Finding Yourself Abroad Pt.1

Hey everyone,

This year in November, I went on a trip to Japan. At the time I didn’t have a blog, therefore I wasn’t able to write about my trip. I decided to write about it because travelling can help one find themselves. Experiencing different cultures and lifestyles can aid in finding the next step for you.

Leaving Melbourne

My mother and I set out on our journey to Melbourne airport at 5:30am. As someone who hates getting up early, I was literally dead. Soon after arriving at the airport, I livened up, it finally hit me that in less than 13 hours I would be in Japan. I had planned the entire trip in Japan so a sense of leadership suddenly hit me. My mum who is terrified of travelling let me take control to check in and get us through customs. Now, this isn’t particularly a hard task but it was nice to feel like I was in control of something.

After a whole year of feeling like I didn’t understand anything that was going on, it was great to finally know what I was doing. And that’s a great part of travelling, you’re in control of what you want to do.

After checking in and going through customs, we had around 2 hours to kill so naturally, we ate. We eventually boarded the plane and settled in for our 10 hour flight. After getting comfortable we commenced the movie watching. This was particularly difficult because I was finally alone with my thoughts. Like many other people when alone with my mind; it wanders to the thoughts I don’t like to think about. However, I made it through the flight through continually distracting myself. Of course the free flight booze helped a lot.

Arriving in Japan

10 hours later, we arrived at Narita Airport in Japan. I was so excited for the journey to come. We were going to Osaka, Kyoto, Tokyo and Disneyland. Our journey would not start until the next day because we arrived at 5pm. If you’ve ever been to Narita airport, you’ll know that it’s a huge airport town with hotels everywhere.

We stayed at a hotel that night excitedly awaiting the adventures of the next day. At the hotel, we ate at an Italian restaurant. I’m not going to lie, Italian food in Japan isn’t great. I’m not saying all places are like that, but definitely with a majority of places, you aren’t going to get good Italian food. Regardless, it was still great. We ate pizza and I finally got to drink my Suntory Highballs again. The trip was off to a great start.

Off to Osaka

The first day of our trip started with us taking the bullet train (Shinkansen) to Tokyo station to catch another bullet train to Osaka. We brought cute little bento boxes to eat during the 3 hour train trip. The train ride was boring, but that’s just a part of travel, there’s going to be boring bits.

Eventually we arrived at our hotel in Namba, Osaka. I personally love Namba, there’s so much city vibes. There’s shopping, food stalls, bright lights and a few random things such as a hedgehog cafe. I got to hold a hedgehog. They are spikey scary little creatures, though that doesn’t make them any less adorable.

Because it took a huge chunk of our day to travel to Osaka we didn’t do much until the next day. The following day, we traveled to Universal Studios, which is the home of Harry Potter World. The rest of Universal Studios is pretty interesting to go see, however; Harry Potter seals the deal for me.

When approaching the Harry Potter themed world, you’re greeted by pine trees and the blue car Ron crashed.
Entering Diagon Alley you get to have a photo op with the Hogwarts Express.
Butterbeer is basically Creme Soda with a sweet cream on top. It’s pretty good and you get a souvenir cup.
The castle is open to explore. There’s also a ride within it, however; be warned wait times are very long.

Overall, Harry Potter World was a fun place to explore. There was a tonne of fantastic merchandise and they had these interactive wands that you could use around Diagon Alley. The wands would cause things to light up or chests to open. The atmosphere was great, it took you into the book.

In regards to the food at Harry Potter World, don’t eat at the restaurant unless you want to eat overpriced food. I remember ordering fish and chips for $20 and it was very underwhelming. There are other food stalls around the park which I recommend trying because it’s relatively cheap and delicious. Outside of the park there’s also pretty good food that is much more worth the price.

After a long day we wanted to go see Osaka Castle but we got lost using the train system. The trains in Japan are very confusing. we headed back to our hotel, rested and then went out to try some Kobe Beef. Now, I definitely recommend Kobe beef. If you’re going to have one expensive meal on your trip, have Kobe beef. It’s soft and melts in your mouth. Be warned though, the portion sizes can be very small depending on how much you order. If I remember correctly, we paid around $40 for 200g.

The particular one we went to served the beef in tiny portions with miso paste, garlic chips and wasabi. Don’t worry there was more.

The first day of our trip was amazing and my mother loved Harry Potter World. At that point, I was doing pretty okay and trying not to let any negative thoughts in. I was really trying to relax, shop and enjoy the travelling lifestyle. It was also the Japanese lifestyle that I found quite relaxing. I tried to have a bath every night as a lot of Japanese people do this. Walking everywhere is also very therapeutic, especially for someone who hates driving. I’m sure if I wasn’t on vacation and if I lived there it would be more stressful. But adopting those relaxing habits are something I hoped to bring back with me.

Thanks everyone for reading. I love sharing my experiences with others and reflecting on everything I’ve done. I hope to create more posts of my travels.

3 thoughts on “Finding Yourself Abroad Pt.1

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