Blog Post #5


I've been back for a few days from my trip to Japan, and I have a few things on my mind.

Travel bug is real, but not in the traditional way, I would say. I do want to go to more places and see the world, but I want to be different in the way I see the world and go to these places.

Cultural differences in culture shock were stark, but I mostly searched for similarities with the people I met. How the world differs is interesting, yes, but how it is the same is just as interesting.

I visited many of the places people told me I HAD to go to. Ate the things I HAD to eat. They were right in many aspects. Those places gave me a quiet reverie. I enjoyed them, especially the food. Good lord, the food...

Anyways, I felt like it was more about checking off a list. Like the suggestions were tasks that needed to be completed, and that I had to see them in order to fill the time and say that I had a good trip because I did all of the things. The reality, at least for me, is I enjoyed experiencing things with people much more than I did by myself. 

I know this isn't much of a realization, but now I know for future traveling how to better experience the world. Finding others in search of experiences and bringing them along would heighten everything, at least for myself.

There were moments when I was alone that I truly enjoyed being in the moment. Little snippets that I couldn't enjoy with someone else there. Exploring places and things that maybe others wouldn't enjoy, or quiet frustrations I worked out on my own and moved on. I am more than a reflection of those around me, and I can seek these moments out when I need them.

Yet it was when I was surrounded by people and experiencing the culture in those intimate moments that I truly enjoyed myself. I guess this trip really taught me that I enjoy people.


As for Japan, it is a place I'd hope everyone would take the time to experience at least once. The country is beautiful and safe, and commands a quiet respect and reverence we could all learn from.

If you, dear reader, should ever endeavor to go, here is my best advice:

Pack light. You will be walking everywhere. Invest in good walking shoes and a good backpack. Doing your laundry in the hostels and hotels are cheap.

Learn some conversational Japanese. You don't have to be fluent to travel to most of the larger tourist areas, but communication is key for any real interaction with people and I found myself at a loss whenever we were out and about and my brother and his friends were speaking to the locals, as English is not common.

Don't worry about doing everything that people are telling you that you HAVE to do. Find things you will enjoy and take the time to enjoy them. Japan has something for everyone.

Be quiet on the trains. Don't be those loud travelers that people quietly judge. 

Be careful in the most populace places. "Catchers" will try to pull you into their establishments, and are very personable. Don't have a horror story to bring home. Be safe. That was the only real "issue" that I ran into, and that's saying something for a place of that size.

And last, but certainly not least, find good people to travel with. There is much to do for the introvert, but travel is safer and more enjoyable when there is safety is numbers and accountability. 

Japan was incredible, and I already miss it. I'll endeavor to go back soon, but maybe after a few trips to other places. I miss the food so much. Yakiniku, we will meet again.

Here's to more travels,