Our epic vacation is over and we are on our way home. We’ve been through immigration and I finally have my passport stamp and we are now waiting in the terminal. We can officially call ourselves international travelers! We are already talking about our next trip which I get to pick the destination of; though my husband keeps talking about when we come back we’ll do this and that this was really just a scouting trip for our “real” Tokyo adventure. He’s Japan crazy. I swear the entire vacation 95% of his brain was just screaming “I’M IN JAPAN!!!!!” I had to repeat myself a billion times, sometimes rather loudly, just to be heard.
Things I’ll miss:
A competent service industry. OMG I was speaking in a foreign language and yet not one of our meals was messed up I don’t get that kind of service from the McDonalds across the street from our apartment.
How clean everything was. I’m not saying there wasn’t litter but there was hardly any and every night when we got back to the hotel it was like we’d just checked in it was so clean.
Public transportation. We live in Raleigh, NC and while they do have bus systems they are not something I would use. At one point my husband looked to see if he could take the bus to work if his car broke down and while it would be possible it would take him hours and he would have to at one point walk over 2 miles to change bus lines. There was a lot of walking here at the subway and train stations just because some of them are HUGE but the most we ever walked between stations was 500 meters.
The exercise. Don’t tell anyone or I will deny it to my grave but I will miss the forced exercise. I don’t think I lost any weight, just because the only food I really ate was junk food or McDonalds chicken nuggets, but I have calves of steel right now. We made a vow that when we get home we will definitely exercise more. We made this vow because it’s for the future and it’s so easy to say I will do this when I get back home. Hopefully we actually hold to it.
Things I won’t miss:
The food. We ended up trying some local cuisine and boy do the Japanese have a different palate than ours. They had tuna mayonnaise pizza. Really do I need to say more? We ate at a place called Pepper Lunch a lot that we both enjoyed; there was also a McDonald’s like restaurant called Loteria that was good as well. Beyond that though we didn’t like anything we tried.
How small everything is. I’m short but not really compact and even I had to sit on our hotel toilet at an angle. Taking a shower was like a comedy routine. I felt like Godzilla and wanted to start rampaging all over the place. On our last night we went into a store and it had “normal” size aisles and I almost wept. Maybe I’m not a monster.
Overall I really enjoyed Japan and I’ve told my husband if he can meet certain prerequisites that we can live here for a couple of years. I learned so much and would love to learn more about the people.
Kristine’s International Travel Tips:
-Pack lighter than you think you need to, you can do laundry at your hotel
-Check your airport website for security info
-A small backpack to carry with you is a lot more comfortable than a messenger bag
-Make sure your shoes are walking shoes, running shoes are different
-Remember everything you buy you will have to cram into your luggage and carry yourself to the airport
-Unless you’re traveling specifically to write there is no reason to take 2 notebooks and multiple pens and pencils.
-Have a husband that does all the research for you so that you can just rely on him for everything 😀