Bumblebee Girl on Mission Possible

Posts tagged ‘Follow your heart’

Day 4 and 5 Kyoto

I had to do a lot of the boring stuff like washing clothes and pack so my luggage didn’t weigh to much *yarn* 😀 It actually turned out to be quite a challenge since I’d almost 50 kg luggage when I arrived to Kyoto (some was food too) and had to reduce it to 37 kg. I’d to leave some stuff behind I wasn’t happy about but the world is still working 😉 As soon as that was done I left for Arashiyama in the western outskirt of Kyoto just by the foot of a mountain.

I was lucky again that JR-railway had a train out there so ones again my JR pass gave me a free ride. It took about 30 minutes to get there from the center of Kyoto.

First I went to the zen temple Tenryu-ji  and it had some spectacular temple rooms and an amazing zen-garden really to die for but unfortunately this clearly was a money machine for them in a way that made me leave without having seen it all. Every little thing cost and I prefer to buy a ticket and then I’ve access to it all. I don’t mind paying the price but when you for “every step” you take have to pay more I get irritated. In all a very beautiful place but I’ve seen more beautiful temples than this in Kyoto.

The Bamboo grove was just at the end of the Tenryu-ji famous garden and I came for the bamboo forest and I loved it. I love bamboos and even in rain weather it was still amazing.

On the way back I went through the shopping area and walked the bridge to the other side to get some interesting pictures and it was really lovely. It’s a tourist street but in the cute country way.

I had one of those clumsy days so I managed to poke several people with my umbrella 😀 fortunately Japanese are very polite and the tourists didn’t say anything 😀

I also managed to see the imperial palace and to my huge surprise the out door area around the castle was open to the public. It was so interesting to be inside the wall and get a glimpse of the lifestyle. The biggest surprise was that it was free in spite of all the staff they had on the place. Even without entrance to the castle it had been amazing just seeing the garden around.

Day 4+5 in Tokyo – ninja training + a surprising offer

It’s some intense days and day 4 in Tokyo I’d to take it easy because I was exhausted and had been invited to a Ninja Restaurant by Hiro a friend from Tokyo.

Since I’d to be out of the hotel each day between 10 and 17 I chose to go and sit in Starbucks by the famous crossing in Shibuya. It turned out to be a really good choice since it was heavy rain (typhoon). When I arrived to Shibuya station several staff members was shouting a lot in japanese and a lot of staff members was trying to keep the water away from the platform so nobody slipped. Down under by a few doors they used sandbags to keep the water out of an office. People was wet and there were a lot of umbrellas around in the few bins there were.

After starbucks I went to one of the biggest shopping centers a few stations away and bought a rain poncho because the umbrella wasn’t much help any way. On the way back to Nihombashi where I stayed the train was stopped because of the typhoon. Fortunately most of the way from Tokyo station to the hotel is under ground and there were nobody in the streets but under ground it was so crowded.

Still the typhoon wasn’t worse than a nice little storm in Denmark – Nothing we would be alarmed about.

Back at the hotel at 17 I got in at last and hurried with a bath and nice clothes and then I met Hiro in the lobby. So wonderful to meet an old friend again. He took me to a Ninja restaurant where we was put into ninja practice with passwords, signs, magic, amazing food and staff. It’s a long time ago I had such an amazing evening where I could talk about everything.

The next day – my last day in Tokyo I wanted to take a boat to Asakusa but the typhoon was still on so no boats. Therefore I chose to go to Ueno Park and had a wonderful afternoon until my sandals gave in but it was a good place because there was a market just by the station and I found some light shoes instead.

On the way back to the train station a very well dressed man stopped me and gave me a magazine. It looked very innocent outside with some Japanese text on and a pack of cleenex. Back at the hotel I used google translate to read the text and there I got a surprise because it was advertisement on sexual massages for women. I must admit that is the first time I got that kind of offers and since I was staying at a capsule hotel I’d no private life so late in the evening I sneaked out to the bin and trashed it packed into another magazine 😀

 

Day 2-3 – in Hiroshima – What do you focus on?

