“When I was young, I spent a lot of time traveling alone and I loved it. Now that I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown tired of it. From a Western perspective, you hear people say, ‘Traveling alone is good. You discover yourself.’ I totally agree. But it also gets boring and lonely. I realized this when I went to Vietnam for a trip during the holidays. I saw some of the most beautiful landscapes while riding a motorbike, circling mountains. I saw all these hidden cultures and ethnic groups. It was surreal. However, coming back from the trip, I felt unfulfilled. Something was missing. I realized it was because I was alone and I was doing the trip just for myself. That’s why it felt empty inside. Sure, it was fun, but I think it would have been great to have gone with someone. Also, it would have been nice to go with someone who spoke Vietnamese.

“Good thing I was lucky to meet this girl in Hanoi. We got along so well. We talked for hours about our lives, our challenges, our pains and struggles. Like really deep stuff you’d only share with close friends. We saw each other pretty much every day for the latter part of the trip, just going to cafes, having conversations on what makes us human. All the experiences, pain and suffering, let-downs and failures. People can come from all different kinds of places and backgrounds, but essentially, we’re all the same. We all want love, peace, safety, health, and a good life.

“It was life changing for me to have experienced that human connection on that level with someone I just met as a random tourist. She told me she never had anyone to talk to or tell anyone about this her whole life. For her to share all this with me made me think, ‘Wow, maybe this is what travel should be.’”

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Finding diversity and inclusion. Breaking down barriers one post at a time. Stories and snapshots of foreigners making their way in Japan.

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