Travelling. I'm a traveller.

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Betty Felon
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Travelling. I'm a traveller.

Post by Betty Felon »

Konbanwa internet friends. Betty is officially on vacation, and in just hours I'll be on my way to Japan.

Japan, the world of some of the hardest-working, smartest, most unbelievably kind people on earth. Devotees of the appreciation of ephemeral beauty. And also home of temple monkeys. And I'm totally going pearl diving. Oh, and SUSHI.

Words cannot express how excited I am. I've never been this excited about a country before. I couldn't sleep if I was allowed to. I think I have a big time crush on Japan.

It feels good to be a traveller again. It's a thrilling feeling. Just watching the different ways that people move, carry things, eat, shop, interact with eachother, etc.

It's also very introspective time, being totally removed from the outside influences that formed you and all the bonds that let you connect deeply with a place. It does help me relate a little John's diary entry about being the sort of person who wants to be in a perpetual state of travel. (though I still don't completely understand how it's sustainable.)

I'm supposed to stay up all night and sleep on the plane to help with jet lag. So please, tell me you travelling tales and wisdoms. Or what cultures you have a crush on.


(...and yes, travelling can have two l's in it. I looked it up. and yeah, I know it's typhoon season. Temples are most beautiful in the rain anyway.)
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chelsea
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Post by chelsea »

wow. lucky betty. i used to have absolutely no interest in japan. it seemed like a place i'd never need to see. but now....but now....i'd like to go someday...i've taken a liking to sushi lately.

i have a huge crush on france, and especially paris. i miss it so much. the language, the cheese sandwiches, the metro, the crepes... i need to go back SOON. j'adore la france.
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Moni
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Post by Moni »

what a coincidence – I’m just hours away from hopping on a train to Munich and tomorrow I’ll be on a plane to Madeira (portuguese island near the coast of Marocco) for some hiking/snorkeling/exploring.

I love travelling... I live for it. To me, almost nothing can compare to exploring a place you’ve never been to.

I have a huge crush on Hawai’i (especially Kaua'i)– not because of the nice beaches (haven’t seen too many anyway), but because it’s one of the most fascinating places I’ve been to so far. And well okay, I love coconut trees.

Italy is lovely, too. Great food/culture/people/language. I recommend it to everyone :)

and Greece - I've been to almost a dozen Greek island and still cannot get enough... every island has their own profile, their own history.

Oh and I would love to do a 3-week trip to Alaska within the next few years. Iceland would be great, too; Teneriffa etc. etc. etc.

Enjoy your vacation Betty!
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LoveSickJerk
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Post by LoveSickJerk »

I had a crush on Seattle, and well I probably still do. But to travel to England, and then to France, and even parts of Canada are some definite interests. England especially, I can't remember a time when I didn't want to visit there. I've always wanted to see Versailles. I've always wanted to see Montreal. I can't wait to be treated like a dumb american tourist who'll say that I'm just Canadian when in other countries.
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Post by mildlyrestarted »

good luck, danielle. see you someday. :)
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grant
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Post by grant »

Jet lag for me is worse going from west to east (for you, returning home from Japan).

I believe in melatonin. When you want your body to know it's time to go to sleep, two or three tablets, and you will be ready for bed. I don't believe in pharmaceutical sleeping pills.

"hard-working" -- Filecard: American workers take fewer vacation days than Japanese workers. Shame on us, I think.
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Liesbeth
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Post by Liesbeth »

funny, for me it was the other way round, going from the states to europe: I found it easier to go back in time than to go to the future.

crush: everything north and mountains
Love Scotland, Ireland, Wales, England, Denmark (Copenhagen is my favourite European city that's not home), Sweden, Slovenia.
On my list: Faeroer, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Canada, Alaska, the Rocky Mountains.
Have to go back soon to: the French Alps, show my husband the toilet with the most beautiful view in the world (mental note to scan picture and share with y'all)
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sabirah
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Post by sabirah »

I'm so jealous, I've always wanted to go to Japan. Besides all that you mention, my landscape architecture side wants to see the gardens. The lush, beautiful green gardens...especially the moss and fern ones. Growing up in the northwest has brought me a huge appreciation for all that is green.

But really, I would love to travel anywhere. I grew up on the good ol' Olympic Peninsula in Washington and my most exciting excursions were to take the San Juan Islands and Victoria, B.C. growing up. Then just a couple months ago, I got to go to Vegas and I was in absolute awe. Having never been off the west coast, it was the most exciting thing ever!

