Thursday, March 31, 2016

Japan Dreaming

Not more than a few months pass before I become Mr. Antsy Pants and yearn for my next adventure. I've been caught a few times daydreaming of Columbia recently and man oh man I miss that place. I think Columbia is a country where I could not just visit, but move permanently. That train of thought got me thinking about our annual cycling trip...we batted ideas around for a few weeks before settling (if you can call it that) on Japan. I know what you're thinking...back to Asia...

AGAIN! It looks like it!

I'll be traveling with my brother and Pops via japanbiking.com on their May 19-28th tour. Afterward I will be able to identify each and every ethnicity by face within the continent of Asia. A feat not a lot of white dudes can claim.

I've wanted to visit Japan ever since learning about WWII and the insanely cruel things humans do to one another. I remember debating America dropping the nuclear bombs in my English Literature class in 8th grade with Kai Sato (a successful dude, I've googled him). I was quite the utilitarian philosopher back in those days and believed that in order to stop the violence, drastic measures needed to be taken. I believed it was the best choice in a litany of bad alternatives.

Suffice to say, I disagree with my younger self today. Dumbass younger self. Go sit in the corner and stop listening to Tupac while you're at it.

If you peruse the website above, you will see that we stop at Hiroshima, where the first Atomic bomb was dropped in warfare. I get a lump in my throat just thinking about the level of destruction and the pain and anguish that city and its residents endured on that fateful day in August, 1945. And to think, my father was born only 2.5 years later. I am preparing for an emotional rollercoaster that day similar to my experience visiting My Lai in Vietnam.

We fly into Tokyo, where serendipitously, my former roommate is now living. She is providing me tips to make our trip move smoothly. I know Japanese like I know cooking, which is to say even making Mac n' Cheese is a struggle. I lived with her during my graduate school years attending American University in Tenleytown. She was an undergraduate. I hope to connect with her and her friends at some point since we have about 4 days in Tokyo on the front end of the trip. In preparation I found a delicious Hibachi restaurant down the street so my taste buds are prepped.

Another key highlight of this trip will be Kyoto. I have heard many wonderful things about Kyoto -- its sophistication and charm so I am enthused about this part as well. Hopefully I can find a geisha or two...just kidding!

I am biking a bit more lately and trying to lose a little of my gut so that I won't be the slowest one up some of the steep ascents awaiting. I've been unwittingly beefing up recently by eating more, lifting more and reducing cardio. Apparently that's a recipe for weight gain...who knew?!?!?

Besides that I am excited to be moving south to Richmond, Virginia in the next 3 months. I am actually incredibly excited as I have grown more and more dissatisfied with the big city life of DC. I am eager to buy a home and make it our own and I'm anxious to join new clubs and groups and make new friends. The next few months entail many hours of job hunting and home searching and traveling (to visit my sister and her new baby in San Diego!)

I will make an effort to keep you apprised of any new developments and start posting again. I miss it. After being absent the past 6-8 months I can definitively say I miss the cathartic nature of sitting down and typing.

Please comment with any thoughts, comments, suggestions and of course flattery if I have any loyal readers left who check this thing once a year. I will also be posting photos of course of our journey so look out for that!