Nomadic at heart
I am restless by nature. Flighty, some (my mother) might say. Having spent my entire twenties on a nomadic journey, in the past decade I have called 7 cities and 12 different apartments "home." For me, the onset of routine and repetition stir up a longing for the unknown and unexplored. And when that happens, I move.
In 2012, I relocated to San Francisco from Los Angeles to be with my long distance love, David. Nearing the end of our twenties and talking about marriage, I assumed that my nomadic days were over. I told myself that this was okay - perhaps it was time to plant roots. David and I set about starting our new life, discovering the city together and creating our own little traditions.
For a while I relished in the stability of our life, a stark difference from the years I'd spent always searching for what was next. But, alas, it didn't take long before the restlessness set in. I soon found myself planning trips for us outside of the city nearly every weekend - the explorer in me was not content in retirement. And then, something unexpected and wonderful happened. Just before Christmas last year, David - my knight in shining armor - came to my rescue with a proposition: moving to Japan. He had been recruited for a 2-year rotation with his company in Tokyo as part of their global deployment program. My mind was immediately flooded with visions of wandering the red lantern strewn alleyways of Tokyo, hiking to the infamous snow-capped peak of Mt. Fuji and bathing in a steaming onsen on a foggy morning. And Japan was just the beginning - Tokyo was a launch pad to Thailand's postcard beaches, Hong Kong's dizzying skyscrapers, Vietnam's savory street food and Bali's, well, BALI. And I'd see it all with my favorite person next to me? I couldn't say 'yes' fast enough.
Unfortunately moving to a foreign country is not a quick process. It's time intensive, with a lot of paperwork, a lot of waiting and a lot of logistics. It took about 4 months until we excitedly received our Visas, and shortly thereafter we boarded a 10.5-hour one-way flight across the Pacific to Narita. Although I poured over all things Japan for months leading up to our take off, outside of traditional travel guides I found it difficult to locate many first person accounts (in English) of life in Tokyo. I wanted a blog akin to those I read in the U.S. to tell me about off-the-beaten-path restaurants and stores in Tokyo and where to go during our weekend excursions in Japan's countryside. As I chronicle our explorations here over the next 24 months, I hope to also help guide those traveling to Japan - and provide a virtual window into a far-away land for those just visiting from their computer screen.
As I write this, I'm sitting in a coffeehouse in Harajuku, taking in the street style from my post at the window ledge. While I sip my latte and nibble on a "NY Ring" (that's Tokyo for a cronut), I can't help but wonder where tomorrow will take me. And I love it.