Seung-pil Choi developed service for travel because he likes trip and developing chatbot because he wants to research on big data. He was actually widely well-known person. “Is the developer of <Tripgrida> coming to Jeju?” Do you know why did he come?

 

 

J-Space You have participated to <Lunch (Learn-chi)-hap-si-da(the mentoring program of J-CCEI)>, which is a mentoring program of Jeju Center for Creative Economy and Innovation, you are really popular that people surrounded you.

 

Seung-pil Choi Maybe I am popular in Jeju. I think Jeju has a good power. From the mentor I met in <Lunch (Learn-chi)-hap-si-da(the mentoring program of J-CCEI)>, it is not a plan for operation but I was asked to send what kind of service I am working on, but I couldn’t send it yet because I had to make the presentation material for the last networking for stay application program. (laugh)

 

J-Space It goes to show that the artificial intelligence and chatbot are the key word among people these days. What was your motivation to be interested in the field?

 

Seung-pil Choi I was already doing it even before the fight between Sae-dol Lee and AlphaGo. It only became popular after Sae-dol Lee and AlphaGo have played go. However, research on the artificial intelligence was continually done even prior to that. People didn’t know about artificial intelligence before but because of the popular go game, it became an issue. I was preparing for a data based trip service called <Tripgrida>. I was developing a service that suggests customized trip spot for individual and applying it to a conversational interface called chatbot. When we were developing it, no one understood this field. Every time I introduce it, I mentioned about applying the conversational interface function and usually, people asked me I don’t know what you want to do, are you making service for a trip, or what? However, when Google came up with the artificial intelligence technology and along with the fourth industrial revolution, it became a trend these days. Platforms like Facebook and Line began to offer chatbot function and it is becoming popularized. It is a good timing for us. We originally planned to do it and create a new one but now we just have made use of the existing platforms like the Facebook messenger. That’s why it is a good timing for us because we don’t have to make it anymore but make use of the existing ones. People show their interest on it first this time saying is this what you guys are doing.

 

 A Chatbot is a trend of this era. For instance, WeChat of China has everything without having to download an additional mobile application, like payment transactions and all. The reason why we thought of the conversational interface was that we were thinking of ways to expand our service. These days, application download rates are decreasing and even being downloaded there are more numbers for it gets deleted and only using the necessary ones like Kakaotalk and Facebook messenger. So we thought that if we apply the mobile application we developed to the conversational interface, it would be better because people don’t have to download an additional application and the users don’t have to try to adjust to the new interface. In fact, we had an app and we did a field test in Vietnam last year with it but the result showed that people won’t use it because it is too difficult to use. We made it but even we found it complicated to use. So could think of attaching it to the conversational interface while segregating it by its functions and lessening it.

 

 While developing chatbot by its function, repeated operations appeared. To try to make them simpler, we developed a function that makes the repeated operation simpler. We call it builder. With the builder, even the people without the knowledge of coding can create chatbot, without having to deal with coding. Nowadays, a specific company for an outside order is making chatbot. However, with the builder, a company or an individual can make chatbot so we would like to make it possible later. In fact, right now, to use chatbot in a business has limitations with regards to its scope. Nonetheless, there are still enough possibilities. Therefore, I would like to test it in Jeju, about its possibilities. Not following the trend but I think it’s being processed naturally.

 

 

<Seung-pil Choi, introducing online trip matching service ‘Tripgrida’ and chatbot builder ‘Botgrida’ at the “Lunch (Learn-chi)-hap-si-da”, the mentoring program of Jeju Center for Creative Economy and Innovation>

 

 

J-Space You were invited to be a judge for international competition being held by Institute of APEC Collaborative Education.

 

Seung-pil Choi I know a person from Indonesia whom I met while I was on a trip. I got to know him by helping him out when he was in a trouble. He introduced someone he knows from Korea and that person was from the Institute. I think he saw how I handled the process. So he recommended me after seeing what the things I was doing. It is an international competition targeting students from Asia Pacific region and I was offered to be a judge. At that time I refused because I had to judge in English. Then they offered again for the second time and this time they offered it with a translator but I refused again.

 

 I want to talk about this stuff because actually at that time my heart was closed. I’ve been working alone and I wasn’t sure whether what I was doing is a right thing to do. I wasn’t in a position to judge someone as well. Though it was a great offer, I thought to myself ‘can I do it?’ because I was closed. However, in Jeju, many people were interested in what I am doing and I began to think that perhaps what I was doing could be helpful for others and even though I was not good at it, but there could still be people in need of my service. Then slowly I opened my mind. Recently, they offered for the third time and this time, the offer was even better and I said I would do it. So, I will be participating the competition as a judge for technology in Busan in August this year.

 

J-Space You opened your heart in Jeju. Your service and people you meet, they are all realated to travel. I think you like travelling.

 

Seung-pil Choi After I resigned from a company…

 

J-Space You used to work at a company? (suspiciously asking)

 

Seung-pil Choi I used to. I was an employee. When I resigned, I got my backpack with me and went around with the money I saved while working. That was my dream. The memory of backpacking trip when I went after finishing my military duty helped me go through my 20s, and it was a gift for my to face my 30s. I planned it to be a year but I came back after 6 months. It wasn’t just a trip but rather it was more like a field test that I checked many things while on a trip. It was more like a market research. I thought to myself that ‘I am not here to just enjoy’. I only use wifi and even in Seoul, I use wifi, because <Tripgrida> has its purpose to be a global service and we can use the internet anywhere in Korea but in abroad, there are many places without access to the internet. I tried to connect wifi in Jaisalmer desert in India and while climbing Annapurna. I tested it, made memos and went around while conceptualizing how I should develop it when I go back to Korea. When I was on my way down from Annapurna, I heard the news that my father had collapsed so I immediately went back to Korea and took care of him for a year at a hospital. The services I wanted to make were not available before but while taking care of my father, many of them were made available by others. It goes to know individual trip became more popular and many people felt of need of it. The made available services couldn’t stop me and I thought to myself that there’s nothing I can do about it and I have plenty of time so I began to make the things I planned thinking that I will learn from it.

 

 I only talked about service. I like going on a trip. The top 5 things in my bucket list were in fact about trips. I have done the list from 1 to 5 after I resigned from my previous work, and they were going on a backpacking trip alone, staying in a foreign country for a month, climbing up Annapurna, and watching starts at a desertbut there’s one thing I failed and that is to get married before turning to 32 years old2 years have passed already.

 

J-Space Since you’re saying you like going on a trip and you’ve been doing it for a long time, I would like to know more about your travel stories.

 

Seung-pil Choi I went on a trip for 6 months after resigning from company. I was in Thailand before I went to Annapurna and I happened to meet someone on the way. I like going on a trip but also I am very interested in the environment and issues of the local area where I am visiting. About the elephant tracking in Thailand, I heard that the elephants are being raised their whole life with torture so I didn’t want to try it anymore. So I decided to visit elephant environmental park where there are injured abandoned elephants and the elephants are being cured in that park. I should pay the same amount of money for both elephant tracking and visit the Elephant environmental park and if it’s the same price then I wanted to go to the place where I can help the elephants be healed. At the park, you are buying the medicine for them with the entrance fee and giving it to them. I was talking about it with boys younger than me whom I met on a tour, and at that time someone at our back suddenly offered to buy us beer. He bought 2 bottles for us.

