Japan-aholic

A blog about culture and love in Japan

You Want To Travel? Then Do It.

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In the course of one’s life, there are always some people who affected us more than others. Some of them may stay very good friends, and some others are just passing by for a very short time, and then we never hear of them again.

But they still left their mark on their way.

There is such a person in my life that I’ll always remember of. In 2013, I was living in Kyoto in a house shared with other foreigners for a couple of weeks. They were all awesome people, and we had a great time together visiting the amazing temples and castles that this beautiful city has to offer.

Fushimi inari taisha, in Kyoto

The famous orange gates in Fushimi Inari, in Kyoto

And there was that girl around my age who I was sharing a room with. We were only seperated by a tiny paper door, without any lock on it. She was going to stay in Japan for three months to study Japanese in a school near where we were living.

Everytime we were eating dinner, I saw her taking some kind of medication. I, being a curious person, was always wondering what it was for, but it was also none of my business, so I never asked. I didn’t have too, because she told me why on my last week of staying in the house.

She was epileptic. The absence type of seizures, not the convulsive ones. She told me that sometimes she was afraid she might actually have absences everyday without knowing it, because she usually can’t notice if she does one.  I thought about it a lot, what it would be like to never know if you’re going to be unable to control your body for an unknown laps of time. Just the thought made me anxious, so I can’t imagine what it’s really like.

She said she was also slightly autistic. She needed reassurance, a routine and a nice environment to live in. She was talking to her mother everynight on Skype, chatting about life, about her anxieties. But all in all, she was doing pretty well.

And then, I thought about how some of my friends back home said they could never do what I was doing, even if they really wanted to. They said they could never, at 19 years old, go on a trip of almost three months in a country where they almost don’t speak the language and live with host families found on internet.

But those friends were usually perfectly healthy, without any health or mental issues, and not having to take medication everyday. So, what is holding them back? The society who dictates that you should finish school as soon as you can and then get a job immediately? Or the fear of the unknown?

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The girl who I shared my room with in Kyoto had the guts that most people don’t have to do what she dreamed of. Even if it was hard for her. Some people might have thought she would never achieve such a thing, but she did it. It was admirable.

I used her as an example more than once to encourage people to do what they really want to, but I had never put it here, on my blog.

So today, I’m addressing to all of you who want to travel but are being held back by something. Is it the money? Then work your a** off. Make your own money, even if it’s in a boring part-time job. Using your money that you earned the hard way and spending it on someting important to you is always a good feeling. For some reasons, the people I met in Japan always thought my parents were paying that trip for me, but it wasn’t the case at all. I was pretty proud to say it was all MY money that I had earned all by myself.

But if it’s not the money that is holding you, what is it? Is it the society? The pressure put on your shoulders to finish school as soon as possible? The lack of support of the people around you who say that traveling is a waste of time and is not a good idea?

I’m just going to tell you one thing, then: school can wait, work can wait, but regrets, they are forever. I prefer living adventures and going head first in the unknown than having any regrets.

It is your choice, but if you are interested in living abroad/traveling, I highly recommend it. The experience and joy that you get from it is impossible to explain. Just go for it! At least, you won’t have any regrets. You might even meet someone very special and fall in love, who knows?

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Author: Jasmine

Jasmine is a 20-something years old French-Canadian student and part-time blogger who loves traveling, drawing, listening to (all kind of) music and eating (everything). To achieve one of her biggest dream, she went in Japan for two months and a half as a tourist in 2013. She was an exchange student at Daito Bunka University in Saitama (near Tokyo) during the year 2014 - 2015. She is now studying to eventually become a nurse back in Canada, so she lacks time to write about Japan. You can still read all her posts on her blog, since she'll let them there for you to enjoy :)

9 thoughts on “You Want To Travel? Then Do It.

  1. Awesome article! It gives some boost to those who don’t feel “brave” enough to take on the challenge. And I’m one of those. Because there are a bunch of stuff that prevent me from travelling… But yeah, good job with the article! 😀

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    • Thank you!
      I’m glad it helped you 😀
      I have a lot of friends who are in the same situation as you, and I’ve been there too, so I understand.
      Don’t forget to do what you REALLY want!

