Journey 2014 Essay

Danielsson, Axel Jae-Sik

This trip has been amazing in so many ways. all the activities in the program has been perfectly planned, organized and executed. Even though you can read all about it. it is a whole other story experiencing it. As for the staff I couldn't imagine any other who could have done it better. Much warmth and compassion in these guys. They really made us feel like a family no matter how disfunctional and qwerty. I feel myself that this trip has been everything and even more than I expected. Because without all these people it wouldn't been half as fun as it was. Even though some parts night be hard and difficult for some I highly recommend any interested to apply, you won't get disappointed. lastly I would like to thank all the people that made this possible, You are all truly amazing.

sincerely Axel Danielsson



Growing up, being Korean was something I never truly acknowledged as it was the thing that made me different in an environment which I wanted nothing more than to blend in. After taking a beginner unit in Korean language at university, I became more interested in Korean culture and also met a Korean girl who became one of my closest friends. She was kind and humble and I was impressed at how she was able to be so assimilated in Australian society whilst still remaining proud of her Korean heritage. This exposure is what inspired me to start a birth search and look into travelling to Korea.

The last two weeks with Journey have allowed me to begin to fill a previously empty box regarding my identify as a Korean Australian, and the memories and friendships I have made I will hold in my heart forever.

During the first week I learned that Korea is a country with a beautifully rich history. Through the tours and lessons I realised how profound the role of honour, respect and humility were to Korean values. This is something I really loved about Korea and I hope to stay true to these values for the rest of my life.

I was able to share my homestay experience with two families - the Choi and Lee families. This was my favourite part of the schedule as I was able to find out what family life in Korea was like. It was here that I ate the most delicious Korean food I've ever had and seeing how warm and loving these people were to each other and also to me was an experience I will forever value.

Another memorable part was being able to visit the natural landscapes that give Korea it's renowned beauty. Hiking soraek mountain was very challenging, but definitely one of my favourite parts of the tour.

My worst memory was being chucked into the water at jeju beach by Josh when I was fully clothed..

Early in the trip I was reunited with my birth mother. This experience was one of the most emotional and overwhelming ones I've had to date, however I could not have asked for a better support system to be there for me when it happened. I have never before felt so comfortable with people I've only known for such a small amount of time. The mentors and adoptees in this group treated me like family and offered some very helpful advice. For this I will be forever grateful.

I would like to thank Andy, Robin and Sunny for the enormous amount of work they do to put this trip together for us. I would like to thank our mentors Josh and Kim for sharing their experiences and making us feel welcome, Hyo for providing us all with so much entertainment during the whole trip and lastly the company and Mr Park for making this amazing experience possible for us.


Jaeger, Samuel Jin Koo

I would like to thank the Jinjeung-Moonhwa co., suppoters staff and homestay families for making this trip possible. I do not think I would have been able to return to Korea if it was not for journey 2014 has been a wonderful. Like changing experience. It cannot express how fortunate and grateful I feel for being able to have been apart of this program with such amazing people.
Journey displayed korea¡¯s wonderful history culture, and beauty while also helping me for my adoption on a level I had not previously experienced. Thank you again for everything you have lone.

Suggestion: Move time in Busan.
Skip Hyundei
Hire translators hat can stay the whole trip.


Kuipers, Lindsey Marie Min Ok

Thank you for a terrific experience for my first time visiting korea!
I appreciated the huge amount of support journey staff provided me before and during my two weeks in korea.
I also appreciated the way thought-out itinerary that took us across the majority of the peninsula!
Though the schedule was full and busy. It allowed me to experience much more than I anticipated and I feel I have a much better understanding of my homeland. My experience with journey has already helped catalyze a lot of personal growth and I look forward to seeing how that continues to many fast itself in the future.

Suggestion for journey in general!
-build in more free time in seoul for shopping/whatever
-Limit museums (tour in gyeong-ju was a little too much)
-Try to stay in hotels/condos a minium of two night to limit ¡°travels fatigue¡±
-Tour of Seoul National University wasn¡¯t incredible people might prefer exploring a market more interesting.

Suggestion for the 2015 reunion / anniversary
-allow spouses but maybe not children (unless they¡¯re 10years. Old or Older)
-Keep the reunion portion to 7days. Total so people can still travel outside of journey 6 they wish without having too much time off.
-Go to the tea fields!
-Spend more time outside of seoul.
-Do different tour than what has been done on journey so it¡¯s new activities.
-Do fewer museums palaces (maybe only two top one or two) and more in less ¡°touristy¡±places
-Add time for street food tasting/market shopping
-Building homestays for couples.