 

 That place was called Pai and it is a small village. I wanted to treat him back if I meet him again and I met him the next day coincidentally. So we arranged an appointment and met again at night. I learned that what we were talking about the other day was called a fair trip. We talked a lot about trips and he said he was going on a trip a lot and it was really good to hear from young people genuinely talking about the fair trip and that was the reason why he offered to buy us beer. He asked me where I wanted to be on my last trip and I answered my dream was to climb up Annapurna. I thought only professionals could climb Annapurna. However he said, “I want the end of your trip to be for dream” I was like a line from a drama, but what’s more amazing was that a team was formed on the spot. He called to China and Korea and made a team, just because of me. Actually, he used to do tracking at Himalaya. We promised to meet after 2 months and said bye to each other. We climb up the mountain for 10 days. I cried when I saw the stars from the base camp of Annapurna. I still think it's a dream. I thought I gained everything from that moment but it was not. I fulfilled my dream to go to Annapurna. I was on my way back joyfully and that’s when I saw I got 70 missed calls. I felt something was wrong. I called back to Korea and heard that my father collapsed. I was hopeless. There is no domestic flight from Nepal so I to go to Katmandu through Taxi paying $100. I went over the snowy mountain by Taxi. Then, I came back to Korea through China. I made my way back home with the devastating heart because I had the thought that it could be the last time with my father. Then I took care of my father for a year in a hospital after came back to Korea and <Tripgrida> was made while taking care of my father.

  

 

<Main of online trip matching service ‘Tripgrida’>

 

J-Space Trip service <Tripgrida> fits you. You worked alone for 4 years.

 

Seung-pil Choi I worked on a nursing bed for a year in the hospital. After he came back home, he is still having a hard with walking so I couldn’t be out of the house, either. I thought I have to take care of home at home so for a while I developed it at home alone. There was an offer to me and even I did an interview. However, the working place was in abroad so I couldn’t take it. The place where I interviewed needed a developer for them to launch a business platform in Thailand. Since I stayed in Thailand for 3 months and handling trip service individually I was recommended and that’s how I could get to the interview, but I couldn’t go because I had to take care of my father.

 

 After that, I became close to the person who interviewed me and I met him again after 1 year while developing it at home. At that time, he asked me ‘Isn’t it hard to concentrate at home?’. Actually other developers would be the same that we wake up during late hours, work quietly and go to sleep at around 6 am or 7 am and wake up at 11 am. There was not enough me time. Then my father has pity on me because from TV he hears news about young people’s unemployment issue and here comes his son doing computer overnight. He looked at me then, TV and had a sad look. I couldn’t tell him that I am actually preparing something because there was no achievement yet. Understanding my situation, the interviewer suggested me to work at a café and gave me a gift card for me to use at the cafe to work for 3 months. Later on, when my cellphone was broken, he even bought me a new phone saying that a developer should have a working cellphone. His intention was, you try it for 3 months and then if it’s not working, go back to the company. Maybe he wanted to work with me but I think he has given up now. I didn’t go to Starbucks usually and instead went to cafes that offered coffee in a lower price but, since he gave me the gift card from Starbucks, I became a luxurious guy. (laughing)

 

 Nonetheless, I think it was even better to work in a café. I stayed at a hospital for a year and stayed at home for a year so I felt like I have a depression and socio phobia but I couldn’t reveal it, worrying that it might be an obstacle when taking care of my father. However, I could overcome it in café. At first, when people were sitting in a café, I couldn’t sit in between but as time went back I took the courage to sit and now I feel at home at café. After that, I worked in a café for 2 years and I didn’t look for an office, that’s because I have no income and just using the saved money. I go to café at 11 am and go back home at 11 pm. The manager likes me a lot because I use the table clean. I also help to close the café together. People could have teased me wondering, who is he come to café and help to close together?

 

 I began by myself but now I am doing it with a like-minded friend. We are both doing a remote working in each other’s region. We hate to be intervened.

 

J-Space Is it possible to be there the whole day?

 

Seung-pil Choi Actually it’s a public harm and money spent for coffee is burdensome. To prolong this without any income, I unintentionally become not good. So I asked the employee there but the employee said it’s okay and I don’t have to worry about it. Then I became friends with them and one of them was a student from Engineering so from time to time that student sits beside me talking about concerns of future, asks me about homework and study together. I don’t really know about coffee so I order Americano every day and one day, they were recommending me to try other types of coffee and explained them to me. I think I wasn’t too bad or maybe it’s just my illusion

 

 Starbucks in Mangdon is special. There are many people living alone and many of them are developers, designers, and photographers. Also, there are start-ups in Hongdae and Hapjeong areas. There are a lot of 1 person director, 1 person developer and 1 person producer. Unlike other Starbucks branches, in here there are a lot of them like me. I sometimes feel solidarity with them but I couldn’t talk to them because I am shy. There are some whom I saw every day for years and they were in the field of creative works. I was hesitant to go to the café at first was but after knowing the fact that there are many like me, I say I am going to work to Starbucks. When I am late than usual the employees say ‘oh you are late today’. Café managers are like coworking space manager that they take care of the customers really well. When I said I am going to Jeju, I was given a gift and a letter. It made my heart beat, but from a person of the same industry, I heard that it was just part of customer management. AhIt made my heart beat

 

<Seung-pil Choi’s work place at J-Space in ’Yi-do-dong’ in Jeju, not in ‘Mangwon-dong’>

 

 

J-Space I heard that you failed in digital nomad in Jeju

 

Seung-pil Choi I’d rather say I didn’t have accomplishment as a developer than it as a failure. I came up with only 10 lines of developing code for 4 weeks but instead, I did many other things. Hang out and have meetings as part of work. However in terms of developing, compare to Mangwon, the result is minimal. If you ask me why then this program(J-CCEI Stay Support Program in Jeju) will be abolished (laugh)

 

 I loved the people here. I hang out, felt the nature. The environment is really good and since there are people I can be with. I developed all alone but in a group like this, there were things I had to do with them. So I didn’t have time to do developing, but instead, I hang out a lot with good people. I think if I just work even in Jeju, it is my lost. I had a really good time here hanging out and resting. Can you still abolish this program(J-CCEI Stay Support Program in Jeju)? (laugh)

 

 I only brought my clothes for a week. Other people said if I am wearing my uniform because I was wearing the same thing the whole time. I’m not alone but also other friends were like that that we thought we would go back to Seoul after a week. However from the first day, with the other participants, we introduced ourselves and had a drink together and became close and that made me stay until the end. We became cohorts for each other. We were saying that since we met in this program, let’s finish it together. We were very close and had common understandings.

