I can’t believe I’m going home tomorrow (temporarily)… While I’ve only been traveling for 2 months it feels more like 6 months (in a good way). Sharing rooms, talking to strangers, getting lost, leaving my comfort zone, seeing new things, having little routine, etc. has become my norm.
I took the bullet train back to Tokyo and I felt good knowing already where my hostel was because I chose to stay in the same one. I was beyond happy to see my large bag was still there! I checked in and someone managed to fit all of my things into either my big bag, backpack or carry on shopping bag. I had signed up last week for a futsal tournament that was for 6pm today. It was 45 minutes away by transit and I was feeling a bit lazy but I told myself I had to go. When else was I going to play soccer in Japan? Also, it was only 5pm and it was too early for bed. So, I went.
It was beautiful out and the games would be played outside! I wore my soccer shorts, which I had brought as pajamas and my T-shirt that I got after bungee jumping in New Zealand, also used as pajamas. I only had tennis shoes, but luckily it was short carpet turf so I wouldn’t slide around too much. The field consisted of boards put over a swimming pool and covered in sheets of blanket turf. Not the best or safest, but I was just eager to play! There were about 18 of us there, 3 teams of 6. I was the only girl. I haven’t played a game in 5 months, and I haven’t been working out much either so I was a little nervous. I could tell they were kind of judging me too, hoping I wouldn’t suck and screw up their game. I was asking a few about themselves as we warmed up and they were giving me short answers. Sorry fellas, I can actually play and talk at the same time 😉
The game started and it didn’t take long for them to realize I was here to play. I was in my element, playing well and having a blast. My fitness level was actually okay too! I had a couple goals, many assists, a few nutmegs and fake-outs. I even had a few impressive defensive stops. I was proud when I heard one of them call me a warrior. Once, while taking my rotation as goalie one of them took a shot and it hit me hard square on the leg. He apologized multiple times, but I just told him if he would have shot the ball even harder he might have actually scored 😉
After 2 hours of play, we ended and said our goodbyes. I went to head back to my train station when I realized that my 2G of data I had bought must have ran out. Perfect! I had never been to this area before! I did get on the wrong train, but eventually managed to get on the right one and 25 minutes later that it should have taken, I made it back. I showered and then went to bed, or least attempted, I can never sleep before a big flight!
Halfway point.. there are several things that I’ve realized.
Did I get bored? Never! There are too many things to experience out in this world to feel bored.
Did I feel tired? At times, yes, but no more than I would at home. I’ve done a good job of taking time to rest and not feeling guilty about it. I also move around enough and a new city refuels my energy.
Did I miss home? Of course, but not enough to call it quits. I would love see some friends or family but the amount of new people I’m meeting here kind of fills that void in an obviously different way.
Have I spent more money than planned? Only in New Zealand, but that was a conscious choice to experience specific thrills. And then maybe some of the shopping in Japan 😉
Did I pack the right things? For the most part yes. I could have used more winter clothes in Japan. I didn’t need to bring laundry detergent. Of course, I could have used a few more clothes, but I really didn’t have room.
Best part? Meeting new people and experiencing new things with them. The people I met were in the same mindset as me and that was perfect. Everyone was open, appreciative and excited. I loved seeing all of the beauty, culture and landmarks that each city had to offer, but just as beautiful were the connections I made along the way.
Worst part? Nothing. Little things went wrong along the way but that is life and that made it interesting. Perhaps I just had the right attitude, but that’s okay too.