Dana Oh, author of Happy, Enough to Be Mad! says, “If you go to South Africa to see ‘2010 FIFA WORLD CUP SOUTH AFRICA,’ please go to the splendid places like Wine Route and Garden Route as well as Cape Town and Johannesburg.” She leaved her brilliant workplace National Assembly, and went to her desiring place, Africa. The writer of the book Happy, Enough to Mad! OH Donna, she is! The Sookmyung Times (SMT) met her who leaved for Africa getting into the truck.
SMT People who read yourbook were surprised by your switching from working in the NationalAssembly to being a travel writer. What prompted you to do it?
OH Before I graduated fromuniversity, I had a chance to participate in the camp of anassemblyman candidacy election . Based on this experience, I could go into the National Assembly and work as a policy secretary. Thinking I needed to put my major towork, and with my vague desire for work in a field like this, I set myself on fire for five years in the National Assembly. But oneday, I felt that I encountered some problems in my physical and mental health. I was mor eand more exhausted. Finally, I made up my mind to give myself a ‘special gift.’ That was a decision to go to Africa.Thinking it was a gift to reward myself, I could prepare travel atonce. Since then, I live as a travel writer. Many people have asked me, “How did you decide to change to a totally different field?” But I think there is quite a bit in common between the two occupations. As a policy secretary, I wrote an interpolation, contribution to anewspaper, and press releasematerials. From the foundation of these writing works, I think that I could become a travelwriter without difficulty in writing.
SMT You traveled Africa by thedistinctive ‘Truck Tour.’ Please explain its characteristics and the experience that you had.
OH Around the period I decided totravel, I watched a documentary program about truck tours. I was extremely impressed about it. Above all, Idon’t like to do things that anyone can do. With my tendency to pursue something special, it was attractiveenough to make me take that way. Truck tours can be only inAfrica and it isvery efficient as well as safe. Its tour coursesare set by many travelers’ story of experience and consist of programs with a native driver, acook, and a leader who takes full responsibility for travelers’ safety. Also there are opportunitieswhich can make a deep friendship. Because thetruck tour offers a chance with multinational people in the truck during all travel times, Icould make a trio friends group that I still keep in touch with.Of course, truck tours can be quite a tough course becaus eof duties like washing the dishes in turn, helping cooking, and setting up the tents. However, I thought it was the best choice and want to recommend for people, especially for young people who are looking for a challenge.
SMT Please explain about the gift that you got from travelingin Africa.
OH Africa offered the place that I hope to go with a person whomI most love. Wonderfully green fields and a brilliant blue sky looking down from an airplane made me feel a lump in mythroat. Especially in the Okavango Delta in Botswana, I felt that I stood in a regionoutside of the earth.? This place, called “The last Eden ofthe earth,” looked like Mother Nature itself. I thought, “Itmay have been like this whenthe earth was born.” In front oft he vast scene of Victoria Fallsin Zimbabwe, I sympathized with the reason why the nativesnamed it Mosi-oa-Tunya which means, “eternally rising up smoke accompanied by lightning and thunder.”
SMT By meeting with realAfrica, what did you find out?
OH First of all,Africa is safe indeed. If you keep basic rules of travelers, it is really safe ,especially in tourist spots.There are enough ATMs in each nation, so you need not bring too much money dangerously. Just withdraw each nation’s money in each place. In addition, overall travel costis cheaper there than in Europe, and the time it takes to get there is similar with that of Europe.First of all,Africa is safe indeed. If you keep basic rules of travelers, it is really safe ,especially in tourist spots.There are enough ATMs in each nation, so you need not bring too much money dangerously. Just withdraw each nation’s money in each place. In addition, overall travel costis cheaper there than in Europe, and the time it takes to get there is similar with that of Europe.
Against existing prejudice about Africa, it has various att ractive features and suitable qualifications for traveling.“Don’t waste your youth. I think that the undergraduat edays are the most valuable period, and it is also the most suitabl e time for attaining your own inner maturity. It can bedone by a broad range ofexperience and thinking aboutyou. When I meet juniors, I always say that all these things can be gotten through travel. Iwant to talk about theimportance and value oftraveling this time. Believe yourself and give a challenge for the world!”