 

 As a result, as a developer, I have not much achievement. Instead, I met a lot of local companies as part of work and got positive feedbacks from them. While away from Seoul, I received news for investment and cooperation. These are still in the process but I feel like good things are happening because I am in Jeju. Also when I was in Seoul I refused the public speech and presentation of service opportunities but in Jeju, I accepted them all. In Seoul, the environment will be changed so it couldn’t be the same but still, my heart will be more opened compare to when I came here. I only saw slow people at the hospital and so it was really different for me to see people at café because they were cheerful. Then suddenly I met even more active and cheerful people in Jeju and stayed with them for a month and that gave me an optimistic energy. This is what I mean by I opened by heart. I am actually a bright person.  

 

J-Space I would like to visit Mangwondong.

 

Seung-pil Choi You should come.

 

J-Space Well actually, you drag the recorder near your mouth but actually that is not a mic that is a speaker.

 

Seung-pil Choi As a human being, I must have blind spots as well

 

J-Space You are very humane yet you are dealing with artificial intelligence.

 

Seung-pil Choi I am dealing with natural lanuage but actually, I don't know about grmmar. So I am learning it again. There is no perfect person. 

 

 

 Seung-pil Choi’s trip service and chatbot in the process of development are very interesting but at the same time, all the people who met him in Jeju said they fell for him for his warm heart and humble humor. We will be expecting the next steps of trip matching service <Tripgrida> and chatbot builder <Botgrida>, which look like him!

 

 

 

 

*The above script has been slightly modified from the original interview for readability and the order of interview has been reorganized while we try to maintain Interviewee's original words and intention as much as possible.

 

 


 

Contact of <Tripgrida>  Seung-pil Choi

 

Email            pil@tripgrida.com

Facebook       https://www.facebook.com/fortune2k

Brunch          https://brunch.co.kr/@pilsogood

Tripgrida       https://www.tripgrida.com

Botgrida        https://www.botgrida.com

 

 

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 Bong-jun Jin and Jae-sung Lee came to Jeju with a clear mission, which is to find business opportunities and to test remote work. They are very detailed with their plan and a smart pair that they changed their partner every month to test the different results of remote work depending on the difference of the inclination and work type of the partners. Since they appear to enjoy (?) their time in Jeju so much that they are in danger of getting fired ()

 

 

J-Space I have heard that Play Auto itself is testing remote work that some adjustments have been made as a result, such as organization reformation and improvement in the environment, so how is it going so far and how did you handle your tasks in Jeju?

 

Bong-jun Jin Our Company has been in the industry for 12 years and has about 70 employees. We are mostly handling B2B (Business to Business) projects. When the company was first started, it didn’t have a strict work environment but the hierarchical structure was present. However, a horizontal structure was promoted when our CEO was replaced. The very first thing the new CEO did was to use English names in the company. I was top 4 in the company ranking but now that kind of hierarchy was abolished. So changes were brought into the organization that positions were abolished yet tasks were more specified. Also, there was a change in the office space that usually a person in a higher position uses a separate room located in the inner space for himself, but efforts to abolish downsides of the vertical structure were made by abolishing designated seats and running co-working space. Meeting room table was changed to a round table and designated individual tables were changed to a hexagonal table that it was designed to make each team sit together. Desktop computers were removed and replaced with laptops. In some cases, designated seats are allowed but aside from that the environment was created to allow us to work in cafes and got rid of with the concept of ‘individual desk’, because with the presence of ‘individual desk’, the environment would easily become under the vertical structure again.

 

 We are preparing to enter overseas markets and with that, there could be situations that our developers may need to work abroad. Our work here is to experiment for those potential situations, experimenting it in abroad is unrealistic so we are doing it here in Jeju. For remote work, supplementing device for the physically separated situation should be considered, so we are using Skype or Hangout for the conference calls. We could reach conveniently since we are using communication tool like Jandi, but there are shortcomings. It’s a communication through text so in times of emergency, it’s hard to communicate in comparison with meeting in person. Furthermore, we don’t exactly know the actual situation of headquarter and vice versa so there might be misunderstandings from it. Nonetheless, it is not a problem of a tool but a problem of a person and internal process so we consider it as a side effect of a transition period.

 

 We should continue to think about it. It’s too early to decide on whether it is good or bad but one good thing I thought of while working in a remote place is that there is stress coming from the conflict of interests with each department when working in the office, but there is no such thing here so it makes me emotionally stable by working with peaceful mind.

 

 

<Bong-jun Jin is mutually communicating with Turum Soon-dong Park, the performer, at the dinner networking event for supporting stay held in April. Play Auto’s No.4 has an extraordinary vibe from his sleepers with three stripes!>

 

 

J-Space Play Auto must have a lot of developers, and they might need the optimized working space for them to work. Some developers we met through interviews shared that it took some time for them to adjust. So it was questionable if networking was necessary for them and besides, a lot of them seem to be an introvert.

 

Bong-jun Jin You’re right, Jae-sung Lee is actually a special case for a developer that he is very extrovert. Our own developers hate to transfer from their seating arrangements and prefer to work in a fully-equipped environment. So the developer who came with me last April, Sang-kwon Seo, had a hard time at the beginning. Developers need desktop monitors as many as three so coding with a small laptop screen itself was hard. As time goes by, he got used to it but perhaps, that’s because where he worked was here in Jeju that he could feel comfortable with it yet the actual environment was still a struggle. However, this buddy (Jae-sung Lee) is totally opposite.

 

Jae-sung Lee It is true but also for Sang-kwon, his field of specialty requires development with a fixed address, so to enter the server with security he needs to register IP. He can’t register IP everywhere he works so he needed to work in a designated place. On the other hand, for developing new things, a place doesn’t matter but rather a creative place for development is much needed. If the development is for maintenance, it requires concentration so working in one place could be more efficient. In fact, the advantage of digital nomad has the purpose of resulting in a creative performance and with that, it greatly helps my mind to be refreshed by transferring places. Therefore, this is suitable for me.

 

J-Space You have a lot to do in Jeju, right? You’ve met various people from the agricultural sector in Jeju, could you tell me about it? 

 

Jae-sung Lee I’ve received so many business cards. It was President Myeong-sil Kang, whom we met continuously and in-depth from the field of agriculture. We were introduced to President Myeong-sil Kang through the owner of the guesthouse for stay applicant, President Myeong-sil Kang used to be a vice present of a school and became a farmer and grows blueberries. Probably Present Myeong-sil Kang didn’t have a good connection with local residents in Jeju, so instead formed a union with people who became farmers and was offering education in order to expound on online channels. Education composed of blog posting, register for store farm, establish shopping mall called ‘modoo’ etc. We were able to get much information and to learn about the kind of value chain for the management. People in the agricultural sector are usually of old age and it was hard to approach them because, even though it's an era of IT, they were having a hard time with even blog posting. Nevertheless, people like President Myeong-sil Kang projected their strong need for online so we could focus on developing the specific service for them.

 

 Second of all, we went to Mureungoegatjip. We met Chang-wook Hong, the office head and learned about the business item called Koo-reo-mi aside from direct dealing from farming. Service for farmers was limited to direct dealing but after meeting them, we got the hope that we can develop other types of business models for farmers.

