Kaohsiung

Misocutlet's Traveler Profile

I have traveled to 40 countries, posted 6,855 pictures and written 267 entries in 23 travel blogs
Misocutlet's picture
Username
Misocutlet
Hometown
Nagoya,
Japan Flag of Japan
Member Since
May 9, 2008
Currently
Offline

About Misocutlet

Profession
Vagabonder
Birthplace
Japan
Favourite movie
The Last Emperor, Stand By Me, Big Fish, Dead Poet Society, Slumdog Millionaire, Roman Holiday, Schindler's List, Mary Poppins, Whale Rider, Life Is Beautiful, A Beautiful Mind, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, The Departures, and much, much more
Languages
Japanese, English
Favourite quote
The man that goes the furthest is generally the one willing to do and dare. The "sure-thing" boat never gets far from the shore. - Dale Carnegie
Interests and hobbies
Backpacking, Bushwalking, Biking
One thing I want to do before I die
Dreamy travel as in "Big Fish"
My friends describe me as
The Black Sheep of the Family, A Man of Individuality
The most amazing moment in my life so far
Top 5 most amazing places I have ever visited: 1. Plitivice Lakes National Park, Croatia 2. Angkor Wat, Cambodia 3. Niagara Falls, Canada/US 4. The Great Wall, China 5. Luang Prabang, Laos
According to a Japanese Foreign Ministry statistics, there are 193 countries in the world as of Jan 2009. (There are 192 members of the United Nations and Vatican City is not a UN member.) I have visited only 30 countries and counting in Asia, Oceania, Middle East, North America, and Europe. To tell you the truth, I couldn't enjoy travelling in some of them. However, that is not because the countries are boring, but because I was not well-prepared for the trips to those countries. There should be no boring countries in the world and even in our own counties, we can find a lot of attractions, as long as we try to do.

Come to think of the memorable countries I have ever visited, I prefer countries where I had a great experience especially like meeting someone to countries where I saw great nature or architectures. It proves that the important thing in my travelling is encounters with people, which means I can enjoy any countries of the world, because some countries may have nothing special to see, but all the countries definitely have people. 

It is true that travels cost much, even though I am a backpacker travelling on a shoestring, but still I would like to travel to enjoy my life or rather to make it prosperous. I have lived over 30 years. I am not sure how many memorable days there were in my life, but all the days in my travels were memorable and precious. In that meaning, travelling is an activity to make my life prosperous and worth spending money on, that is to say, I am buying happy days. Therefore, I keep travelling as long as I live, although I don't have much money. On the other hand, I realized the fact that even good memories from the travels disappear as time passes. That's why I started taking a lot of pictures and blogging on Travelpod to support my bad memory.

Thanks to the others' travelogues, I had always got good information before I arrived in the destinations and even now I check out their real experiences in any destination before I visit. Of course, travel guides are helpful and essential to visit any country as an individual traveller, but the information from the guidebooks are objective and very limited. In that meaning, travellers' experiences in a specific place are really interesting and meaningful. I am not sure if my travelogue contributes to other travellers, but I hope so and keep blogging.

One of the most interesting things in travelling is to identify Japan and Japanese. It is a contradiction that I am Japanese, but I don't realize what Japan is like. When I look to a foreign country, I can identify Japan. For example, in Japan, sumo is said to be the national sport of Japan, but we may find out that Mongolia and Korea have their sumo wrestlings. That means sumo may be a sport of "Asia". Then we have to give up the notion that sumo is a Japanese sport. In another case, it seems that a lot of people don't take a dip in the bath for life and they just bathe in the river or pond instead. On the other hand, Japanese take a bath every day and we are likely to think that is the norm of the world, but it's not. It is the same with eating habit. It is not a matter of course to eat three times a day all over the world. While I was in Australia, an Iranian friend asked me a question, "Are personal computers cheap in Japan?" The question was tricky and I couldn't answer the question at the time, although I had lived in Japan for about 30 years. I knew about the price range of PCs in Japan, but I didn't know if the PCs were "cheap", compared with those of other countries. In fact, he was thinking about buying a PC and looking for the country offering the best deal. I realized that I should know more about foreign countries in order to know more about Japan.The bottom line is travelling is a way to identify my country and national characters.