I love Hiroshima and I’ll return since I’m leaving today and I haven’t seen half of what this area has to offer.

Before I went to Hiroshima I met several people telling me, that the 2 days I chose to stay in Hiroshima was more than enough, because Hiroshima is a sad place to be. Why? – because of the many reminders of bombing back in the second world war. Of course, I saw the peace park and the places under rebuilding, but I get inspired by it since people here are living their lives and rebuilding the city. Even the castle is being rebuild so I see a city that is raising itself from the dust with pride and what could be more inspiring? I haven’t met one Japanese talking about the bombing or treated anybody I’ve seen with disrespect, hate or like. This is something a lot of other nationalities could learn from. I haven’t met anybody taking on the victim role instead I see the mentality of a people standing together.

It’s all about how you choose to see life and things. Do you hang on to the past or do you focus on the present and future? Do you stand together in dark times or do you sit down and chose to become the victim? It’s all about choice. We might not be able to change the circumstances but we’ve the choice of how to react. Yes admitted sometimes it takes a little time and even a friendly kick to turn a situation around to a positive perspective but it can be done and it makes life so much easier.

Today I’m leaving for Tokyo and I’m so excited even though I could have used 3-4 days more here.

The food here is amazing and even with my challenges I’ve been eating well every day.

The hostel K’s house is recommendable for everything – it’s really a good place to stay.

If you’ve a Japan Rail pass you can ride for free in the loop sightseeing buses.

So see you again Hiroshima

Living at a temple

This has been an amazing and life changing experience, which I haven’t been close to another place.

This Zen retreat is one of the few, where foreigners are accepted and allows long-term stay. You also become a part of the place and are expected to participate actively in the temple life.

Our basic daily schedule looked like this:
My alarm went of at 5:00 – yes together with the chickens 😉
5:30 the monk start chanting and this half our is the best time of the day for me.
6:00 Meditation
7:00 Tea time and private time (bath time etc.)
8:00 Yoga
9:00 Work started (all from domestic work, preparing rooms for new arrivals, chopping wood, weeding, collection vegetables from the garden, projects like building shelters that are “typhoon” safe, gathering bamboo from the forest)
11:00 Cooking, lunch and dishes
13:00 Private time – but most of the time we went on excursions, napped, had activities at the temple, did private stuff etc..
17:00 cooking, dinner and dishes
19:00 2 hours of social/private time – and also the time where treatments were done
21:00 Quiet time – most of the time we went to sleep if we wasn’t sleeping already.

2-3 times a week we went to the local onsen (hot spring) at 16:00.
1-3 times a week we went on longer excursions so we skip yoga and start working early and leave early to f.ex. Yufuin, Usuki or Beppu.

Oita was where we go to do our shopping which couldn’t be done in the local area and to get massages when the body is to beaten up. They have amazing shops.

I stayed 45 days and now I miss sleeping on futons, sitting on the floor and having access to squat toilets 😀 funny how fast habits can change or rather how fast my body realized that this was really good for me.

During my stay I learned a lot both about nutrition according to body constitutions, different types of meditation, which types of exercise that suits my body constitution, posture and mental training over to the more basics like chopping bamboo in the forest, caring for a duck, cooking Japanese food, Zen gardening, Wabi sabi (seeing the perfection in the imperfect), healthy lifestyle, Japanese lifestyle and mentality (no wonder they can be tough cookies but also is amazingly helpful and caring), unity in society etc.

All this has made me look at a lot of things in different ways and I’ve already made changes or rather major changes in my life that I are going to stick to. When I get my own place I’ll have futon’s instead of beds if possible, use the practice of sitting on the floor etc. (I saw people in their 90’s squatting with the heals in the ground – guys we so limit our bodies and lives big time by the way we live).

Right now I’m sitting in the common area on the hostel on a chair with cross legged because it strengthen my core, is more healthy and I actually prefer to do this now by reflex 😀

The best part has been seeing the wabi sabi practiced in the home, garden, lifestyle yes a lot of places. Things doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful which a lot of Western people has been taught by society.