 

 Then, we met Ae-ja Kim of Jeju Special Self-Governing Provincial Tourism Association, who is in charge of marketing for experiencing agricultural village. This marketing was structured in a way that they offer experiencing agricultural village for free and with that many people come to experience it and buy one for two boxes of fruits from the farm in return. A lot of people are here for experience for a month and it was really good to meet different types of farmers in Jeju.

 

 

<Jae-sung Lee is presenting the result from one week of stay at the social gathering for stay applicants in May. He felt missing because there were ‘only’ 10 people of the applicants, he is a grabby and talented developer!>

 

 

Bong-jun Jin To add on to it, we have a project with the University of Jeju. In Jeju, there are tourism contents related to museums, exhibits and leisure and these mainly get tourists through online. Our project is to provide a solution to make it easier for the content sellers in online. The reason why I came here in April was actually to do a market research here since I have no connections here. At first, I was introduced to people by the center but they were not directly related to the field. We were in the process of developing ways to find people with original contents and farmers can be one of them because aside from selling their products, they also manage services like experiencing agricultural sector so we approached them.

 

 Early in May, we met farm owners again and most of them were distributing their projects through direct dealing and that direct dealing was possible through their friends. Since the dealings were done from the pool of people of their own, there is no need for an online solution for them. In the beginning, we didn’t know about these things so we had a hard time in approaching them. We told them “you should make use of online” but it wasn’t working. So slowly and deeply we try to meet them and asked their difficulties and that’s how we found their need. We surely found their need but they don’t feel the need for expanding the online platform. Nonetheless, there is a demand on how to manage online platform but they are accustomed to the hardships already so they do not even recognize the fact that they are having a hard time with it. So, we didn’t hear any positive feedbacks from the farm owners. They said, “I think I don’t need this, until when can you do it for me? I can do the dealings by using what I have now!” However as we continue to contact with farmers, we finally got to meet the people mentioned above.

 

 One thing we newly acquired is that there are people who don’t feel the need for online platforms but also there are people who feel the need for devising online channels. An example would be the president Myeong-sil Kang and with like-minded people. We ask them to introduce other like-minded people and that’s how we continued until now. Right now, we will proceed with the project we want to do. This is not a pivoting but as we meet this kind of farm owners, we think that making programs for them could be a good idea so when I return to the headquarter I will organize the thought. They make active proposals to us and when we propose in return, they try to help us in a positive manner. In addition, the original targets are also being connected. In April, when we were starting, I tried to meet people I wanted to meet directly and it didn’t work out, but after experiencing it for a month, I, myself became more flexible. What made it work was actually when I try to listen to their hardships, instead of trying to listen to what I wanted to hear from them.

 

J-Space You mentioned about developing the solution with the University of Jeju through industrial-educational cooperation and thinking of doing it with students from Computer Engineering and even furthering it to hire them.

 

Bong-jun Jin There was a kick-off meeting with the University of Jeju in March this year, and in the process, we applied for stay application. In April, we went there to have a regular meeting, because they have a laboratory for Computer Engineering. We met the students from there, talk with them and talk while having barbecues together. We also have to do team building and so it was important to know who will fit for our company. Knowing what kind of concerns they have will help us to become flexible when the students are hired so I try talking with them as much as possible. We created separate group Kakaotalk chat room and hang out from time to time and talked to each other. We feel comfortable with each other now. At first, their personality was not exclusive but rather introvert so I was careful in dealing with them but now it became so much better.

 

J-Space I think you are good at this kind of activities, such as going to meet personally and trying things again.

 

Jae-sung Lee I hope even the developers also have a good understanding of the product, have business knowledge and try to experience all these. Later on, the position doesn’t matter but everyone will take their part in developing and planning a project as well.

 

J-Space You have a mind of a leader.

 

Bong-jun Jin That dude aspires to be president.

 

 

 

 

 Bong-jun Jin, who went to Jeju with a strong mind for business, said when all the accidental encounters gathered, it results in a strong synergy, and Jae-sung Lee, who is really excited about meeting people, left us the suggestions for a lot of recreational games that can be played with more people. The fantastic pair, who may and may not look like each other, hope to see you again in Jeju!

 

 

*The above script has been slightly modified from the original interview for readability and the order of interview has been reorganized while we try to maintain Interviewee's original words and intention as much as possible.

 


 

Contact of <Play Auto> Bong-jun Jin

 

Facebook    www.facebook.com/bongjun.jin

 

Contact of <Play Auto> Jae-sung Lee

 

Facebook    www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003141275368

 

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"This is not a stable life, but it's too early to make a judgment. Now I can do what I want, so I don't regret choosing this life. I am too busy to regret."

 

Hello. I am Kyeongho Park of 'Jejusaram', connecting people in Jeju. Since about 2 years ago, when Jeju Creative Economy & Innovation Center first opened, I have used J-Space. My job requires me to meet a lot of people, and here, I could work as well as have a meeting and it had a comfortable atmosphere. So, I used to be always in this space like a fixture. Now, many people want me outside, so I use J-Space only sometimes for personal work.

 

 

 

 

'Jejusaram', Business Started by Himself After Quitting His Job

 

 'Jejusaram' is a platform that connects people who are based in Jeju and have a certain contents. This business aims to resolve issues in Jeju by connecting people and improve Jeju. Other than this business, I am currently the board president of Jeju Coop. I'm also doing other activities, and they have the drive force for my business.

 

For my business, I need to know people in Jeju very well. For example, there is some event to be arranged for vitalizing Jeju's performing arts. Then, they request me to find people they need. Then I look for the performance teams, performance planners and others who are related to the event and would make a great synergy effect working with one another. In order to be able to do that, I need to know about each individual - what they do with what kind of contents, what they are interested in, etc.

 

 

 

 

Where I Meet People Is My Workroom

 

 Jeju has oendangculture. I am from Jeju, so I could know everyone if I ask someone I know. But, now there are many people from outside Jeju and I can get to know them only if I meet and talk with them in details. That is why I always go about meeting people. So, I don't really need an office. If I have any documents I need to work on urgently, then I just come to J-Space like this or go to 24-hour cafe, open my laptop and work. I have a very tight schedule during the day, so I usually end up doing document works in the late evenings or late at night. J-Space is not open at those hours, so I mainly go to a 24-hour cafe near Halla University called 'About'.

 

Only in Jeju, A Jeju Nomad Worker

 

 I'm not a digital nomad who works in many different places but a Jeju nomad worker who travels around in this Jeju island. Jeju is a little island, but so many people live here. I travel to here and there in Jeju to meet people, so I spend a lot of time on the road. My schedule is packed from the morning till the dinner time, so it is hard to find a time solely for myself. I need to do document works late at night, so I can barely sleep. Ah, and it is not only in the Jeju-si but also Seogwipo-si, the east and the west of the island where people are. While I have many people to meet, I feel short on energy and it is overwhelming because I work by myself. So, I made my own rule. I get up in the morning and start my day playing soccer at a morning soccer club. After I finish all my day late at night, I do simple exercises. Though brief, I am both opening and wrapping up my day working out or reading.

