The fun, fear and symmetry of getting lost on the Japan road
It may seem odd to some to hear me say that despite the fact that I do not drive, I love road trips. I love seeing a landscape pass by me in a blink of an eye while I try to capture its majesty by furiously clicking away on my camera. When trying to capture that majesty often I look for slightly off-kilter wacky scene; at other times I look for symmetry.
Hilariously and scarily, there are times when on road trips we get so thoroughly engaged by both the symmetry and asymmetry of the landscape that I often end up at the end of the day stating “I thought we’d never come back from that one.”
In Japan, for instance, we had a lovely time exploring Kyoto. The wondrous temples and landscapes filled our mind with awe. When it was time to head back to Tokyo, we were tired and content and thus a little lazy in paying heed to the directions we were giving about where to stand on the platform for the bullet train. We boarded the train and then we headed to our assigned seats to only find that there were individuals already there that had tickets. We looked at our tickets a little more carefully at that point and realized we were on the wrong train. We did not know what train we were on but we knew we were not on the correct one. Adrenaline, fear and more fear started coursing through our veins. When my son noticed the fear and asked what was wrong, I obviously had to put it together. For all we knew we could be traveling further down south and it was already late at night. We eventually found someone who calmed us down and sent us to the back of the train. We were indeed heading to Tokyo it just wasn’t the route we had originally planned. Back at the hotel we had a grand laugh at the clumsiness of our awe.
By getting “lost” we experienced travel context and had a grand adventure that we could digest and digest some more at home with each other. At times it is those adrenaline-pumping moments that will stay with you for a longer bit of time. I believe in this so hardily that I subscribe and promote the idea that fear (a little bit of) can be a good experience on the road. Obviously, I do not mean fear in terms for one’s life as who really wants to experience that? Although, there have been times when traveling in awful heavy snow or taking the wrong exit and winding up in Gary, Indiana led to intense moments, I’ve been able to look back and say “whew, that was not so bad.” I am so ok with getting lost, that I look forward to it with glee.
No trip will be perfect. No planned itinerary will go exactly as planned. And that is ok. Go with it, use that momentary fear to propel you into a further adventure.
Here are some photos of the symmetry that I found in Japan that just delighted me to the point of aiding me in my “getting lost” adventure. It is the little bits of the landscape one should always pay attention to.