#MyProjectMemory: Grace @gracefkim

Born and raised in New Jersey, Grace is a solo traveler and a backpacking enthusiast. At 24, Grace left her entire life in NJ to embark on a journey of self-discovery through solo traveling. As she continues to share her experiences through her travel blog, Grace’s goal is to influence people’s perception of travel and to encourage those to always pursue their passions.

✈️ What motivated you to start an Instagram account to document your travels?

I’ve always had my account since the end of high school, but at the time it was just a personal account. After a breakup with someone who I dated for three and a half years, I started writing a lot and posting on my blog. At first, my blog wasn’t a travel blog - it was more like a personal diary.

Every time I blogged, I would post it on Instagram and I would add a travel photo with it, and both the blog and Instagram kind of just formulated into my travel diary.

Even now, a lot of the written content on my Instagram isn’t really travel-related. They’re mostly about self-development and things that I am going through.

I got into photography too. So, you put two expertise together - photography and social media - and that's how I formulated my Instagram account.

✈️ Are you traveling full-time now? How did you make that happen?

It’s been about two years since I’ve been blogging, but I’ve been consistently traveling full-time for about a year now. Before that, I was juggling a full-time job and traveling. Every weekend I would fly somewhere or I would be in New York (I’m originally from New Jersey, but I was never in Jersey).

This ended up becoming a lot because creating content is pretty much a full-time job… so eventually I had to choose one or the other, and I chose to travel. I left Jersey officially last year, and I’ve been on the road since.

✈️ How was the experience of making that change?
It’s been the best decision of my life. Even with COVID-19 and things closing down, I learned how to travel differently. Some of the best travels I’ve ever had in my life happened this year.

✈️ How easy or difficult it is to make that dive to switch into traveling full-time?

It was definitely a process. There is not just one way of “quitting your job” and “starting a travel lifestyle.” I will say, though, that I was extremely obsessed with traveling - so obsessed that I didn’t do anything else but that and blogging. Even then, I was still so scared to make the dive. I didn’t know how I was going to survive, but I wanted it so badly that I just didn’t let anything get in my way.

✈️ What are some of your favorite memories from this year of travels?
I can’t say there’s one specific favorite memory, but one thing I love the most this year is having absolute freedom with my time. I don’t have to report to anybody, I don’t have anything under my name, it’s just me. I make my own decisions. And if I want to go somewhere, I’ll go somewhere. I don’t have those types of “responsibilities” that I used to always have.

✈️ How do you personally document the memories that are important to you?

Around the same time I got into blogging, which was two years ago, I also got into photography again. Back in middle school and high school, I used to have those small little cameras - people used to know me as the girl who would always bring cameras to parties and take hundreds of photos.

I fell out of photography until about a year and a half ago. Like traveling, I just became so addicted to taking photos. During my lunch break, I wouldn’t eat lunch with my co-workers, I would go out and shoot. I would meet with photographers in every city that I visit, whom I met through Instagram. Instagram is a great platform, that’s how I met all of my friends.

Along with photography, I document a lot on Instagram. Instagram is the place I am the most active. I do want to get more into YouTube, so I’m diving into that.

Also, I journal about my travels all the time - almost every other day. That is another place where I document all my travels that a lot of people don’t know.

Grace has also published a book titled “Basically” - a short story of a little girl searching to find her passion. The book ends with her starting a new chapter of her life. This book describes Grace’s lifestyle and ends with her taking off to her first destination. Read more about “Basically” here.

You can see more of Grace's work and travels on her Instagram: @gracefkim and her blog, www.gracefkim.com

All photos in this post are courtesy of Grace Kim.

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