Pre-Departure Log for Asia Trip
So…I’m spontaneously flying to Japan next week. I booked my tickets/hotels and planned my entire itinerary in a matter of a few days, so this is still pretty surreal for me. It will be my first time traveling alone (eek!) and I plan on vlogging/blogging the whole thing.
I’ve been planning to visit family in Taiwan for a while now, so this isn’t exactly unexpected, but the timing of it is. I’m hoping that traveling alone will help me reconnect with myself, with God, and heal from the relational injuries I’ve sustained this past month. Traveling alone is really out of character for me, because I’m usually a homebody who prefers to curl up in bed with my laptop. But, I know that it’s integral to my growth and self-reliance. It will also help me to get out of my current funk (that’s the plan, at least). Almost all of the times I’ve traveled abroad have been with other people who were entirely responsible for navigating and planning the trips. I’ve always been the good-for-nothing passenger on these trips, passively enjoying the trip without doing any of the work. To be clear, it’s not that I couldn’t navigate—I just never had to.
So this time, I’ll be the one responsible for navigating and planning my entire trip. There’s also the issue of language…unfortunately, I don’t speak an ounce of Japanese (besides basic greetings). But google translate should be sufficient for me to get by. ;)
I’ve only traveled to Japan once before…many years ago with my mom. We were only there for two days, and barely got to see anything besides Shibuya crossing. I was also deathly sick at the time with a cold and fever so I wasn’t really able to enjoy my time there. I sometimes still salivate when I think back to the delicious chicken udon I had at Narita Airport—it was THAT good, and I’ve wanted to go back ever since.
The thing I’m most nervous about is transportation. The Tokyo metro lines are ridiculously complicated and I only have google maps to direct me…haha. I could always take a taxi but it’s really expensive I hear… Another issue is the language barrier. From what I remember (from the two day trip with my mom), Japanese people aren’t really good at English. Even store clerks and hotel staff will speak exclusively in Japanese. So, if I need to ask for directions….well, good luck to me.
The thing I’m most excited about is CUTE CAFES and MATCHA DESSERTS. I’m a sucker for matcha and Japan is the capitol of all matcha desserts. I’m one lucky gal haha. I also can’t wait to nom on all the cute desserts Japan has to offer (fluffy pancakes, lattes, etc.). I’m not as much of a foodie when it comes to actual meals…but I still look forward to trying the delish ramen/udon/tempura/sushi in Japan.
This will also be my first time vlogging a solo trip, so I’ll probably make a fool of myself carrying a bulky camera around and talking to myself. :P But, good thing I’m pretty shameless and unafraid of embarrassing myself out in public. (I’ll never see those people again anyway.)
After Japan, I will be headed to the motherland—Taiwan!! I’ll be seeing fam and friends and I can’t wait!!! It’ll be my last chance before med school to unwind and spend quality time with loved ones. And ultimately, Taiwan is pretty unbeatable when it comes to food and sight-seeing. ;) Taiwan > any Asian country. Feel free to fight me on that.
I’m not going to spoil my actual trip itinerary (I’ll be sure to blog every day with pics on my website, so stay tuned!).