December 5, 2023


Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Essay: YOLO by Sadie Scotch

1 min read

In this essay, Sadie Scotch shares her experiences of backpacking across countries as she discovers new people, new places, and new words while trying to discover the true meaning of life.

I can tell you exactly where I was the first time I heard someone say, “YOLO.” Because I’ve traveled so much and moved around constantly, I just have to recall the order of the places from which I was coming and going, and I can pinpoint locations to my memories. The first time I heard the word, YOLO, I was hiking in Nepal. 

Eating my lunch in the mountains, I watched as a young boy jumped on the back of a Nepalese man’s motorcycle, and as they were taking off in a procession of adolescents on tour, he shouted, “YOLO!” The Australian man, Brandon, I was hiking with for two weeks laughed and said, “Only the kids were using that expression.” I asked what it meant, and he looked a bit surprised, perhaps even a little embarrassed, like it wasn’t cool for him to know these things. He told me, “It means You Only Live Once.”

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