Trip Start Jul 25, 2009
41Trip End Ongoing
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My village opted to go from the expensive, and slowest internet in Japan, to the fastest fiber-optic internet you can get around here. It's going to be half the price.
It's just that they said I'd get it last DECEMBER....so I'm losing patience.
Still, I should still keep you, oh dear reader, interested and treat you to more photos and vignettes of my travels here. Friends and loved ones, I apologize that I've been both inconsistent and...well, pretty much off the charts (PROOF: Toyone's not on any Google map.)
So I had a lovely summer. It was busy, but lovely. I hiked Japan's peak, Fuji, and it's second highest peak, Kita-dake. I shared brews with brewers, music with musicians, and good times with free-spirited folk across the southern coast from Aichi to Tokyo. I watched fireworks over the beaches of Yokohama, sipping on about 5 different kinds of delicious foreign beers, chasing my new lover (her name's Tuffy and she has the softest white hair I've ever pet...she does have a serious obsession with licking, however. My feet have never been cleaner!). I walked through Japan's busiest intersection in Shibuya, and watched my favorite artist, Dave Groel, take the drums again for his new super-band, Them Crooked Vultures. I went to Ghibli Museum and saw Mei tackle that cat-bus a second time (exclusive video). I went to Kabuchi-cho and didn't need to see a doctor afterward. I played guitar in Shinjuku, made friends and welcomed new JETs to Japan...a lovely trip down nostalgia-lane. I stayed in a capsule hotel...named Ninja Capsule (excellent sized boxes, I must say!). I flew 14 hours home and 14 hours back...managing to compete in a guitar competition, and squeeze in as many visits to friends, and time with family, as I could manage in 12 days. When I got back, I had a week of work, and then I set off on a 4-day hike into the southern Alps of Japan. I made friends with others, and with myself. I slept under the stars in my tent, and scrambled atop chains of mountains, sometimes for 8 hours a day.
It was an exhausting summer...but it was one to remember. My trip home refreshed me, but left me homesick for more. It's odd to see your friends in different situations, but amazing to realize that your friendships haven't changed at all- even if you have.
I learned that I love travel, but I also learned that it comes at a cost. You must learn to let everything go. I don't only mean this in the 'open-minded', free-spirited spontaneous kind of way--that has its perks.
What I mean is letting go the friends you meet, and may never meet again. The moments that are lost in time, both to you and to those who rely on camera to keep those memories intact; a photo never truly captures what the eye and a clear mind can focus in on. You also have to say goodbye to those you hope to see again, never knowing if it will be your last.
Travel is like going to school, in some ways. You set out to learn, to make new friends, and to grow. You hope to return inspired, better guided, and with some experience under the belt. But in many ways, it's also a way to procrastinate any 'real-life' decisions...that is, if you prescribe to them. What I mean by this is the process of getting a 'real' job, of staying in one place by 'investing' in a property that you never really own (it owns YOU); starting a family, or something steady at least, etc. etc...
I'll prescribe to them when my doctor says I should.
In the meantime, like a drug, I try my best to soak it in, and make those 'life decisions' when I get back. It's good to have options, and to know what those options are.
So, once I've got some time, you, my dear avid follower, will be treated to some prime photos and videos of my summer journey. Following this, hopefully the promise of when we will meet again.
Love to you all,