The original plan was pretty simple. After Australia we were going to make our way up through Bali and Kuala Lumpur (Indonesia) into Singapore then fly to Nepal for our pre-booked trek to Everest Base Camp.
Neither of us knew much about Indonesia or Singapore but that’s the beauty of travel right? Learn about new places, get out of your comfort zone a little.
But as Jenna and I sat there on our bed in Wellington scoping out flights to Bali, something didn’t quite feel right about it. It was almost that because this had been the plan all along (after all we put it on the board at our going away party) it was in stone and we had to go ahead with it.
And for whatever reason, neither of us were feeling it. There wasn’t that pre-trip excitement we got about New Zealand and we were getting for Australia. We didn’t have butterflies like we did for Tanzania or like I did for Europe.
So as we sat there pecking away in uninspired fashion on the laptop, Jenna pointed out the elephant in the room, “Can you remind me why we’re going this way again?”
…”Well, because that was the plan”
Which is the travel equivalent of explaining a bad habit with, “Well, this is how I’ve always done it”
And with that, the blinders were off. We started considering other options.
India was on the way. So was Sri Lanka. We could hit Thailand early.
But maybe we didn’t need to go somewhere that was on the way. Maybe we just go somewhere that we both wanted to go.
My eyes turned north on the map.
“What about Japan?”
And I saw the excitement in Jenna’s eyes. The butterflies fluttered in my stomach.
That was it. We were going to Japan. Just like that.
Five minutes later we had booked an early-April flight from Cairns (Australia) to Tokyo’s Narita Airport.
We then sat back a little bit in awe of what just happened. In a matter of (literally) seven minutes we had shifted course by 3500 miles and both of us were beaming.
That is the feeling of spontaneity and freedom that can only come from being flinging yourself out into the world on your own terms.
And did I mention that I’m extremely lucky to have a travel partner who is just as game (and in this case, the source) for such rash decisions.
And this is all not to say that Indonesia and Singapore aren’t going to be amazing places to visit – it’s just at that moment in time, for us, they weren’t the right places to go.
I have no doubt I’ll be scuba diving in Bali and exploring the hills of Singapore at some point in the near future but we’ve found the right next destination for us; the Land of the Rising Sun.
Japan here we come.