Thursday, December 3, 2009

This Is My Way of Saying I'm Back (Part whatever)

I’m writing this on my second to the last night here in a tiny hotel room in Yokohama, my home for two weeks. I’ve come to view its smallness as a source of comfort; every night I would come home to this place tired and sleepy, but knowing it’s been a very satisfactory day, be it at work or at exploring different places in Tokyo and Yokohama. Yet each time I wake up in the morning, I feel excited for the day’s events and panic that each new day means I’m one day closer to my departure date. It’s such a classic case of so little time, so much to do.

While I miss my family and friends dearly, I really enjoyed being in Japan and I’m so, so sad to be leaving. And it’s not just about the places I visited and the places I have yet and so badly wanted to visit. It’s not about the generally helpful and friendly locals I’ve met who made this non-Nihonggo speaking foreigner feel she’s not such a nuisance for asking one question too many. It’s not just about the wonderful contrasts of technology and culture that made Japan such a unique place.

The thing is, I like who I am when I was here. This is such a clichéd thing to say, but it’s true: some things are yours for the taking, but only if you have the courage to grab it. I never knew I have enough guts in me, but I took the chance. Because I love to see so many places in Tokyo, I didn’t let the language barrier nor the intimidating transportation system nor the distance nor the effort to stop me. Yes it’s scary, but it’s quite liberating as well. I did the things I never thought I could and the payoff was great – not just making it to my chosen destinations, but the getting there.

And yes, it might sound mababaw, thinking that being able to go from one place to another without getting lost was such an accomlishment. But I'm not the type to take this kind of chances. And to have this kind of feeling, feeling like you're capable of just about anything, I don't feel that way often. And I like that I get to feel that.

After a long time, I finally have something concrete that I really, really want: I want to go back to this country, on my own terms. I don’t know how long that will take me, but I know one day I will make it come true. If not, well, it’s the journey, not the destination, remember?

~ less serious, more irreverent, more detailed story of my Japan adventure coming soon! I hope. ;) ~


k a r e n said...

I'm glad you enjoyed your stay in Japan. :)

I only went as far as Narita airport - our stop over on our way to Canada - and we were at the airport for 2 hours while we waited for our connecting flight. My experience of Japan and yours are entirely different considering the circumstances... you were visiting a country while I, at the time, was leaving the place I considered home. But even though I only saw the airport and nothing else, I was pretty impressed already with the cleanliness, the order and the enthusiasm of the people I encountered within those few hours. I can only imagine what else the country has to offer.

One day, I also hope to explore another country and just enjoy the experience. I admire you for taking the leap and making the most out of your trip.

Jela said...

Hi Karen!

For some strange reason, I never noticed your comment until now! :)

Anyway, YES, I did enjoy my stay in Japan. I'm probably annoying a lot of people because until now I still can't stop talking about my experience there. :D I just wish I can visit Japan again - there's just so many places begging to be explored!

I pray that you get your wish to visit another foreign country. I think if people have open minds and be willing to embrace the uniqueness of any country that they'll be visiting, it will always be a fun and learning experience. :)