(3) The journey that changed my life

My storyTomoko MaruyamaComment

Bali was very interesting. Everything I saw, ate and experienced gave me a new perspective from which I could see the world. I fell in love with the area called Ubud where there are beautiful rice terraces. It was very good to be there especially during that period in which I had to think what to do with my life.

I met some friends who worked at a bungalow where I stayed in Ubud. The first time I saw them, they were setting up a ladder on a coconut tree. I was watching them curiously until one of them asked me if I wanted to pick up the fruits. This was how we started talking and we ended up laughing a lot together. I felt like I haven't laughed like that for a long time. People seemed so happy there.

Travel is not only about being a tourist in a foreign country. Travel allows you to learn a different culture, different customs and meet people from very different backgrounds. Then you realize that there are many ways to see things. There are many ways to live and many ways to feel joy from little things in life. You definitely can broaden your horizons. For instance, I saw a world map and realized again how small Japan was. I felt very insignificant once I realized how wide my horizons were.

I decided to spent several months backpacking in several countries. I visited 21 cities in 6 different countries for 10 months instead of the original 2 weeks I had planned to spent visiting Bali. It seems to be a long time as a journey but I am convinced that I could have never found what I truly wanted to do with my career and life had I just stayed in Tokyo thinking about my important life in my tiny apartment.