Friday, July 22, 2011

Traveling Solo

I have been fortunate enough to travel...A LOT!  With that being said some of my most memorable trips are from childhood....when I was about 6 years old and my first time in Disney.  I was NOT a fan of Mickey Mouse and so refused a photo opp with him and the fam.  On the morning of our departure (an afternoon flight), I woke up feeling like a pretty confident 6 year old.  So I told the p-units that I wanted to take a picture with Mickey.  It was a series of chaotic events as we raced to get to the park and get the photo with enough time to make it to the airport.  Fail...we missed our flight and got another one, and spent 6 or so extra hours in the Chicago Airport with two children (6 and 4) in an attempt to arrive home on the same day.  My parents were SUPER excited ;-)

My next series of most memorable trips was definitely my time in Europe.  Living there for 3.5 months with Cameron was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! 

Ideally Cam is the best travel partner.  And yes he is my husband and yes its pretty important that we travel well together.  But it is more than that, I truly enjoy all the memories and moments when we are exploring.  We are able to strike a great balance that makes traveling fun.  As you all know Cam is a talker so we always meet interesting people and have dinner with them and learn more about wherever they're from and we've had many invitations and offers of places to stay!!  Pretty Cool!

Which leads me to the topic of traveling alone. For me its about the doesn't matter whether you're traveling with a spouse, friend, family, co-worker, classmates.  I feed off the energy of others, although I am confident in my navigation of public transit, maps, I have no problem eating alone in a restaurant.  But thriving on the energy of others is part of the excitement that traveling brings.  When you are in pair I've noticed that there is often more interaction with servers, shop owners, strangers!  But traveling alone to me lacks all of that added interest.  Not to mention you can't look 360 degrees at once!!  Gosh!! How am I suppose to spot that little cafe or that super cute shop if I can only look at one side at a time.  Not to mention sometimes its nice to have someone else around to put in there two cents. 

As a result I have realized although I am confident and comfortable enough to travel solo...I dislike :-)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Remember me?!

Greetings!  So I know it has been a long long time since I last posted and I decided this was long over due!

I am once again traveling in Japan.  Since the last time I was here during the Major earthquake that hit the East coast of the main land Japan on March 11.  During this trip I started in Misawa, Japan which is approximately 250-300 miles north of Tokyo.  Although the base I was on was about 15-20 miles inland the surround town I visited one day to work at had been affect by the tsunami.  As we drove down along the coast our driver pointed out areas where the tsunami came up and over the trees and into the city.  I can't imagine what that was like.

Having asked around a bit, I also found out that many people had no idea that the tsunami was coming.  After the earthquake communication and much of the power was out.  And since earthquakes happen anywhere and everywhere, I guess it wasn't necessarily the case that there would be a tsunami.  In the event that you would suspect there might be a tsunami...the only thing you can do is get away from the water.  Even on base the only procedure is to make sure everyone is OK and accounted for.  Its just part of living in Japan.

It is truly amazing the way the Japanese people have come back from the awful devastation and carry on with life.  Now that I am in Yokosuka, South but much closer to Tokyo than the beginning of my trip.  The people here continue to be affected by the 9.0 earthquake.  They are still short on power and in some areas the residents have gone into voluntary blackouts, in an attempt to avoid mandatory blackouts from the power companies like those that occurred immediately following March 11.

What a selfless and socially aware society!  I mean really, would this ever in a million years happen back home...I think not.  Here it is a way of life, end of story.  Which makes me truly appreciate my time here.  This being my last trip, it has allowed me to reflect and think about all the wonderful places I've had the opportunity to visit, the magnificent food and the special memories I'll have forever.

I hope that in the future I can bring Cam here and and show him around ;-)  I do have high hopes that I'll be back since I have been unable to cross of Kyoto and Mt Fuji during any of trips...both places on my bucket list!