Globetrotter tells readers how to travel like a local

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Globetrotter tells readers how to travel like a local

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A travel writer and former flight attendant, Shin Hye-eun, shows her collection of souvenirs from around the world. [OH SANG-MIN]

It’s become a new trend in tourism to enjoy traveling like a local and Shin Hye-eun, a 35-year-old travel writer and former flight attendant for the Emirates Group, is an expert in this area who shares her tips in her recent book “Leaving with the Unfamiliar Wind.” Shin has also been chosen to co-write a high school textbook called “Travel Geography.”

Shin has traveled to 60 countries and 134 cities around the world, and always brings her travel journal wherever she goes. “I met so many poor children in Cote d’Ivoire, but their lives seemed simple and happy regardless,” said Shin, reading from her journal, “They made me think about what happiness really is.” She continued, “Visiting Dubai during Ramadan, the Islam fast, surprised me with its festival-like atmosphere at night.”

Shin realized that she wanted to share her stories with the rest of the world, which she calls a “turning point” in her life. It was then in 2012 that she quit her job as a flight attendant to come back to Korea and write. She was chosen as a “booktorian,” a group of rising columnists selected by Kyobo Book Centre, in the same year. Shin published her travel stories in a six-month series, which opened up new opportunities for her as a beginning travel writer.

Shin last year joined a team of writers for “Travel Geography,” a high school textbook, which will be used for a subject to be introduced in 2018. “It will be a subject that lets students understand geography from the perspective of travelers,” Shin explained.

Shin will mostly write about career-related topics in “Travel Geography,” introducing jobs in tourist industries and connecting travel experiences to future jobs. “It’s the very first time to introduce such a subject,” she said, “so I don’t have many references.” Shin, however, says she is going through trial and error to convey the best possible stories to students.

“Talking to passengers and flight attendants on planes, and reading local magazines and newspapers every morning,” are some of the tips Shin gives to travelers wanting to be just like locals. “I was only able to watch Australia’s Anzac Day parade because I read the newspaper in the morning,” explained Shin.

Shin continues to give travel advice via online columns and radio broadcasts. She said, “I will continue to travel and share what I learn with the world.”

BY LIM SUN-YOUNG [kim.yuna1@joongang.co.kr]

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