It’s been a while since I had a personal trip last time without thinking about work at all, which taught me many things!
For 10 days, I had a family trip to China and Thailand. In this article, I would like to write about some general trip advice, recommended places, how to get there and how much as well as what lessons I learned.
“Please talk about the Latin American and Caribbean region you worked for, and compare with the Asian region”
Once I had an job interview for the position of Asian regional office, and this was one of the questions I was asked. I remember that I could not answer very well (e.g. I said something like “Latin America has the highest inequality rate in the world whereas Asia has high rate of natural hazard and out of school children so there are different challenges…).
At that time, I was not confident about my answer at all, and even after working in this Asian region for nearly 2 years, I don’t think I have clear answer. Part of the reasons is that Asia is too diverse to generalize, which I have seen in the last 3 months when I travelled.
A few days ago, I just came back from the trip in “China＋α” (I will get into “α” shortly).
This country is indeed huge and has long history of more than 3,000 years. But the notion of the country for China is not as simple as other nations.
Also, since I am a train/bus lover over subway/airplane because the former allows you to see the landscape. This time, I traveled about 3,000km on the road (by train, bus or mini van) from Hong Kong (special adiminstrative region of China) to Beijing, Inner Mongolia (autonomous region in China) and to Ulaanbaatr (Mongolia, a country).
So in this blog, I will write about just one piece of this country with 3,000＋ years’ history as well as how I made that 3,000km road trip.
Opportunity opens up your antenna, which enables you to find something attractive.
To take an example of shopping, when you have no idea of what you want, it’s hard to find something attractive, whereas when you know what you want, it’s easier to find it in a store.
It’s because your antenna is wide open for finding that specific thing.
For me, it was Japan toward which I opened my antenna. When I was in Japan, I had little interest in touristic places in my country. But since I started living abroad, I became aware of being Japanese, which opened my mind to my own country. And every time I return, I decided to visit specific places I’d never been. And the more I travel, the more I realize that there are such a many great places that I never get bored of traveling.
But of course, traveling in Japan is not cheap, and I usually don’t have so much time when I return. This time, I spent only 1 week in Japan as a transit from Chile to Mongolia, but I could visit quite many places. And that was JR pass which made my journey possible.
It’s been ages since I posted my previous entry. Within a lees than a month, I have moved quite a lot:
- Flying from Chile to Japan (total about 40 hours, including 8 hours transit in Canada)
- Traversing Eastern and Northern Japan (total 4 days by train including super bullet one “Shinkansen”)
- Flying from Japan to Mongolia (total 15 hours, including 9 hours transit in South Korea)
- Moving in a new apartment 1 week after I came to Mongolia (4 minutes by a car)
From my experience of moving, be it changing a place to live or traveling, I realized that there are 5 important things when it comes to big and quick move:
It feels good to be back.
Every time I get back from travelling, I have a sense that time had passed more than it did. It’s been more than 10 years since I started travelling by myself. When I went outside of Japan for the first time, I met a old woman in Northern Thailand who said something which really got me thinking:
If I am comfortable with my life, why do I want to travel (leave the place)?
Given that human beings have instincts to make a life easier and safer, what she said totally makes sense. But at least from my experience, there are 3 main reasons to get out of your comfort zone to travel alone over with someone else: learning life skills, having a flexibility and meeting new people.
Approximately a hundred years ago, there were two fishermen on a wooden boat who accidentally thrown back into the Pacific Ocean. 5 days later, having no idea of where they were heading toward, they landed at the place they called a continent. Those were the fishermen from the Robinson Crusoe Island (originally from the continent).
In 2012, a year after the tragic accident, their very grand (grand-grand?) sons had a community project of making a same wooden boat and deliberately sailing from the island to the continent, in order to revive the legend. Many people on the island helped to make it, and pinned their hope on three men, who arrived at the continent 5 days later just like their ancestors did. I happened to meet with one of the three men, who told me the following:
“We want to change the negative image of our island and let the world know that we have great people and culture.”
Although I was there only for 4 days, I kind of understood what he meant.
This is the last entry of the Robinson Crusoe.
- General information and how to get there
- Relationship between the Robinson Crusoe Island and the novel Robinson Crusoe
- The real situation I saw on the Island