Finding Home in the Most Unexpected of Places
There is nothing like being in an unfamiliar place, where you don't knSAow anyone, don't speak the language, and are immersed in a completely different culture than the one you know; to give you a bit of spiritual perspective.
For me this occurred in Japan, January of 2018. Japan has been Sam's (my boyfriend) dream destination forever, so it makes sense that it was our first big step out into the world. I was so happy and excited to be going away and experience somewhere new and different, regardless of the country.
Honestly, the only thing I thought I knew about the culture was the anime, which is not really my cup of tea, but boy was I wrong. I hardly saw anyone at all dressed like a character out of an anime or in the over the top ‘kawaii’ style they're known for. In all actuality I had never seen so many people so well dressed.
Everything was so clean and organised, the people were so friendly and polite, always willing to help you in any way they could, and everything ran on time (like, perfectly on time). I had never been anywhere that felt more like home than in the middle of Tokyo.
You could definitely say that this was unexpected. In a city 8,000 kilometres from my home, surrounded by more people than the entire population of my home state (Western Australia), who don't speak English, whose culture is vastly different than my own; I had somehow never felt more at home.
How can we possibly know where 'home' is if we've never ventured out into the world, never eaten strange food, never tried to communicate with someone who doesn't speak the same language as us, having to take turns speaking into google translate just to find out where the nearest bathroom is. How do you know where you fit in this big wide world, if you haven’t even explored it?
Sam and I enjoy travelling and made it a priority last year, visiting two new countries and going on three trips. We were fortunate enough to be able to spend the last days of 2018 in Malaysia and welcome the New Year in while on vacation. I enjoyed each of these places but never felt the same connection to them as I did to Tokyo, although they were nice to experience, I know that they are not a place I can call home.
This year I am choosing to shift my priorities a bit and really focus on completing my last year of university, saving my money, and growing my business. 2019 is going to be a year of growth, commitment and challenge, but will be one of the most fundamental years in establishing who I am, what I want, and taking some steps towards my future. However, I’m also excited to pack my suitcase again in 2020 for a year full of new experiences in new places all around the world, hopefully taking me back to Tokyo.
Have you ever felt this kind of connection to a place that you have visited? As though you know that this where your 'soul' longs to be? Where was it and how did you come to be there? I would love to hear all the details.