These days, I sometimes wonder why people travel. Usually, people travel out of curiosity, but curiosity varies from person to person. That is, some people are interested in tourist attractions, but others don't even pay attention to them at all. However, it may just mean others don't know their attractiveness. Of course, I also have an interest in some field, but I may have a chance to get interested in other fields in travelling. I don't want to give up the possibility. So when I travel, I make it a rule to discard prejudices and to try new things so as to push the frontiers of my interest. I firmly believe that I shouldn't say, "I won't eat it, because it looks bad.", "I won't go there, because it looks boring,", or "I won't do it, because it looks difficult."

Sometimes I am asked about the number of countries I have ever been to. Then I wonder if the question makes sense. When I visited Romania in 2008, I had been able to stay in the country for only two hours after my train was delayed for five hours. On the other hand, I stayed in Australia for one year in 2004-05, travelling, studying and working. Can I count each of the countries as one country where I have been? So the question about the number of countries seems nonsense. By the way, I was born and brought up in Japan. When I am out of Japan, it is easy to experience something new, but there are still a lot of things I have never experienced in Japan, too. So I believe the number of different experiences you have had should be more valued than the number of countries you have been to. I also believe that 'masters of travelling' are not those who have been to many countries, but those who can enjoy their lives even without travelling. That is because they are good at finding something new even in their daily lives. To put it extremely, they may know that their life itself is a journey. 

If you stay in a foreign country for a while, you may realise that some things are very common in your home country but not in the foreign country. The things may be new and interesting to people from the foreign country, so they may get interested and try them. However, just because they are very common to you, you may have never tried to enjoy them. For example, baseball is the most common sport in my home country Japan, but I wonder if I have ever tried to enjoy baseball. I may be able to enjoy baseball even now if I try. Actually, it is sure that there are many beautiful flowers, rare insects, tasty foods and interesting goods I have never encountered even in Japan. That means I still have chances to enjoy a lot of things without travelling abroad. In other words, my everyday life may be more enjoyable than I think. 

For some reason, sometimes I can't get out of my city for a long time. Then I "travel" to a supermarket or department store in the neighbourhood. I don't go shopping there, but just window-shopping gives me a happy moment, because there are always new goods and products I have never seen. People don't call this "travelling", but there is no difference between travelling and window-shopping for me. Actually, exploration to look for something new can be done anywhere in the city. Just walking in a street I have never walked or dropping by new shops or restaurants may takes me to a new world! 

By the way, should I try anything in this world if I have a chance? No, I don't think so. To make it easy to make an on-the-spot decision, I have set four rules: (1) I should not try experiences only rich people can enjoy; (2) I should not spend so much time, or many days, to achieve only one thing; (3) I should not place my life in peril by, say, going to a war-torn country or climbing Mt Everest; (4) I should not do actions degrading myself including violence, vandalism, substance abuse and prostitute buying. 

When I was young, my leisure activity was likely to focus on one thing. For example, I spent eight years on judo practice. One day, I was injured and told to stop practice by a doctor. Although I didn't have any exceptional achievements in judo, I valued a success in one field. In fact, there seems to be a lot of people like me who put a high value on a success and maybe compete hard. As for job, I still think it is important to succeed in one field, but since I started travelling, my way of thinking about leisure activity has totally changed. Now I just want to experience as many things as I can in this world as long as I live and to be satisfied with the way to live at the end of my life! 

Recent Entries by Misocutlet

  • Kaohsiung - Nov 22, 2014

    I visited Kaohsiung with a friend from Tainan. He showed me around the city and I had a great time there. Our first destination was the new public library. There were so many visitors on the day, b...

  • Tainan - Nov 12, 2014

    This was the second time to travel to Taiwan. Because I arrived in the evening, I stayed overnight at Taoyuan airport and it was very comfortable. On the next day, I left the airport and headed for...

  • Tagaytay - Nov 10, 2014

    This was the fourth time to visit the Philippines and I stayed for 24.5 HOURS in and around Manila ( just to change flights). To be honest, I was pretty tired of this country. I don't know what is ...

Travel Blogs by Misocutlet

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