Other though
-I really liked the booklet with itinerary and korean spellings in english writing great for scrapbooks.
-The flower shop is great for breakfast. Some people find korean food too much in the morning and the good coffee and bagels eggs were perfect.
-The homestay experience was awesome.
-Airport pick up was really nice when you first land In korea
-A ¡°credible¡± journey a website wall help calm these who are suspicious of a free trip to korea (I was waiting to be pitched a time share.)
-The food was increable! Thanks for not taking us to touristy/foreign friendly places.


Alex kullman

These 2 weeks have been some of the best weeks of my life. I was very very nervous in the beginning. I am a very shy person, but once I got to know all the Journey members I opened up and showed everyone who I am and what I like. I thought the whole trip was amazing. No part of the trip was bad. My favorite part of the trip was the homestay! Once I found out my family had kids close to my age I was extremely excited to meet them. The whole family was extremely nice and made me feel very welcome. I was glad to have had that experience. I also thought going to noraebang was loads of fun. After I broke out of my shell I was down for anything. Had I not felt comfortable I would not have song in front of people like I had done on this trip. I am extremely grateful to have been chosen to participate in such a great, unforgettable, life-changing experience. Thank you for everything. It was an amazing 2 weeks, that I will never forget.

- Too many museums gets tedious at times after long nights of staying up late.
- I wish the homestay was longer
- good for 18yr olds, but not fun to be net able turn over to drink wl everyone else.
suggestions cant - more beach time( I really with we had more, it was very relaxing/ fun)


Corinne Magin

Dear Mr. Park,

I would like to express my sincere gratitude for allowing me to come on the Journey. I have seen so many of Korea¡¯s treasures on this trip- from the incredible food, the kindness of the people, the beauty of nature, and the rich cultural history.

I came on this trip not knowing what to expect. I packed my bags and boarded the plane with an open heart and an open mind. It has been so much more than I had expected. You and your staff have not only shown me around this beautiful country and taught me about the history of Korea, you have given me so much support along the way.

We experienced many things on our Journey. One of my favorite destinations was climbing Mt. Seorak. It was such a nice way to start our rural tour. After a week of busy, bustling Seoul, seeing the water and the bright green trees, and the beautiful landscape was such a joy. I also loved seeing the Korean drummers at the Korean Folk Village. I had never seen that kind of drumming and dancing before. It made me feel a great sense of pride in being Korean.

On Sunday, when we went to church, it was so nice to be welcomed by the congregation. I was very moved during the service. Growing up, I went to church every Sunday with my mother. She sang in the choir and I attended Sunday school. The service we attended was very similar to our church back home. It was a moment that connected me to both worlds- my Korean identity and my American identity, and how universal love truly is.

There is nothing quite like Journey. People that are unfamiliar with the adoptee community cannot totally understand. It¡¯s not a vacation. It is so much more than that. Strangers from all over the world come together for a short time, to an unfamiliar place, to learn more about themselves and more about their past. It takes bravery to look into a part of yourself that is unknown. I want to thank the 2014 Journey members for having the courage to come on this trip and the staff for their patience, kindness, hard work, and love.

Upon my return home, I am determined to teach myself the Korean language and stay active in the adoptee community. We all share something that triumphs over all of our differences. I will never forget the experiences I shared with you all. I can¡¯t believe two weeks could go by so fast.

My most sincere thanks for your generosity. I am going home changed- more whole than when I left.

Thank you,

Corinne Magin


Jennifer Sunyung Parker

The last couple of weeks have been something I will never forget.
Through Journey 2014 I have been given the opportunity to do and see things I will always be grateful for.
When I was younger, people would always ask me If I was ever going to go to Korea or look for my birth mother and always casually answered the question with ¡°I don¡¯t know, maybe.¡±
Now I can say I have, and that is thanks to this program.
I am not sure what I was expecting to get from the experience,
but still some now got more than I expected.
I learn Korea with a better understanding of who I am and where I come from.
And a sense of pride that I didn¡¯t have before.
The connections I have made with some of my fellow travelers has made me feel less alone un ways, and more understood.
Thank you so much for the chance to see where I came from and connect me with Korea, I am not sure I would have learned and experienced so much otherwise.


