office worker shares Himalayan experience


Lee Su-ji, 33, relives her travels as she writes about them, but also aims to share the charms of the places she visits to inspire potential travelers. “It is pointless to tell people how great the Himalayas are, to tell them to visit,” Lee says in the prologue of her latest book. “My wish is for this book, which records our experiences, to instill in you a dream of the Himalayas.” After her book was published last month, she received an email from a reader. “He said he bought a ticket to Nepal at the age of 60, after reading my book,” Lee said. “I was thrilled to think my experiences and essays moved the heart of someone to leave for the Himalayas.” Lee is a trekker and writer, but currently works at an office job. She finds time to write after work and travels when she takes a break from working.

Lee recalls the five months she spent in the Himalayas with her husband in 2012 as sheer happiness. Snow-covered mountains, milk tea, wooden mountain cabins, yaks, whiteouts and mountain sickness are some of the things she associates with her trip when she looks back on it. The most intense moments, however, were when she almost encountered death ― walking narrow, frozen paths along cliffs, rolling down a steep cliff on a bus with brakes that seemed to have broken down. “Everyone in the bus was shouting at the driver to stop the bus. A local lady sitting at the back of the bus started singing hymns. We thought we were going to die,” Lee recalled.

Despite all of these risks, Lee is charmed by trekking. “When I walk it feels like my mind is being cleared of all kinds of miscellaneous thoughts,” she said. “Walking also allows travelers to slow down and see things that you would be unable to see riding in a car.” “Trekking the Himalayas allowed me to meet friends who were on the same journey and build comradeship as we crossed the Thorung La Pass at an altitude of 5,416 meters,” she said. Lee and her husband also walked from South Korea’s northern county of Cheorwon bordering North Korea to the southern port city of Busan, over several months in 2014.

Lee is planning to leave for another trekking journey in Europe next year. The book on her trip to the Himalayas is her second book and was published last month. In her first book published in 2017, she wrote about her travels to Northern India.

By Kim Bo-eun

(Korea Times)

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