04 Travelers of the PNW: Daniel Kim

Daniel Kim, 22

UW Seattle, Human Centered Design & Engineering

I’m from San Ramon, California – a suburb in the East Bay Area, about 45 minutes from San Francisco.


Photography, soccer, Frank Ocean

What is your relation to the Pacific Northwest?

I’d call it my adopted home.

Why is travel important to you?

Travel is important to me because it gives me a chance to get out of my head a bit and focus on the world around me. And also for the food.

What is your most memorable travel experience? How has it impacted your life and

My most memorable travel experience was a month-long study abroad program in Kathmandu, Nepal because it was the longest I had been out of the country and it was a great opportunity to learn about a place from people who actually lived there. It's definitely made me more conscious of the effects of tourism, for example the overcrowding on Mt. Everest.

How would you describe your travel style? Are you a meticulous planner or a go-with-the-flow kind of traveler? What are some best practices you have learned to help you travel as best you can in your own way?

I try to list the places I want to see and things I want to do beforehand, but I'll usually figure out the details when I arrive. I also make sure to put aside time, either a few hours or a few days, to explore without a set plan or schedule.

How does coming “home” (wherever or whatever that may be) feel after you travel?

It depends on the length of the trip. After short trips there's more than just a sense of relief, but coming home after a month in another country definitely takes an adjustment period. I think it just highlights the fact that it's hard to take in a new location before you've had some time to acclimate to it.

What are your future travel plans?

I'd love to visit Iceland one day, as well as Japan.

How has the PNW helped shape who you are?

The PNW has made me more comfortable exploring on my own, especially since there are so many great hikes and camping spots within a few hours' drive.

If you were to describe the PNW in three words, what would they be and why?

Beautiful. Green. Best.