 

 

 

 

 

I would like to meet creators in Jeju

 

 I would like to meet many people who have contents based on Jeju. J-Space has a variety of gatherings and programs, people come to do their personal work and there are startup entrepreneurs. So, it is great that I can meet many people at J-Space. Sometimes, I get close to people I see here often and help eath other. It would have been really hard if I had been alone. If you want to meet someone, please contact 'Jejusaram', Kyeongho Park!

 

 

Contact of <Jejusaram> Kyeongho Park

 

facebook    https://www.facebook.com/hihoya0

 


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'Do Connect, Do Community, Do Co-creation'

 

J-Space, where people do various activities to share and develop ideas together. People create new valuable business here at J-Space, the co-working place in Jeju.

 

 

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J-CCEI Co-working Space 'J-Space'  (0) 2017.06.12

 Inkyeong Kim, who is living as an everyday nomad in a city, is proposing a nomadic life that many people in the city can enjoy. She asked me to call her 'Lime' because she feels awkward to be called 'Inkyeong Kim'. There was special with her.

 

 

J-Space What is the 'Nomad City' project about?

 

Inkyeong Kim (hereinafter Lime) People keep seeing fantastic images of digital nomads such as images of someone working on a beach in a vacation destination, so those in the city feel great distance between that concept and the reality and as a result feel being a digital nomad is challenging. So, I called my project 'Nomad City' to suggest a nomadic life that people in the city can easily try out.

 

 In my last company, I led a project called 'One-day Nomad', which promoted the idea of being a nomad for one day every week by changing where they work in Seoul. At that time, I thought 'City' was an important key word that we were familiar with and that was not about going far away into the wild nature. This time, too, I name it Nomad City to go out and about in Juju city, which is relatively easy to access. I tried to exclude places that are hard to access because I wanted to suggest that those not extroverted or gutty can also be a digital nomad, that the identity I choose myself is more important, that it is not just about image not something challenging, and that the digital nomads can choose their own time and place.

 

 The situation in Korea is different from that in other countries. We Koreans are not familiar with digital nomads enjoying leisure activities, networking and parties, so it's difficult to just start doing those things. I initiated this project thinking that those introverted or rather a bit timid try being a digital nomad.

 

 

<Inkyeong Kim, working in J-Space, the center's co-working space.

She worked here and there in J-Space for a month and said she changed her seat every 2-3 hours to focus well.

It seems that she is a born nomad.>

 

 

J-Space You made a list of cafes in Jeju that are good to work in. How was your nomadic life in the center of Jeju? Maybe it wasn't so different from Seoul because it was a city center.

 

Lime Yes. It was very different. It's different from Seoul that you can find huge cafes on the beach if you take a bus from the accommodation just a little while. Furthermore, Jeju has a variety of beach sceneries from Aewol to Hyeopjae to Sehwa-ri. You can find the scenery and people's atmosphere are also different on the way to each place. Of course, the interior and menus of the cafes are similar to the ones in Seoul, so it is easier to get used to the environment, which is a plus.

 

 

<A cafe in Jeju introduced on Inkyeong Kim's Tumblr, which has the theme of 'Nomad City'>

 

 

<Jeju's co-working spaces and cafes good to work in, tagged on Inkyeong Kim's Tumblr, which has the theme of 'Nomad City'>

 

 

J-Space You worked on the 'Jeju Women Project' with Yeseul Nam, who also participated in this stay support program. I wonder how you two did the project together.

 

Lime: There were not many women and we were at the same age, so we got closer. Also, both of us were interested in feminism. There were only 4 women in total in this stay support program, so I wish the gender ratio were more balanced. Without considering why and how we came to work together, as a result, we were looking to do some project in Jeju. Then, our common interest is in feminism, so we wondered if there was any local figure who can be a role model for us. Haenyeos, representing Jeju, or Mandeok Kim are all females, so we decided to do a research on women in Jeju.

 

J-Space Is there any woman in Jeju you found impressive?

 

Lime For me, Jeongsook Choi, a woman who founded a school in Jeju, was incredibly sensational. She was among the first graduates of the first women's school. She finished her school in that era and went up to Seoul, but later came back to her hometown, Jeju. People from Jeju, including Mandeok Kim, even if they go to Seoul to do something, if they see what is missing in Jeju, they come back and found a school. That spirit may be what is special about Jeju. Though Mandeok Kim was acknowledged by King Jeongjo in Hanyang, she tried to do something for Jeju in the end. Jeongsook Choi also came back to Jeju, founded a school and worked as a doctor. She got a doctor's license when she was 38. You can see how incredible she is, but even people in Jeju don't know her very well. Actually, she is as incredible as Mandoek Kim. Daejeong Girls' Middle School and High School, Hallim Girls' Middle School and High School as well as Jeju Jungang Middle School, all of them were founded by Jeongsook Choi.

 

<'Jeju Women Project', introduced on Inkyeong Kim's Tumblr>

 

 

J-Space There were 4 women on the stay support program. You shared the room together.

 

Lime Yes, we liked it a lot. It was great. We inspired each other. I have a design major and my older sister has an art major, so we talk a lot about film art. It was fun in that sort of way. If I said I experienced this today in Jeju, then they would tell me lots of things like that could be the new concept I could work on, and it would go well. They gave me many advices while I was nomadizing. What and why do you want to do in that? Would people really like it if you do this? They talk about things like that. And there are some things that overlaps. So, it was a real fun.

 

J-Space You've met the company 'Dali' in our center and Jeju's 'IT Freelancer Community'. Do you have any other plans in Jeju?

 

Lime Firstly, I met Jejudali for the Jeju's Haenyeo project, and we had much more similar opinions than expected. So, we talked a lot. He/She is also from Jeju, but went to school in Seoul and came back, so he/she seems to have good understanding about both Jeju locals and the others. So, he/she told me a lot about what he/she learned while doing a business in Jeju. He/She needs someone to work who is interested in Jeju, so he/she had an ardent desire to work together. So, now we have a project to submit to a contest. Regarding oceans and fisheries products, we thought it would be great to work on it together, so we had a meeting just yesterday and are meeting again today for final submission.

 

 

 Inkyeong Kim is still living a nomadic life in Seoul. One thing that's different is that she continues to meet with the people she stayed together in Jeju to keep the connection. The cafes in Jeju that she earnestly reviewed on her Tumblr. The view, tables and chairs, main music genre and volume and even the toilet! It is full of every little detail for remote workers in Jeju. Highly recommended!

 

 

*The above script has been slightly modified from the original interview for readability and the order of interview has been reorganized while we try to maintain Interviewee's original words and intention as much as possible.