Tim Woo Yun Peschke

My journey to Korea started at the beginning of April, when I received the information from Robyn that my apply was confirmed ... It felt like I had won the lottery.

The first days in Seoul were exciting! Meeting domestic Korean people and traveling through a big metropool with fellow Korean adoptees was really special to me. The comparison between domestic Korean people and myself was a fundamental experience I was always looking forward to it. Al the puzzle pieces felt together.

It felt like coming home, I was connected in several ways. Before the journey I expected that the arrival in Korea would be emotional to me. The opposite happened. It felt spiritual and peacefully.

During this first week I bonded to several journey members, I liked hearing their personal journeys. Although the main purpose of the journey was to embrace your own Korean heritage, the theme of the first week developed into a birth family search, because of the scheduled visit to all Korean adoption social services.

Even though I was really impressed how big Seoul was as a capital of Korea. The program was really intense and I have seen and experienced a lot of cultural Korean heritage. I am grateful to that.

My expectations to my visit were very balanced, I managed to be in the moment and I strongly wanted to experience any joy or pain. Before the visit I got really focused and I felt a sound stressed feeling. I received new and more detailed information about my Korean past and the most important thing was that my Korean history was always real.

The second week became a more social journey for me with a lot of conversations and personal friendships. Being in Korea and having a really good time with fellow adoptees made this journey more intense and understandable to me.

For me it has become a spiritual journey about myself, it is a confirmation that I am on the right track and can be proud about my inner strength and principles. Now is the time to exposure this feeling and give it back to people. I am emotional revitalized and I am looking forward to share my spiritual journey with the people who I love most.

This journey I want to dedicate to my own family and especially to my beautiful children who I love most. I am proud to be a Korean and I want my children also to be proud of their heritage. I want to honor my wife because she was my shepherd during my Korean journey before I dared to embrace my Korean heritage.

Also I want to thank the complete staff and president of the company. I will not forget your kindness and generosity. And I want to mention Axel Danielson, thanks for the special time we spent together.

Tim Woo Yun Peschke


Jennifer Sunyung Parker

Dear andy What could have been a better place to write my essay about Journey 2014 than your kitchen table. after experiencing your hospitality once again.
Journey 2014 was a very different experience for me. I came back as an alumni and to help our during the trip. Even though it was less over-whelming than my own journey in 2013 When I met my biological family and came to korea for the first time, it was an emotional journey.
I think we had a great group with wonderful people. There were very different personalities, but everyone was aware of the fact how special it is to experience korea for the first time with fellow adoptees.
For me it was great coming back again, feeling at home in my birth country and being welcomed back by the journey family. Once again the staff amazed me with their love and care, their positive energy and drive to give everyone a life changing experience. I was happy and honoured to share my story to the new group and support them on this journey.
Even though we had a full schedule, I'm very happy that we saw and did so much. You have taken us to all the highlights of korea and I thank you for that.
What I will remember most from this journey are all the personal stories and the good talks and emotions we have shared. We grew together and bonded I will remember our group talk the night before we visited the adoption agencies and our night walk and talk on JeJu island. memories to never forget.
I would like to thank mr.park. you and all the staff members for making Journey possible and provide us, adoptees, a life changing event. By going on Journey, I got the chance to really connect with my birth country and to feel at home in korea. You have given me a second family and I will always be grateful for that.
Maybe even more important, you gave me a sense of korean pride I never had before. I know feel proud of being dutch and korean and that means that people can not hurt me that much any-more when they are calling me names because I do not look like the majority in the netherlands.
I'm looking forward to the future and the point that I will have children of my own. Who hopefully will look like me and who I can raise with a sense of pride of their heritage. And I don't think that I could have done that so sincere it I hadn't been on Journey. So thanks again to andy. mr.park, Hyo, Sunny, Robyn&Josh for all your time, effort, enthusiasm and love. Thank you for always being there and I look forward to see all of you again soon, because I'll keep coming back!


Suggestions for next year
- learning people some korean phrases
- During the first week have dinner earlier so people have more free time to experience seoul by night. The city is so beautiful at night.
- Stay in deamyung resort in gyeongju where they have laundry!
- Maybe have an evening program as well lot one night to experience seoul by night, to see for example the light show of the bridges over the han river, or to walk along cheong-gye-cheon.