Travel Was My Wake Up Call

19 Responses

  1. Alouise says:

    It’s amazing how a trip can have such a life changing experience for us. I didn’t realise how unhappy I was with my life until I travelled and saw I didn’t have to be unhappy. I’m glad travel was able to open my eyes to something better. Hope there are many wonderful travels in your future.

  2. Heather says:

    Thank you for sharing your story! Going to a foreign country to live for four months and then applying that knowledge you learned when coming home is so inspiring. My eye-opening experience was my first visit to Thailand. I was there on a two week vacation from work and realized right away that travel need to play a bigger role in my life. BTW- I love your “Why Not” outlook, I’m going to adapt that philosophy as well.

    • Kiyoko says:

      Personally, I really like the “life is short” mentality, but I think that phrase has just become so popular and overused that nobody takes it seriously any more. My “why not?” philosophy isn’t much different, but I think it’s great that you want to take that approach!

  3. Sarah says:

    Great post – a lot of this really resonates with me. I moved out to Switzerland from the UK for a “great job” seven years ago… beautiful country, high salary, all the lifestyle perks but after 4-5 years, I was totally burnt out with working 60-70 hour weeks, back to back projects and constantly feeling like whatever I did, it was never good enough. I’m lucky enough that my dad is still here but he was diagnosed with Parkinsons disease not long after he retired and it made me realise I don’t really have any good reasons for continuing this relentless pursuit to the top, and moreover, I don’t want to risk that the best years of my life continue to be spent at a desk for a faceless company that doesn’t care about me. So after saving hard the last two years, three months ago, I quit. Next month my partner and I leave Switzerland to for an initial 8 month tour around Asia. So I can totally relate to your journey and what it means to shift your goals. Thanks for sharing such personal insights, and keep walking the path that is right for you.

    • Kiyoko says:

      Thanks for sharing your personal experience too! I’m sorry to hear about your father. It’s unfortunate that serious events like these are what it takes for us to finally open our eyes. I hope you enjoy your trip around Asia. I’d be interested in hearing of some of the places you plan on going.

  4. Mags says:

    This is very personal post that I’m sure a lot of people can relate to (myself included). I especially like the part about not letting other people limit you. There are 1000 people who will tell you how to live your life, it takes courage to find your own way.

    • Kiyoko says:

      It took me a long time to even realize that people were limiting me. Hindsight is 20/20. It’s not like they were dictators telling me exactly what to do. They were and are great people, but I found that my desire to do what would make them happy was sometimes not what would make me happy. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to do a better job of seeing that in the future.

  5. Wow, you known how to plan ahead. So sorry to hear about your dad. What a great philosophy to embrace. I haven’t had any eye opening experiences while traveling. But have a similar philosophy towards travel. I’d rather have experiences than things.

    • Kiyoko says:

      Thanks for your condolences. I totally agree that experiences are better than things. I never knew what high value experiences could have.

  6. Jody Robbins says:

    I love your why not motto. I have a similar one – if not now, when? I had a similar wake up call in Japan. I was teaching English there and realized I probably would never have such proximity to Asia, so I took advantage of the location as best I could. Though tragedy struck your family early, it seems like you’re living life to its fullest.

    • Kiyoko says:

      Japan seems to be a common place for wake up calls, haha. I know a few other travelers who decided to change their lives after spending time in Japan. Unfortunately, I never made it to any of the surrounding Asian countries during my four months living in Japan, but I have a great love for Japan and visited practically every square inch of that country. I hope that I have the opportunity to visit more of Asia in the future.

  7. Mia Herman says:

    This is beautiful and I’m so sorry for your loss. I love your story and I can relate as I lived in Japan for 3 months and it was truly eye-opening. I wasn’t there to study and I was 10 years older than you when I went but it was an experience I’ll never forget. I think more people should travel because it really does open your eyes to more than just your surroundings. Well done.

    • Kiyoko says:

      I appreciate the condolences. May I ask what took you to Japan for 3 months? Most people I hear of who spent a decent amount of time in Japan are either study abroad or there teaching English.

  8. Janna says:

    I love how traveling changes us and helps us become better individuals. I had a similar experience before. I moved to another state and didnt really had any job opportunities for a long time. I wasnt really depressed but I was aloof for a couple of months until I started traveling. Now, I cant seem to stop! I love traveling!

  9. lisa says:

    Thanks for your story, there are only a handful of us that feel that exact way and get this travel life. Personally travelling has been my biggest, best and most valuable teacher. Keep it up

    • Kiyoko says:

      With travel blogging on the rise, I hope one day it will no longer be just “a handful of us,” because you’re right, travel is a wonderful teacher.

  10. Rosemary says:

    Thank you for sharing this very personal and moving article. I lost my father in law unexpectedly and that really was a wake up call to seize life now and not in some distant future. I always believed in carpe diem, but that moment was the realization that life is fleeting. As a result, I gave up a high powered job that was causing me stress to truly live life. The last two years have been filled with much travel and experiences that have enriched my life incredibly. Stepping outside the day to day, helps clarify and put things in perspective. Happy travels!

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