At the same time I got 45 days where I could relax and I had people that cared about me and I had a network which was so nurturing for my heart and soul to experience. I’ve got in contact with some amazing people and I’ve got some new friends and a network to take with me and I so appreciate that.

I hope I can return sometime or in time maybe work on a retreat like this.

Part time mermaid

snubadiving captain cookI’ve been traveling around the States and Hawaii. Being a animal lover like me snorkeling is a must and yes I knew I couldn’t expect being treated like a princess all over even though the company I used 2 of the times on Hawai’i (The Big Island) was absolutely amazing.

If you don’t know my story, then very short I’ve motor sensoric dyspraxia and one of my hurdles is that I get sea legs when I’ve been weightless in water. On a good day I look a bit drunk back on shore and on a really bad day I can hardly waddle around. I then sit down and just wait a while. If I’m on a rocking boat I sit and just shove myself around with my arms to be safe.

Going on snorkeling tours often gives me a lot of questions, which I  understand but it somehow takes a bit of the fun. Therefore I now have found the magic answer 😀 when people ask I just say I’m part time mermaid with a giggle and people just smiles at me like it’s the most natural thing in the world !!! – Ok case closed and I love it.

 

Route 66 the eastern part

route66road copyThis is history big time and I’m following the route because my father rode it back in the 60’es.

Now a lot of the towns between Oklahoma and Texas are ghost towns. Some I’ve stopped in and got some amazing photos others I’ve just driven through. In the towns which are still active they often have motels, restaurants, route 66 museums and other amazing attractions.

Riding this route I can see the glory days there have been even though a lot of the motels, houses and shops are deserted. It has been thriving on the traffic before the interstate came and some of the towns has been very beautiful. Some of them still are very beautiful and in some states/areas they have made it a pride to make their town look beautiful to drive though with flags, flowers etc. because they are proud of their place.

Even though it’s somehow sad I’m really fascinated by the ghost towns because like the road kills they tell a story about life. There where people used a lot of time in diners, motels, car shops etc. from a time where things didn’t have to happened so fast where thing took the time things took.

Outside the towns/cities there is a lot of nature to see on the road and there is hardly any traffic so it’s possible to stop and take pictures or just enjoy the route or just stretch the legs. Beside that there are a lot of attractions on the way and you’ll find them on the internet. There are pages just for that so do what you find awesome. I’ll be going to have many stops on the way when I get a little longer west but it’s tornado season so I just want to get out of the hot-spot right now since I’m not used to living in places frequented by those guys.

Be aware that not all GPS systems has the route any more so I had to buy a map on a museum and still it can be hard to follow it all the way but with a little help from google maps on my mobile, my GPS and the 66 map I bought I get it most of the time.

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Today my adventure begins

Yesterday I got a good lesson from my body – called listen to yourself.

I started this road trip to honour my parents and to get to know my father better but it seems like this also becomes the road trip where I get to know me better 😉

When I’ve a goal I usually follow it up and work hard but this is not about the goal, it’s about the trip and enjoying myself. I must admit that is a new thing for me in this way so I’m learning valuable lessons.

On my first day I drove the whole day and I was tired when I arrived but that was planned. Therefore the second day I went to Niagara Falls and just took it easy (it’s about 30 minutes from Buffalo where I stayed). Then my plan was to go to Oklahoma city in long “6 hours ride a day” stretches on the interstate because after that my fathers trip really takes off.

Yesterday I just realised that since my cold allergy is of I’ve to take care of myself (the plane ride was freezing and New York wasn’t better). My father took this trip in his way and on his circumstances and I’m not him. I just wanted to make this trip precisely as his but this morning in the bath I began to think what my parents would have wanted … They both would have wanted me to have a trip I enjoy and where I do what is right for me and take care of myself and my needs. Therefore today I’ll go and take highway 40 instead of the interstate and take a “slower” ride on my terms. Even though I made stops on every rest area yesterday driving on the interstate is tiring. That’s why I’m start my own adventure today instead of hunting a shadow – I’ll duplicate my fathers trip and make it my own.

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