In February 2015, I gallivanted around Japan alone (for the most part) living out of a very heavy suitcase. This trip was a big deal for me as it was my first time traveling alone, and also my second time going to Japan. I’ve never been to an overseas country twice before, and I had lots of fears both about being on my own, and also about getting bored as it wasn’t my first time there.
People always say traveling alone is one of the best life experiences you have, but none of my close friends had ever done it- I barely even had any acquaintances, male or female that had done it before. My first trip to Japan had been so overwhelmingly fantastic though, that I went Japan crazy and booked my next two plane tickets there within a short time span of returning home, without even consulting anyone as to whether they would go with me. It was very spontaneous and impulsive, but I didn’t regret it at all, until a few weeks leading up to my February trip. During my first trip to Japan, I had gone ahead of my friends and spent two days on my own, so I knew I could do it again.
Leading up to my solo Japan trip, I had a lot of fears about what I would do overseas, getting bored and lonely, getting lost, not having a good time, etc. In the end, my fears all turned out to be unfounded. When I got to Japan, I was surprised and glad to find that all the things I had ever heard about traveling alone, were in fact true.
The first couple of days I spent in Osaka, feeling very lonely. I got lost countless times and felt indecisive about what to do and where to go. After about 3 days of feeling lonely, I got used to the solitude and even began to enjoy it. I felt high on my own sense of independence, and felt confident in my abilities when I managed to get to where I was going without getting lost. I got used to going out alone, eating meals alone, living alone, and by the end of the trip, I didn’t want to come home anymore.
In the end, I was really glad that I took a risk and made the decision to travel to Japan on my own. I learned how to live in a foreign country on my own, and I never felt more independent in my life. I guess you could say I had the time of my life, and this trip really cemented my decision to move to Japan in the future. I’m not fluent in Japanese, so there were a lot of times where the language barrier was also an issue, but it was exhilarating and challenging to try and communicate with people when your language skills aren’t the best.
I met up with friends in Japan that I had known from before, and also met new ones. It was the first time in a long time that I had been pushed outside my comfort zone, and I loved the thrill of it. During my last week in Japan, I felt really sad knowing that my solo winter Japan adventure would soon be at an end. My only consolation was that I knew it wouldn’t be too long until I came back. So with a heavy heart, I bid farewell to my friends in Japan, with promises all around that we’d meet again in July.