It is the 8th month of my travel, and I am now in a small town at Osaka, just moved in to a comfy hostel (Air Osaka Hostel) for 2 days.
Being frank, I still have no idea about the name of this area and do not have the address of this hostel, so basically I have no idea where exactly I am now.
Since I reached the bus station and checked in to this hostel yesterday at 8am, I have not been leaving it to anywhere further than 500meters from the hostel. I went to nearby convenient shop and supermarket for food and ingredients. Then I went back in and cooked my own meal. My friend from Osaka came visiting me, we chatted and sang with guitar and ukulele, and yes, we went to onsen (hot spring) which was about 300 meters away from hostel.
This makes me think, am I really travelling? Or am I simply enjoying being away from…err…(I want to say own country, but I think I should refer it to as ‘the reality’).
I remember when I was asked 5 years ago what my hobbies or interests were, ‘Travelling’ was always first came out from my mouth. Until recently I found that I am reluctant to say so, instead I said ‘Reading’, ‘Photography’, ‘Singing’, I got many hobbies, it is never difficult for me to answer this question and to talk further with this topic. But I want to know why I enjoy travelling so much but yet I am reluctant to say it out. I soon found out the reason and it was because it is difficult to elaborate, especially when for many people or most people,travelling means visiting as many countries as possible, as many cities in a country as possible, and as many places of attraction in the city as possible. It is difficult to explain why I have no strong interest in those activities but yet I have strong interest in travelling, either alone or with friends. When the topic of ‘hobby’ was brought up, people are excited to talk about the places they visited, as much as possible, so to find more common topics to further the conversation. But I often could not fulfil this expectation. I found it tiring to explain why I spent 1 week in Kaikoura out of my 3 weeks vacation in New Zealand, a small town which got not much things to do except whale watching, swim with seals, hiking. I spent a week there doing none of these activities. The things I remember I did were reading, cooking, chatting with new friends in hostel, walking at the same seaside almost everyday (and of course I took self portrait at that time); this year I spent 3 weeks in Wellington, new zealand, though I took up yoga lessons but I had plenty free time to travel to places around, I chose to go back to airbnb after yoga classes, stay in the living hall, read and watched tv; I had 3 months in India but I only went to Rishikesh, Dharamsala, Bangalore and Mysore; and now in Japan, I spent most weekends in my room cooked my own meal, singing mantra, taking photos nearby the place I stayed, sometimes meeting friends at their house.
I like travelling but yet I did not have much interest to explore those places of attractions. I have so many countries yet to visit but I visited a few countries more than once (New Zealand twice, Australia twice, Taiwan twice, Japan 4 times), many could not understand why I did that. But it is not very difficult to explain this, people enjoys travelling in many different ways, some enjoy going to all places of attractions, taking pictures of nice views, eating all the local food, shopping at local branded shops, some like to stay quietly at a place for long, spending time with friends they have not met for long and many more reasons which are not so mainstream. The difficult thing is for people to understand the difference between interests of each person. People feel strange when they hear different or new ideas of others.
This does not happen only for travelling, I think it is the same situation for many aspects in our current society. The majority or main stream has such strong influence and power, that the minority is often forced to give up what they do and join the main stream for many reasons. It took me a while to embrace that what I am doing is ok, and to feel easy explaining to people when was asked about my different interest about travelling. I believe that it is for the difference that makes the conversation interesting; it is the difference we all have that makes this world interesting. Do you agree???
Embrace difference; Enjoy difference