So a few months ago I announced I would be travelling all the way over to Japan by myself for a week, and I made it. For a long time I have wanted to go to Japan, and in particular Tokyo because the lights, the culture, atmosphere and people inspired me over the Internet and in movies for a great number of years. Of course, Tokyo wasn’t my only dream for Japan as I still plan on visiting Kyoto and Osaka in the near future, but my time in Tokyo was one to be remembered for the rest of my life. This entire post is dedicated to why travelling alone changed my life forever.
For the past few months, I have been seriously MIA with my blogging and I have been slacking a lot in college because I have been pretty darn sad and wallowing in self-pity, so my trip to Tokyo was well needed to just get away from everything and ‘find myself’ almost, which was achieved. I wanted to go to Tokyo and realise the true beauty of life and why life was worth continuing on with, and I thought this would be best achieved alone with little contact with everyone back home. I knew that being in Japan myself would be terrifying in every sense because let’s face it: the language barrier is beyond anything else and not to mention the actual size of the city itself and just how many people inhabit it.
As soon as I got on that plane from Glasgow to London Heathrow I knew this was it, this was me finally taking control of mylife and which way it goes. I knew that this was it; gaining my own sense of freedom, independence and having the best feeling of liberation possible. My mum, friends, loved ones, everyone I know was worried about me going to just a huge country by myself but I knew deep down that everything would be fine. No one really knew why I was going to Japan by myself, or why I even wanted to and the truth is I didn’t want to tell anyone it’s because I had been so sad. I didn’t want people to know that I travelled all the way across the world by myself to truly discover the reason life is so unique and beautiful because I didn’t want to spark worries, but now that I’m home I want this message to get across to everybody and why I believe everyone should travel alone and away from their home country at least once in their lives.
The moment my flight touched down at Tokyo Haneda in the early hours of a bleak Tuesday morning after a 12 hour flight was bliss. I remember looking out my plane window and hysterically crying – but not with sadness for the first time in a long time I cried with nothing but sheer happiness and relief. I got off the plane and wandered around in what seemed like a completely different world: there were no longer English signs on the walls, it was all symbols and letters which I didn’t understand with small English translations beneath them. I made my way towards the immigration checkpoints on the lazy man’s airport walkway thing which are basically flat escalators and I just remember my heart pounding at a hundred miles per hour; it seemed like the walkway was a mile long and I kept feeling anxious but incredibly excited. After clearing immigration and booking my airport transfer to my hotel, I felt proud of myself for doing everything myself without the aide of my mum or some other responsible adult. After checking into my hotel room, being incredibly jet lagged and sleeping for quite an embarrassing number of hours, I felt like Tokyo was where I really belonged in life. Tokyo felt like home.
I remember getting really badly lost in Shinjuku Metro Station on my first day for about 2 hours, I couldn’t find my way to the Maranouchi line which was where I needed to be to get to Shibuya; I had to figure it out myself and it really did take a good number of hours walking and being confused but in the end I made it – a few wrong turns and a sweaty subway ride later, I was in Shibuya. Shibuya, the place I had looked at only on the Internet and seen in movies. Shibuya, where the world-famous Shibuya 109 stands and the most populated scramble crossing in the world is situated. I truly felt like I had made it, I was living the absolute dream and realised just how lucky and blessed I was to be in such a different part of the world experiencing everything firsthand. That’s when I first knew and realised that life is so much more than feeling sad and sleeping all day, every day without doing anything. That’s when I first knew that my purpose in life was to explore every nook and cranny and see every beautiful sight the world has to offer, because let’s face it, the world is the most beautiful thing we know of.
I have so much to tell everyone and show everyone and with that I can promise my blog is going to be constantly updated from now on, I will get back on track with everything now I am feeling a much happier and more positive person. I can’t wait to share my experience of Japan with every single one of you because if I can even inspire one person, then I feel I have done my job correctly. Don’t ever doubt yourself and don’t ever get scared to try new things. Bite the bullet and cast your own fears aside and with that, everything is possible and I believe in you.