December 06, 2003

Japan 5: Fukuoka to Kagoshima

As we took the train from Fukuoka to Kagoshima (no bullet - next year, but only from Kagoshima half way to Fukuoka), I sat next to a Canadian JET participant called Doug. I actually mistook him for an American until he told me where he was from, as he was, to me, something of a stereotypical young American bohemian travelling type. Pony tail, lots of hand expressions when he spoke, and everything was either "cool" or "messed up". He'd bitch about something and then say, "that's cool". I couldn't quite see how. But anyway, he was talking about all the travelling he'd done and was planning to do - "I wanna do Asia, man" - and it made me realise that I used to share that same attitude.

Or at least, to give him a little more credit, I could see some of the aspects of how I used to think in some of the things he said. I don't want to completely tar him with my own brush. The brush of travel as a goal, not an experience. Of country-bagging, and of having been places rather than going places. And what made me realise is that although this trip has given me the urge to travel more, and explore the world, I'm doing so from a different place than when I was a teenager. Then, it was about defining who I was, about being different from others because of where I'd been and what I'd done.

That's maybe a little harsh on my young self, but in any case, there's always some truth in exaggeration. Now, I want to go places and experience things, not have been places and done things.

Posted by mthaddon at December 6, 2003 08:58 PM