 


 

Contact of <Nomad City> Inkyeong Kim

 

Facebook    https://www.facebook.com/limemepear
Tumblr        https://nomadcity.tumblr.com
Intagram     https://www.instagram.com/nomadcity___

 

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 Null-Tea, a compound word meaning 'to brew (tea) what seems valueless (null)', is a social venture game startup that aims to make gradual changes to the world with games. Sinae Kim, the CEO of this beautifully named startup, also stayed in Jeju for one month through this April's stay support program in Jeju. She said, I'm really not a sociable person., but also unhesitatingly acknowledged that she had experienced lots of changes in the new environment in Jeju. There were so many things I wanted to ask that sensitive and honest woman.

 

J-Space: I love games, too. What kind of games do you like?

 

Sinae Kim: I was a Starcraft fanatic. Now, I play STEAM games sometimes. What's important is that I don't play games that much once I became a game developer.

 

J-Space: I wasn't very good at Starcraft and just played some simple games. There is this game called DarkEden with vampires. Nowadays I'm playing mobile games. There is a room escape game called The Room. It's not free, but I'm enjoying it a lot.

 

Sinae Kim: You are our potential customer!

 

 

<VERY PRIVATE GAME X MAKER, a game-making workshop of Null-Tea (left),

VERY PRIVATE X PLAYER, a reality game that the player accomplishes small goals in a form of a mission (right)>

 

 

J-Space: I wanted to talk about games the most! With selfish motives. Now you are planning another game related to teenagers in crisis, what made you interested in the two, teenagers in crisis and games?

 

Sinae Kim: Frankly, I wasn't interested in teenagers in crisis at first. I just liked developing games. Then, Smilegate held YES! SMILE project in 2015, which required us to make a game that we can put our emotion in rather than just a technical game. I was looking for a suitable subject and I paid attention to the teenagers in crisis. After I actually spent time with those teenagers, I felt sorry for them. I met one boy who especially caught my attention. I asked myself if there was anything I could do for him, if I could help make the life's direction through games, and so on. After the thoughts, I was convinced 'Ah. I can do that'. And I made a company combining the two.

 

 

 <The Queen Cuckoo and Nest of Vanity, a board game being developed by Null-Tea (left),

GOBACK, an emotional adventure game based on the real story of a teenager in crisis (right)>

 

 

J-Space: You also participated in our center's startup training program J-Academy and made another thing. You combined reading and game again.

 

Sinae Kim: Games are growing on commercial basis, so addictiveness is emphasized to make a game interesting. I think this is the dilemma game developers have. Our company aims to develop games that are not only interesting to play but also meaningful to the players. One of the games in line with that aim is the ALIVERARY project, combining reading with a game. It aims to help teenagers build up strength to protect themselves through reading. The start of this project was sort of for my own pleasure.. I had a goal. It started from the thought that it would be fun to have a program about being a detective for a murder case in a library. But, everyone was against it. Because that is too violent for children to play in school libraries.

 

J-Space: A library and a murder, how the two can be connected like that(...)

 

Sinae Kim: At first, I thought of a detective big game in a library. If you think of a detective plot, then it is a murder that's fun. Bet my granddad's name on it, you are the murderer! Something like this. But in the end, I agreed that a murder case is too much and people who worked on the project selected good books they had read and started to make it to a game. We did the first test of the game at Gimpo High School. That version was very clumsy in hindsight. But, the children were having so much fun. We lost track of time playing and then got totally exhausted. So, I was very happy. Because they were having fun. Later, we posted about it on an online cafe and some school libraries got in touch with us to request the game. That is continuing to this date.


 I'll explain about the game. We hide 5 books in the library in advance. And we allocate one random each team should find. Hints are in the library. You can get your own team's hints or other team's, so to achieve the goal, you need to keep negotiating with other teams and exchange the hints. In the end, you win if you get the title of the book. The hints have good excerpts from the book, names of the characters and other information on the book. Children take a close look at the hints playing these games. And it stimulates their curiosity.


 I don't think you need to read the whole book. I think it is important to read books that suit you. Rather than pressuring children to read, this program introduces many books that seem interesting to them.

 

 

<ALIVERARY, a reading education service in the form of a big game (offline game)

where 30 teenagers gather in a library (a space with books) to explore the space together, communicate and negotiate.>

 

 

J-Space: You said you needed healing, but you seemed like you were into 'work' more than anybody else.

 

Sinae Kim: It was because of J-Academy (J-CCEI Startup Training Program). During the first week, I can confidently say I was 'healing' better than anyone else. I walked around Jeju in the morning and worked in the evening. I only worked for about 4 hours a day and then just had fun for the rest of the day. But, the moment I had J-Academy! It opened my 'hell gate'. I felt a super strong urge to work. And I got myself into a labor hell in Jeju. I had an inspiration and started working on it. I worked hard on giving business shape to the library project ALIVERARY. In fact, this one had the best response among our projects. But, I didn't know when I had to develop this project. So, I was just feeling out possibilities. I think it was when I participated in J-Academy that I decided to develop it aggressively. So, I worked on it really hard.

 

J-Space: You did the pattern book project, attended the StoryFunding Kakao class. You seem to have a lot of interest in writing or publishing as well.

 

Sinae Kim: I like books, so I also like writing books. My books were mostly about tools. In the future, I would like to write about my emotion in a form of an essay. I thought I would try when I applied for Jejudaum(J-CCEI Stay Support Program in Jeju). Also, one day, I went to an electronic books meet-up that was recommended by Jeju. At that time, I set a goal, wanting to publish an electronic book. And once, one of the members of the meet-up invited me to his house, which was a great experience. Here in Jeju, I focused a lot on myself and the environment. I'm not good at socializing with strangers. I don't really know what to talk about with the ones I stay here with and I don't know how to approach people I meet for the first time, but there, I could naturally talk with them and I loved that unique atmosphere. I could focus on people when I came to Jeju thanks to the talks I had there. I got to think a lot about feeling about living in Jeju. It was just superb. The very feeling. I didn't feel awkward. It means a lot that I, who is shy of strangers, did not feel awkward.

 

J-Space: I can't see that you are shy. It's not noticeable. You might have changed a bit in Jeju. When you said you felt a change, it sounded like your confession. How was the one month in Jeju?

 

Sinae Kim: It left me much to be desired because I can have good conversations with someone only after meeting that person on a regular basis for about a year and this one month was too short for networking. I felt this time that I felt out of place because I wasn't good at distinguishing when to focus on the work and when to have a conversation. It was difficult to go talk to people when they are working, and I thought it would be the same for them when I am working. That's really about timing, but it wasn't easy to catch. In contrast, Soojeong (who was also a participant in this stay) does that kind of thing very well. Thanks to her, I had someone to talk to and wasn't so lonely. What I also liked about her very much is that our conversation went so smooth as she came here as a cultural artist. It was same with Lime (who was also a participant in this stay). Other participants with a specialty in IT talked a lot about technical subjects, so I was confused what to share with them about my project. I realized that too late. I've been blog-posting about my stay in Jeju, but I've never thought my blogging would be helpful for them. Yesterday, I realized it was helpful.

