When a trip like this ends, I usually say “I can’t believe 3 months passed just like that”. This time it’s a bit different. I can believe it. I’ve been prepared for this moment from the very beginning. What I cannot believe, is the amount of knowledge and experience that I’ve gained throughout these 3 months. Sure, maybe I didn’t achieve much in the lab, but there is so much more than academic literacy that I’ve gained, and it’s hard to completely encompass it in words.
I took up this trip, a challenge that I didn’t even regard as difficult until I got here. I don’t know if that even counts if I underestimated it, but in the end, it still has its place on my resume.
I talked to people and put myself out of my comfort zone. When I look back on my trip to Hong Kong last year, I would describe it as hiding away in a shell. I only interacted with people that literally placed themselves right outside my door. I wouldn’t go out of my way to talk to someone. I still went on adventures around Hong Kong and I still had fun, but they were all by myself. This summer has been one with a lot of risks taken.
I endured through the pain, both physically and mentally. The pain of feeling like an outsider, with nobody that speaks my language and that understands me. The pain of having to go out to exercise when I could be having a great lazy day at home on my computer. Heck, I climbed Mt Fuji. But you know the cliche – no pain, no gain.
I learned that I judge wrong sometimes. The good friends that I made in Japan are the type of people I refused to open up to in Toronto because I was judging the city so harshly. It’s true that everyone will have some sort of first impression, but you can’t let that preoccupy your entire mind. Take a step back, keep an open mind, and you will find so many awesome things you never so before.
I found friendships that will last a lifetime. Sure, I knew I’d probably meet people here. But who’s to say whether those people will be just hi-bye friends, or party friends, or acquaintances, or what. The fact that I can be sure about these good quality friends – that’s really something special.
So, this marks the end of my 2013 trip to Osaka. My next destination – Hong Kong – is a place I’ve been to many times before, and it’s not special enough for me to keep another travel diary like this one. However, my habit of blogging everyday rekindled my passion for writing, and I’m going to continue the stories of my adventures on another blog. I won’t be writing everyday, so the best way to keep in touch is of course, subscribe! But no matter what, I hope you come along for ride as this silly flower tries not to die wherever she may be.