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  2. Very nicely written!

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  3. Easier said than done. I would love to get out of my hometown, if not for travel then for career, and just something new…. I’m fed up of the place, there are few opportunities (jobs, relationships and everything else).., the problem is the “work your ass off” part – where I live, PT jobs are actually zero hour contract jobs, meaning you are called upon at a moment’s notice to work x hours – there is no guarantee of a minimum weekly income, and sometimes there are situations when you are called to work 2 or 3 hours which is just eaten up by your travel costs.

    Therefore I’m not even in a position to save enough to travel, as I can’t save. I’m either spending everything I have on basic living costs, or I’m on welfare – spending everything on basic living costs.

    Obviously getting a full time job, I can save up enough in a year and get a good few months of travel.

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    • That’s right! It is NOT easy, but I believe it is totally possible 🙂
      Actually, I said part-time job, but it can also be a full-time job, of course! It’s even better. The thing is, even if it’s not the best job you ever had, then at least you have something to look forward to (traveling!). I just don’t get people who refuse every jobs (don’t even apply) just because it doesn’t look super fun, and then complain that they have no job and no money to travel. For me, any job could do at that time. Money is money! As long as it goes with my values, then it’s fine I think! Because I know it’s only for a short time, and that the reward will be great. I was (and still) cleaning rooms in a hospital. I mean, that’s not the most glorious work ever, but it pays well, so why not?

      So yeah, it’s not easy! It also depends of the country, but I’m sure there is a way somehow 😀 You can always go work in another country, too! Anyway, don’t give up 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I completely agree with you! My childhood, teen years and early twenties were all about doing what my father wanted. I was desperate for his acceptance and instead of pursuing my own interests in education, music, dancing, traveling and hobbies, I always ended up doing what he wanted. I wanted to travel before studying mathematics or art at university, but he didn’t agree. I tried to do him proud and did what he wanted. I even ended up getting a Master’s degree in Business, even though I hate that field. I was absolutely miserable and yet I never got his acceptance.

    About ten years ago, my father decided to step out of my life and I started living my life the way I wanted, by making my own decisions. I have never been happier! I have traveled my heart out, I’ve been living abroad in different countries for more than 8 years, I’m married to the love of my life, and I’m pregnant!

    I regret listening to my father my whole young life and not standing up for myself. But I regret nothing of what I decided for myself afterwards and all of the traveling I’ve done.

    Friends in the Netherlands often refer to me as brave for continuously moving to a new and unknown country without hesitation. I don’t regard myself as brave. I know I would be unhappy if I didn’t and I often feel like I am actually escaping a ‘normal’ life because I no longer want to be miserable.

    I am happy now and like you I would advise anyone to just go for it. You only live once, don’t let anything hold you back.

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    • Seeking acceptance of our parents is totally normal. I understand what happened to you. Unfortunately, it often keeps us to do what we really want, like in your case.

      Parents always want what’s best for their children. They might not understand why their children want to travel and they might think it’s just a bubble that will pass with time. Or, in the case of my mother for example, she wants her children close to her because she wants to help us in case we need her. But I know it makes her proud that I can live in another country all by myself and learn another language. It might be the case for you father, too. I’m sure he’s still proud of you. The job of a parent is to take care of their kids, but it’s also to educate them and make them independant, so that they can stand on their own and leave the nest. So, as much as we love them and they love us, at the end of the day, it’s still your decision to take your life in your own hands. I’m glad you made that decision!

      Thank you for your words of encouragement, too 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Jasmine.

        My mom misses me too, but she’s proud I am able to build a life from scratch anywhere. She’s happy we’ve chosen the UK for a while now, especially now I’m pregnant with her first grandbaby, it’s only a 1 hour flight from the Netherlands and she’s already coming over for her 4th visit this Monday! She knows we’re likely to move further abroad again in a few years, but for now she absolutely loves having us in Europe!

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