Today is my last day in Tokyo. It’s the end of Golden Week. I have work tomorrow.
Despite the whirlwind speed of vacation time, I’m very happy with everything I’ve been able to see and do. Everything went beautifully even when not according to plan. In fact, the times of straying from our course took us to some small fun adventures like crazy dancing in Yoyogi Park or a mysterious rave in the street or beautiful shops in the back roads or a cafe that folds up the front of the store to the amazing cool weather and makes the perfect iced latte. It was the kind of trip you couldn’t have planned the way it went because so many of the nice small things were unplanned.
Highlights: Making a new friend-someone I’d visit one day. Meeting Ariel. Dr. Pepper in a vending machine. Real American food. Using my excellent map skills. Perfect iced lattes in the morning. Rainy Tokyo. Sunny Tokyo. Safety. Beautiful parks. Harley Davidson store-and a kind gift from them. A giant ferris wheel ride. Sumo match (today!) Tokyo tower. A six story Forever 21. Japanese fashion. People watching. Public transportation. DisneySea. A guy in the hostel standing around in his (small) skivvies. The Imperial Palace. A giant fake Haagen-Das cake. Shibuya crossing. Overnight buses. An art museum. Children exclaiming “gaijin” and wanting to talk to us. Jamaican food with my favorite Jamaican. Knowing my new friends better and appreciating them more.
Everything had something special for me to treasure. Experiences are what make a person and this experience was more than a vacation during Golden Week. I’m so exhausted from doing so much, but I feel surprisingly clear headed, ready for the beating I’ll surely feel at work (it’s a draining job for me personally), and excited to think of new possibilities like a career and travels. I don’t know what I’ll do next but I’m sure it will be an adventure.
I never thought of myself as a city girl. I live in a farming area in a town where the population sign said 721 for as long as I can remember (now we are like 780!). And Hartford has been a great place to grow up despite the many things that could be improved there. But if there ever was a city to live in, go big or go home. Tokyo is it. I’d definitely need to escape sometimes, but I could easily make this my place of residence. First I’d need a nice paying job but I’m already plotting in my head the possibilities of a gaijin living in Tokyo.
I’m thankful for a place like Tokyo, for the memories here, the friendships that grew, and the chance to experience a new culture. In the end I hope I was glorifying Christ by my actions while I was here. I only “vacationed” but I hope I was kind and that the Japanese are able to see a connection with kindness and Jesus. They have definitely been gracious to me.
Today is the end of this big small trip. For as long as I can remember I have prayed to travel the world. Even as a child that’s all I wanted to really do with my life. It took 22 years to get out of North America and I can’t imagine not traveling now. I must always do it for God’s glory or it’s a waste, though. God blessed me with these unique experiences and I am responsible for making them eternally worthwhile.
If I do then hopefully there will be many more last days.
Love from Tokyo.