 

J-Space: Yes. Although it was not a direct cooperation, but you constantly shared your process of creation. So, it gives them inspiration such as, ah, this person feels this way and the technology can be applied this way or it will lead to creation this way.

 

Sinae Kim: Yes. You just reminded me of something. I've learned the sales people's mindset a bit. I was running a business, but I didn't have that mindset. I didn't know how to bring up my business in a conversation naturally, then I observed how other participants do and roughly learned how to approach. I thought about the same thing looking at Bongjun (who was also a participant in this stay) and Soojeong. Yongsung Shin (who was also a participant in this stay) had his own company for a long time, so I asked a lot about his colleagues. I liked the opportunity to hear about his leadership.

 

J-Space: I also learn a lot from observing myself and other employees. What I don't have. You were already working remotely, so you may have been able to felt something similar to that. I saw you working in J-Space. You have such strong concentration.

 

Sinae Kim: I liked working alone late at night after everyone left. Those hours were so precious. I will keep thinking about it. From this chance, I think I developed confidence about working remotely. I can do it wherever I go! I can do it wherever I am if I have a laptop and a tablet. It was a good test for me. My younger sister majors in music. I am going to recommend her to apply for this stay. she is still a university student. I think there will be so much for her to learn here.

 

 

 Sinae Kim, who came to Jeju on the stay support program and brewed and drank up April's energy released by Jeju just like a tea-bag, participating in all April programs of the center from the startup training program, J-Academy, business idea pitching to Kakao class! Once you have talked with her, you will know she is not as shy as you expected.

 

*The above script has been slightly modified from the original interview for readability and the order of interview has been reorganized while we try to maintain Interviewee's original words and intention as much as possible.

 


 

Contact of <NULL-TEA> Sinae Kim

 

E-mail          designtea@naver.com 
Facebook      https://www.facebook.com/teabagkim 

Blog            http://designtea.blog.me 
Homepage    http://null-tea.com 

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 We could meet Yongseong Shin, the CEO of an online marketing portal service company 'i-boss' with a name sounding like an IT-company, for one month at J-Space. He wasn't well off when he was young and he involuntarily considered starting his own company. He gave a lot of thought how to increase the number of the winners in a startup market where now there is only one winner. From there, he founded 'i-boss' from the concept of 'defining one's own market and be the boss'. Since then, the boss of 'i-boss', Yongseong Shin he has been running the business for more than 15 years. I was curious what made him decide to come to Jeju on April's stay support program, leaving the staff and family behind in Seoul.

 

 

Yongseong Shin (hereinafter Boss): Firstly, I can get around most freely (because I am the CEO). In fact, many CEOs of growing companies have to work hands on, but because we have been running quite many years and have the set structure, so I don't have to do the hands-on work (laugh). That's why I can get around freely. On the other hand, it is good for the CEO to actually see and feel to be sure, so I decided to come myself.

 

J-Space: Among the businesses you are working on, you seeked for a possibility if you would be able to do education and marketing agency in Jeju, and you wanted to do a market research as to how merchants in Jeju are marketing their business, which is why you applied for Jeju stay support program. You had a purpose of expanding your business. How was your remote work experience in Jeju away from your Seoul office?

 

Boss: I came to think about applying my work patterns and scheduling in Jeju to the Seoul office. For example, in Seoul, the day passes by so quickly talking and working with our staff. Then, I am left with not much time to focus. Even when I try to plan something in my office room, our staff keep coming to me (laugh). That made me feel a little bit exhausted, but in Jeju, I have been in an independent, well, rather than 'independent', a space away from the staff, so I could focus on my work. So, I actually worked more in Jeju. I was just going to have fun! You know, the staff can plan small projects, but the CEO should plan the big ones. So, I'm thinking I might be a 'digital nomad in Seoul'.

 

J-Space: During your stay, you often ate with other participants here. Did you get any special inspiration for your big planning (laugh)?

 

Boss: There's nothing much like that, to be honest. I haven't got any special inspiration for my planning, but there are so many people from startups, so I was motivated to look back on my original resolution and be more passionate about my work. I think the 'different space' gave me the biggest inspiration. Where no one knows me. Actually, one i-boss member makes furniture, but in winter, he comes down to Jeju to pick tangerines at his father's farm and sell them on the Internet. He often travels between Seoul and Jeju. When he runs out of ideas, then he comes to Jeju and work better. After one month in Jeju, he feels a bit lazy, then he goes back to Seoul. He said it's efficient to move back and forth like this and I can understand it now. I am considering letting our staff participate in this stay support program from June. It's already a bit late for May.

 

 

<Yongseong Shin, the CEO of i-boss, spent a month in Jeju on April's stay support program by J-CCEI.

What is he planning in the stay support zone without independent space or a cubicle?>

 

 

J-Space: Do you have any intention to apply remote work system to i-boss in a long-term?

 

Boss: We are a bit different. We already have a 'responsible work' system and there is no set office hours. So, we don't check in and out with fingerprints. There is no concept of being late, half day off or leaving early. All of them decide when to come and when to leave. Despite this, it is difficult for us to adopt a complete remote work system because we operate on a team basis and different teams need to cooperate each other. If one of the team members inevitably has to work home for a day, then it is okay. But, a complete remote work structure would harm the synergy, so, we are not doing it. Our work is marketing and online marketing has a vast range of fields. One team is specialized in keyword advertisement, another in SNS advertisement, still another in strategy or the other in analysis. They cover all the areas, but with different focus. The advertiser wants an integrated service, so they often have been working with one team, but then ask another team about something. Then, we gather and share information, ask and learn from each other. This is our culture and remote work doesn't necessarily fit. 


 But still, it's worth giving it a meaningful consideration. Now that industries are moving from analog to digital, data is the most important thing. And the demand for data keeps getting subdivided. The data should come from all over the world and eventually, the industry will gradually take the form of local individuals collecting data and companies processing and restructuring such collected data in a meaningful way. In that sense, remote work corresponds well to this changing industry trend. So, I think it is good. The business model should be suitable for it to work. Companies have their existing business models. So, I think it's not appropriate to tell them to adopt remote work because remote work is good. Rather, the right approach would be that a new business environment is forming and this model goes along well, so you'd better not hold on to your existing business model.

 

J-Space: We should reflect your point to our business plans. What did you think about i-boss staff's stay on this program in June?

 

Boss: We have some staff managing advertisements. They focus only on the advertisement management itself. There are analysis team and development team as well. So, I'm thinking of asking them for application, but I'm not sure yet if they can actually come. I want to open their ways and give them more options.

 

J-Space: It sounds like ordering tangsuyuk first instead of jajangmyeon in a Chinese restaurant. I heard you have the goal that all the employees become independent and run their own business.

 

Boss: Yes. Though not everyone because each person has different personality. The ones who wants to be independent do as they want and the others who wants to stay as an instructor, an executive or an expert do as they want. Some people don't like to take responsibilities. Some people are very competent, but don't like to lead others because it is bothersome. So, my goal with those people is to make them an expert, an instructor, an executive or even an independent CEO of a company that has been spun off. So, I define my company as a platform. Many misunderstood it as an IT company.

