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When I travel foreign country, the first 5 phrases I try to learn in their language are:
Hello, Thank you, I am sorry, where is the bathroom? How much is it?
This entry deals with the field of the last phrase, in particular exchange of money. Although each country has their own culture, almost every country has monetary system, and because of the globalization, there are more and more needs of traveling and using foreign currency.
However, exchanging money is not a easy task, thus it is quite normal not to know the best way. That’s why this entry will try to take you to the journey to explore on (1) How to read the money exchange table, (2) Exchanging from local to foreign currency and (3) Vise versa (from foreign to local currency)
English, Español, Français, 日本語
Update: This post is the Mongolian series. Please check part 2, part 3. part 4, and part 5
The time of transition has come.
That’s why I decided to write a series of post about Mongolia, the country I lived for around 3 years.
In this series, I will write about many things such as context of countryside, city and suburban area, culture and people I met as well as my reflection on those, etc.
But firstly, I would like to address the answer to the following question I tend to receive from many people:
Why Mongolia? Continue reading
Since I came to Mongolia, I had transits in Seoul more than 10 times, but usually within 3 hours so I just tend to stay in the comfortable airport.
The last time I had a transit, however, I had about 6 hours, which I thought was enough to get out of the comfort zone, see the city and come back.
If you have been there, you know that there is free transit tour organized by the airport (options of 2-5 hours). But as a person with traveller’s mindset (although don’t travel as much as I used to), I decided to travel alone. The good thing about this airport is that there is free wifi. But I couldn’t find information on traveling alone within short time, so wanted to share some tips on traveling alone for long hour transit, which I think can be applicable to other countries. Continue reading
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 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.
Surviving day by day for more than 4 years on a desert island, eating turtles, teaching parrots to speak, taming wild animals, helping a prisoner to train as a slave. Those are some of the highlights from the novel “Robinson Crusoe” (Daniel Defoe, 1719).
I guess If those who have read this novel have a chance to visit the Robinson Crusoe Island, many of them would get excited to be in the novel world, just like I did.
According to the people of the island, however, there is a common misunderstanding in this regard, and furthermore, there was a Japanese explorer who got involved with this island, upon which I will touch in this second entry of the Robinson Crusoe Island’s series.
- 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
Please take a few seconds (minutes or even hours) to think about the following question:
What is happiness for you?
Well, honestly I don’t have an answer to that, and I’m sure everybody has different views toward that big question. To me, however, at least I came to understand what is NOT a key factor of happiness: money is not what defines a happy life. I strongly realized this when I was in a particular country in 2011. That country is…Salsa, Jazz, Foods, Cars…….yes, CUBA!