As I sit here in Narita Airport – I have the luxury now to reflect on not only the last two weeks in Japan, but the last four months of moving around and travelling.
I totally had an airport shower for the first time ever.
It was 10USD – but i really needed it after a day exploring Tokyo in 27degree heat before an 11hour flight.
Was super good though – felt incredibly fresh for the ride home!
But back to it.
There is a certain angst in the world associated with travelling – globalization has created a culture of fear and risk. Risks associated with planes, a fear of people, risk associated with location.
A mindset of constant terror.
However, as my time on the road comes to a slow down, the lessons I’ve learnt have come to outweigh (and disprove to a certain extent) the above unease and worry.
This is because when you’re on the road, you have to embrace the concept of risk.
You gotta trust your other hostel patrons to not touch your stuff (or use your toothbrush).
In non english speaking countries, you have to trust people around you, to guide you in the right way.
You have to share yourself with other in a short space of time – in order to maximize the travel experience.
And on all my trips, my trust has been reciprocated by everyone that I’ve met.
People buy each other food.
At night, people buy each other drinks.
But what really struck me was how inviting and hospitable everyone was.
You’d become part of day trips.
You’d become part of honest, wholesome conversations.
You’d get offers to visit their home countries – with free accommodation being thrown around as a tantalising bonus to keep the friendship and connection going into the future.
Travelling – I believe – is one the few things that has the ability to cut against the grain of fear that has come to define society.
It forces you out of your comfort zone.
Challenges your preconceptions.
Encourages you to change for the better.
At least that’s what it has done for me.
For my photography, writing and character.
But most importantly, travel is the ultimate reminder that good still exist in the world.
That good still exists in people.
Ryan Cheng is the founder of The 88, and is passionate about telling stories surrounding travel, culture and identity.
Get in touch ~