My dream is to spend at least a month in a Italy, and just absorb the culture, live the life of the Italian. I want to learn the language and go to the markets for my food and talk to people. I want to learn everything there is to learn about the history, the culture and of course the cooking. I'm certain that someday I will just go in to work some day and decide to slap a post-it note on my computer screen that says "I quit. Gone to Italy!"
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Squid
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Post by Squid »

at some point i want to live in Kaikoura, a small but well-known coastal town on the south island of NZ. i mean, i'll start out there. it's touristy, so i might go looking for an even *smaller* town.

Image

it's the home of the giant squid, you know...
Jeroen
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Post by Jeroen »

Those are the most beautiful mountains I´ve ever seen... wow.
If they don´t give the inspiration to do great things I don´t know what would.

I would give all my money to live there, sadly that isn´t enough, but I would.

We should place more of these pictures, a you´ve gotta go there thread.
or...maybe not.
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grant
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Post by grant »

Squid wrote:it's the home of the giant squid, you know...


Architeuthis dux!
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Squid
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Post by Squid »

grant wrote:
Squid wrote:it's the home of the giant squid, you know...


Architeuthis dux!


Damn skippy!!! oh and Jeroen, if you go at the right time of year, it's not *insanely* expensive. there are good deals to be had. I didn't take that photo, but i'm thinking it was snapped right around the season i went last, which was late sept/early oct...sorta the spring thaw... then you get the sunny skies AND the snow capped mountains. oh, and the swimming with the dolphins. :)
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Liesbeth
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Post by Liesbeth »

as promised, one of my reasons for going back to France (bigger pictures by clicking on 'em):
these are the toilets:
Image
and this is one of the views (ever changing with time of day, weather and the season), not a great quality photo, but still
Image

I'm working on a new website and hopefully one day I will put more photos up there from my stay there, and the story behind it. Although what I did was not as spectacular as John's walk through Europe, I do recognize stuff he has mentioned about it. And I suppose he may have had views like this...
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Moni
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Post by Moni »

aah someone loves the mountains...

i have to admit i have been to france once (for more than 3 weeks tho), and it's been rather forgettable, especially concerning our interacions with the locals.
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Post by Jeroen »

my grandfather always said that he loved France. He was just sorry that there were so many frenchpeople there...

I'd have to agree with him
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Liesbeth
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Post by Liesbeth »

Ah, the French.
This could be an even longer and more heated rant than getting me started on America's foreign politics. But I guess I would be arrogant too if I lived in such a beautiful country.
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Betty Felon
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Post by Betty Felon »

Japan was outstanding. The minute I left I started schemeing on how to live and work there for a few years in the near future.

The Japanese are a warm and charming people...and intoxicatingly exotic. The number one jpop album in the country is called "Bump of Chicken". The police look like speed racer and there are cafe's for dogs. The toilets have a control panel.

Moreover, I was treated so well, I'm having freakin' reverse culture shock after only two weeks.

Also, it was my first experience with eastern religions. It took me a long time to understand that buddhism, shinto, hindu, etc. are not like western religions in that they are not exclusive. Not only is anyone welcome to worship, but more than one religion will be reverenced at the same place. Buddha will have vishnu's arms, or there will be a shinto shrine within the Zen temple. This also illustrates why the Japanese can't understand holy war except on some intellectual level. amazing.

And they also don't separate love into earthly and sublime...they are one and the same. This is epitomized by the city of Kyoto-- monks and geishas, yin and yang. Pico Iyer said it best, "romance and religion, the twin lures of the orient." I certainly can't resist.

Tally:

1 earthquake and 1 typhoon survived.
pounds of fish and gallons of tea consumed.
1 mountain and 10,000+ stairs climbed.
4 castles, 15 temples, and 1027 buddhas viewed.
2 monkeys chased.
1 copy of cartoon porn left on train found.
2 karaoke songs sung.
$115 pachinko dollars won.
3 geishas spotted.
2 pearls from the pacific ocean retreived.
2 kimino donned.
1 peace bell at the epicenter of human horror rung.
Countless acts of incredible kindness experienced.
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Moni
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Post by Moni »

Bump of chicken... neat.

Betty Felon wrote:1 earthquake and 1 typhoon survived.


I remember hearing about that Typhoon, it was about the same time Frances was over Florida, right?
I’m not sure tho if I missed that earthquake…

EDIT: news-googled it:
http://edition.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/asiap ... .quake.ap/
how on earth was i able to miss that?

Oh and just out of curiosity - did you travel with someone, or do you have friends in Japan?
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Betty Felon
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Post by Betty Felon »

Yup, it was right during Francis. The news in japan is hilarious too...the weather report, the typhoon....the same typhoon that was uprooting trees and overturning boats....had a SMILEY FACE.
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aj
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Post by aj »

try any Peace Lights?
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