 

 

<When asked the place he likes in J-Space, J-CCEI Co-working Space,

he just chose the cafeteria. Click! Yongseong Shin, who looks good in a fleece>

 

 

 A platform where every employee can grow and become independent! The name 'i-boss' is indeed suitable. He did not forget to say thank you that he met so many nice people. Yongseong Shin suggested that Jeju stay support program should continue and there should be a chief participant for each program session.

 

 

*The above script has been slightly modified from the original interview for readability and the order of interview has been reorganized while we try to maintain Interviewee's original words and intention as much as possible.

 


 

 

Contact of <i-boss> Yongseong Shin

 

 

E-mail        pyggal@naver.com

Facebook    https://www.facebook.com/pyggal
Hompage    http://www.i-boss.co.kr

 

 

 

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"Even if you have nothing right now, I believe if you put your stories in a few postcards you made yourself and share them with others, you will be able to keep traveling with the returns."

 

Hello. I am Jaeil Kim, a 22-years-old boy (although nobody thinks so) who always has a lot to say, so writes and takes pictures. If I must choose one professional title, a 'travel writer' would be the most appropriate one. I went on a trip to Jeju by myself when I was 18, started working at the very guesthouse I stayed as soon as I became 20, and I began my round-the-world trip in the late spring of the same year.


 

 


Traveling with a One-way Ticket to Taiwan, a Camera and 200,000 Won

 

 When I traveled at 20, all I had were a one-way ticket to Taiwan, a camera and 200,000 won pocket money. Let alone the accommodation, it was not even enough for the next meal and I really had to make money there by any means. So, I worked at a guesthouse in a tourist area, utilizing my own experience and skills, and, in my free time, I went out to streets holding up a picket and sold postcards that I made by myself. At the hostel in Taiwan, I took pictures of the rooms all anew. At the hostel in Hong Kong, I also took pictures of the rooms and designed a tourist map of Hong Kong for their website to be renewed. Oh, I saved some Korean tourists suffering from a language barrier and I translated signs. I wouldn't even have thought of saving the accommodation expenses if I hadn't stayed at a guesthouse or hadn't worked before.

 

I sold the sets of 6 postcards for about 6,000 won. I could have a bit more relaxing for the rest of the travel because that made a hit in Taiwan. Of course, I had moments of crisis one or two times, but I was able to complete my trip to 4 countries safely by working hard on selling postcards. After that, I worked at a guesthouse or a hotel to not lose my touch with traveling. I was also a coordinator of the remote worker's group that visited Jeju.

 

 

 

In my second trip in 2016, I was invited by a kindergarten in Singapore to take pictures of the kids' graduation recital. It was a quite big kindergarten, so the graduation recital was also very big. I didn't take any money, I could spend a little more than 2 weeks at the guest room of the director of that kindergarten, and I gained a good person in life I can exchange help with at any time.

 


 

Managing Expenses, and Sad Feelings of Farewell

 

Being a traveling freelancer, I keenly felt how hard it was to manage income and expenses. Generally, employees stay in a similar environment and their fixed cost remains similar and thus predictable. But, it is different for travelers. You have lots of unexpected expenses if you work while traveling because each country has different weather, living environment, price level and culture. Especially when you move to another place, the flights and other transport are quite costly. In addition, you need to spend more for basic living because, anywhere you go, staying at a guesthouse or a hotel is much more expensive than renting a house. It's also a big irony that going to a place where the price level is relatively lower doesn't guarantee you can spend less.

 

Thrill and Uncertainty, the Irresistible Charm

 

 I still lack experience and economic base to make a stable living while traveling. The reason I keep working as a freelancer and traveling despite the disadvantage is because I dislike 'being in a rut'.

 

 Everyone has their own disposition. Some like to repeat similar work in a set environment and building experience and getting seasoned, but in contrast, I lose vitality if I don't have the risk and dynamic the world outside the fence can offer. So, I chose to work as a travel photographer or a freelancer designer. 'Expecting different tomorrow than today' I think that is the key. I don't have any set commute, which provides me with a very good environment to read or study various fields including coding and economics.

 


 


Sharing Food for Thoughts

 

I've done lots of thing, but what I really want to do is to teach. Not the university entrance exam or state exams. I'd like to teach life experience, knowledge and wisdom. What I learned from traveling, from books, in my daily life and even from playing games. Things that are small but provide food for thought, that extend their hands to those who have fallen and that sometimes reprimand them to make the world better. I'd like to focus on the stories rather than the form like writing, image or photo. Though it's true that books in pretty cover look better.

 

Tide of Change, and Remote Workers

 

Nowadays, you don't have to be in the office to work anymore. In one mart in Singapore, one staff manages ten self-checkout machines, which have reduced the number of employees required. Also, now we can print out the resident registration at home, which have also reduced the number of employees required at dong offices. There are new jobs and the form of employment and business became even more diverse. There are companies having remote work as a norm, and a lot of companies will change that way. The changes won't come slowly. Things will stay quiet, but then as soon as it reaches the critical point, they will fall on you altogether like a landslide. So, I hope people search for realistic plans and set their direction rather than fearing working remotely or freelancing. A transition period is not a period of anxiety but of opportunity. I believe now is the best time to start to live a life of a remote worker or a freelancer. It has been established to some extent thanks to its pioneers, but yet to be a trend. Interpret the tide of change and plunge into that direction earlier than others, then you can gain a competitive edge on those who hurriedly followed after the change has already happened.

 

 Soon, there will be more people that prefer to work freely like I do. People's thoughts and prejudices will more soften and be open.

 

 I am going to sell postcards again from today. Different from my previous trip, I can still manage to get by even if I can't sell anything right now, so I'll have a bit less burden. Again, I'd like to have that faith I used to have 2 years ago when I traveled with postcards. The faith that I will give people hopes through challenges.

 

 Slowly, one by one, I am going to prepare my next travel. I will never forget the names of those who sponsored me by buying my postcards. By the way, the postcards are quite pretty.

 

Twenty-five, Re-start.

 

 

 

Contact of Jaeil Kim

 

 

 

Blog        http://www.dreamstorysnap.com/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/jaeil.kim.92

Brunch     https://brunch.co.kr/@johny1140

 


 

 

Jaeil Kim, Digital Nomad Bridge

 

 Jaeil is a participant of the Digital Nomad Bridge program.

 

 'Digital Nomad Bridge' communicates with digital nomads who came to Jeju, promote Jeju and exchange cultures. It is a program to provide accurate information about Jeju to foreigners and promote tourist spots. The participants can have an indirect experience on digital nomads.

 

 Jaeil shared information on his professional field (development, photography, etc.) with the members of Hacker Paradise, a digital nomad team staying in Jeju, and he recorded, edited and launched a video about their stories. While he was on the work, he discussed if he would join the operation team of Hacker Paradise. After the Digital Nomad Bridge program ended, he also joined them overseas for image work.

 

 Now, he is a nomad who does interesting works related to photos and images traveling Jeju and foreign countries.

 

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