One thing I have learned in the past year is that I need to pace myself when I travel. This means taking time out from sightseeing to do my work and university study, rather than trying to mix the two. I need to work about 20 hours every week. In Korea I traveled almost every day and then worked 3-4 hours almost every night. Here in Japan I am trying a new approach. I am stopping to have two work days a week where I do not go sightseeing. Then I travel five days a week, only dealing with work if an urgent email requires my attention (my boss is really good at ensuring she communicates clearly what is and isn’t urgent and by keeping what is urgent to what is necessary). So, given that I am staying in a hostel where there is fast wifi, power and a comfortable bunk, I stay indoors and get productive (besides, it is my 20 hours a week of work that funds my travels because money doesn’t grow on trees for me either).
But then, at the end of the day, I am ready to head out for dinner. My new Israeli friend and I have made an arrangement to go back to the izakaya at 7pm to try more of their food. And I have invited a Swiss couple living in Paris who arrived today to join us. The izakaya is full but a group of men are finished their meal so they leave, allowing us to go in. I eat some fresh peas dipped in Japanese mayonnaise followed by soba noodles washed down with a small glass of beer. We laugh our way through the meal and the bar tender / chef becomes even more animated, downloading an app on his phone so that we can speak with him through the translator (which sometimes translates weird things). It’s a rollicking good night with great company and leaves me ready to travel on to the next place in the morning.