THE BEGINNING OF ANOTHER ADVENTURE…
Welcome back to Tokyo blog fans! We’re back in Shinjuku, amongst the neon lights, traffic, chaos and fun of one of Tokyo’s liveliest areas. This is the starting point for our 2015 travel adventure and we’re SUPER excited to be starting out on our next epic trip. That’s right folks, we’re off AGAIN!
We just had such a great time in 2013, travelling through Asia, Europe and Africa, that we just had to do it again. This time we’re hoping to enjoy a few places we didn’t get to last time, and revisiting Japan because we just love it here. We’re starting in Asia and, as well as seeing more of Japan, we’re thinking of taking in China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore. We’ve seen bits and pieces of South East Asia on short trips before, but have never spent any extended time in this region. So we’re keen to soak up the wonder of Angkor Watt; cruise down the mighty Mekong on a slow boat; and eat our body weight in spicy, delicious food.
China will be a completely new experience for us; and with the language and culture being so very different to what we’re used to, it will no doubt be an interesting month….
We’re also going to enjoy a few months in Western Europe, chilling out in Portugal; sampling some of Spain’s best jamon iberico; hiking through Andorra’s remote mountainous regions; soaking in the sun of France’s southern beaches; sampling the chocolate and beer in Belgium; experiencing Amsterdam and The Netherlands; and traipsing through the English/Scottish/Irish/Welsh countryside.
The last trip we did in 2013 was about shedding our skin and getting away from it all – away from the pressures of work, bills, the ever-present mortgage, responsibilities. We had gotten stuck in a rut of too much work and not enough fund and adventure in our lives, and the time we took off to travel really helped us escape from those constraints (mental/emotional, as well as physical), and redefine the focus of our lives. After working for the last 18 months to save up a bit more money, this trip is really just about the sheer pleasure of being on the road again. We love long term travel – the freedom of it; the adventure of it; the opportunity to challenge yourself in new (and sometimes slightly traumatising ways); the opportunity to meet new people, and learn and expand your horizons. It’s AWESOME!
The opportunity presented itself this year again so we’ve taken another 12 months off “grown up” life and are looking forward to more fun and laughs. For now though we’re just happy to be warmly ensconced in our tiny (even by Japanese standards this room is TINY) hotel room, having survived a long*, smelly# and boring transit day. We’ve had a shower and sloughed off the day’s travel funk. Dinner was some awesome udon noodles from an eatery across the road, and now all that remains is some crappy Japanese TV (preferably one of those variety shows they love so much over here) and a good night’s sleep.
*We flew into Tokyo from Singapore on one of the new, giant A380’s. Those planes are incredible, but one of the downsides of travelling with 850 of your new closest friends is the time it takes for all those people to be processed through Immigration and Customs. To make the whole process even more lengthy, two other A380s arrived at the same time as our plane today. It took us an hour and a half to get out of Narita airport this morning and on the train into Tokyo. Urgghhhhh…. SOOOOOOO tedious.
#I had the stupendous misfortune of sitting next to a rather flatulent young man for the 7 hour journey into Tokyo. Sitting on the other side of me, Shane was lucky enough to be spared the worst of it. Not me though. I got the full experience – like a olfactory degustation menu of gross. By the time breakfast was served the last thing I wanted was eggs.
Tomorrow the exploring begins! Stay tuned if you want to see how we go being back on the road again….