This photo was taken towards the tail end of my 2 week solo trip to Japan. I normally don’t post selfies. But I think I’m starting to get it. It’s not really about the good looks or whatnot, it’s about capturing a memory, a feeling that you don’t want to forget. And I like the feeling I had the moment I took this photo.
I haven’t gone on a solo trip since my Eurotrip back in 2013. It’s been 5 years since then. What was I doing the whole time? Well… I was trying to be “responsible” stay in one place and get a normal job so I could finally have some sort of financial security. That never quite happened and I became quite unhappy. Art. As I’ve experienced firsthand, is a very difficult way of making a living. Those of you who know me know that I became quite miserable.
This trip to Japan spanned 8 different cities, more trains, buses and hostels than I can count, and a whole lot of new friends. Don’t get me wrong. I was pretty damn tired by the time I took this photo. It was a last minute trip that I didn’t even intend on going on. Every night was met with a scramble of, “What am I doing tomorrow? How am I getting there? Where am I staying? How much will it all cost?” Not to mention the language barrier which often led to rather hilarious and awkward situations. I got significantly tanner because I was out exploring everyday, and my feet! Damn, I needed a foot massage bad! Haha. It’s tiring. But it’s the sort of tiring that I really enjoy. It’s kind of fun not quite knowing what I’m going to be doing the next 48 hours and having to figure it all out.
I ate a bowl of chashu ramen that night with a side of daikon salad and chicken karaage. I also got a can of Kirin beer to accommodate my late night trek back to the traditional Japanese house I was staying at. The doors were only 5 feet tall. I banged my head several times but it was nice sleeping on the tatami mats. I was uncomfortably comfortable during those 2 weeks. And I was very very happy.
by Jason Lam