American living in Gent, Belgium who gets to travel the world for work. Food lover, daily adventurer, complete wanderluster.

Wild and Wonderful Japan

Wild and Wonderful Japan

The biggest theme of Japan was jet lag. It was a constant battle to avoid napping during the day and then staying asleep during the night. Fortunately, I’m lucky enough to travel with a doctor who provided me with a decent sleeping pill every night.

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Japan is magical to me. It feels so strange and foreign, yet it is incredibly safe and clean. The people are always friendly and helpful. I didn’t have much free time, but when I did, I wandered. We stay in a fairly industrial city but at the train station, there is a huge mall with loads of restaurants and shops. I would walk up and down aisles after aisle taking it all in and trying not to buy every single dish, mug and treat that I saw.

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While this race is fun, it also is one of the most intense and work-demanding races of the year. On Saturday and Sunday, I literally had a minute-by-minute schedule to adhere to (with interviews starting at 6:45am). This included needing to round up over half a dozen people at all times and organizing a much larger team all day long. I’d saw it was managed chaos. But all the prep work from the previous weeks really paid off and everything flowed seamlessly. And I really felt like we capitalized on our short time in Japan to get out as many stories as possible.

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I tried to keep as healthy of habits as I could, including daily walks and yoga, but I also enjoyed as much of the food as I could and probably one too many sakes. I do think I’m coming home a kilo or two heavier than I went….how is that possible when you focus on raw fish (and tried to be aware of my rice intake)?!

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Closing out the trip, I decided to take the bullet train to Tokyo on Monday morning before my flight. The race organizes a bus for everyone to get to the Narita Airport, but it takes nearly 2.5 hours. I figured it was worth taking a 50-minute train and exploring with that extra time. In my head, I always worry this might be my last time going somewhere or doing something, so I always want to maximize my adventuring. I ate some tasty food and found gifts to take back. It actually ended up being more stressful than I would have liked. I didn’t feel like I had enough time, I felt a bit lost and turned around and I was worried I’d miss my flight, but in the end, I’m glad I did it. Adventure big.

Now I’m heading back to Belgium for four days. On Saturday, I fly right back to Asia, so the jet lag theme is going to continue for awhile. This time to Beijing. 

Food, Food, Food: Japan Edition

Food, Food, Food: Japan Edition

Eastward Travels to Japan

Eastward Travels to Japan