“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.
― Unknown


f I had a dollar for every existential crisis I’ve had in my twenties I would have enough money to easily jet off on a 12 month RTW trip at this very moment; fund the whole damn thing, and still have money left over to re-adjust to life at home when I got back.

But it’s funny how life works– if it wasn’t for my random bouts of anxiety brain I don’t know that I would have ever summoned the courage to book my flight to Japan.

Without a doubt Japan will forever hold a special place in my heart, but if I’m being completely honest, prior to my trip, I’ve never had a particularly strong desire to visit. My only introduction to Japanese culture came from briefly taking a semester of Japanese language in high school, in which admittedly, I learned absolutely nothing. Ichi, ni, san, was pretty much the extent of my Japanese educational endeavor. Sorry Sensei!

The truth is– it would have been years before I ever set foot on Japanese soil had it not been for a disastrously yet wonderful concoction of: one-part midlife crisis, one part cheap airline tickets, and two parts hard liquor. Oh to be twenty-something.

Maybe it was the booze, maybe it was my heightened sense of stress, but it was all definitely a bit of a blur. As anxiety often does—one minute I’m happily shoveling spoonful’s of ice cream into my mouth whilst bingeing on my favorite Netflix flick; and the next, I’m ugly crying into a bottle of Hennessy questioning all my life choices and wondering where the hell my life is headed.

In the past year-or-so I’ve picked up this rather quirky habit of perusing flight deals and travel packages on the web as a way to cope with my anxiety. ‘Cuz you know a girl can only dream! Much to my dismay however, on most days, even the ‘super affordable last minute deals’ are way out of my price range. On this particular nerve-racking night my lucky stars must have aligned because I hit a jackpot that most novice travelers can only dream of.

—>Los Angeles, CA to Tokyo, Japan: $390.56 USD (Roundtrip ticket, including all taxes & fees)

It seems I make my best decisions whilst spiraling into a hole of self-pity because within 20 minutes I went from sitting in a puddle of my own tears to celebrating the flight reservation confirmation hitting my inbox. I’ll admit I didn’t quite think it through. At the time– I couldn’t afford it, I had nobody to go with, I didn’t even know where Japan really was! But I booked it anyway. I was going to Tokyo and I wasn’t going to let anything stop me. Not even the fact that I had to live off beans and cup-of-noodles for the weeks to follow in order to afford the trip. I wouldn’t typically recommend this strategy but desperate times call for desperate measures!

And damn am I glad I took the plunge.

Since getting back home I have a heightened sense of independence and desire to live life out of my comfort zone. I guess it’s true what they say– travel really does have a way of changing you.

“There’s nothing better than when something comes and hits you and you think YES’!”
― J.K. Rowling

This year I rang in my 28th birthday in the sky above Tokyo, Japan. It was midnight on May 23rd and I was officially one year older.

My 10 days stint in the magic city had come to a close and I was headed back to America with a heart full of fond memories and a burning desire to return as soon as humanly possible. Like with many of my relationships–I’d fallen in love quickly and unintentionally. This time with a country I previously knew nothing about,  and one I may never have visited had it not been for a booze-filled spur of the moment decision made in the mist of one of my many self-induced ‘WTF am I doing with my life!’ crisis’.

As the plane rose higher and higher in elevation I bid goodbye to my newfound love and stared out the plane window at pure darkness, just the glimmering lights from the buildings far below us shining through. I closed my eyes to take it all in and a certain feeling swept over me, one I haven’t felt in a long time—I felt alive.

Right then and there it hit me– this is exactly where I need to be.

It has now been over a month and that feeling has yet to escape me. Nor do I want it to. At the expense of sounding disgustingly cliché—my world just doesn’t look the same anymore. The 9-to-5 desk job I wake up to every day doesn’t seem as crucial to my personal growth and success as it once did, and all the material things I thought I couldn’t live without no longer hold the same value.

With travel on the brain I guess the question now is—where do I go from here?

My mind is running in a million different directions. Per usual–I’m lost, but for the first time I’m lost in what I feel to be the right direction.

As I embark on this new stage of my life I can’t think of a better way to share my story than to document my journey as it is happening– here on this blog– an ode of sorts to all those years my life stood stagnant.


Cheers to new adventures and newfound passions!