Travel isn't always glamorous.
Captain's Log: Day 3
0900 hours. I awoke this morning to discover that it was pouring out; the air was thick with humidity and my clothes were sticking to my skin.
I also discovered that after two weeks on my Japan mission, my fingernails had grown so long that I began scratching my own hands. I also realized that apparently walking for six hours per day in a new pair of shoes will cause blisters to form on the back of your ankles. Who knew?
The solution to these problems: I must attain nail clippers and band aids.
Plan of action:
Walk to bus stop
Use Google Maps to get on the correct bus
Ride bus to the Tenjin Underground Shopping Center
Acquire necessary items
Walk aimlessly around mall for hours
Get back on bus
Return to hostel
1500 hours: Mission Complete.
Seriously? I wasted an entire day in Japan doing errands? Yes, yes I did.
On my third day in Fukuoka it was pouring so hard that it would've been impossible to walk anywhere without being instantly drenched. This narrowed down my list of activities exponentially. I couldn't go back to the beach, I couldn't go to the park, I couldn't explore the streets. What can you do when it's pouring rain? Shopping and errands.
As I mentioned above, after nearly two weeks abroad I realized that there was some self-care that needed to happen. My fingernails were overgrown, the blister from my shoes had grown too large to ignore, and my laundry had piled up. And since it was raining too hard to enjoy the outdoors, I decided to check out the Tenjin Underground Mall.
The mall was huge: a maze of stores and restaurants that seemed to span for miles! (It's actually about a kilometer long.) However, I wasn't there for souvenirs or clothes; I simply wanted nail clippers and band-aids.
The band-aids were easy enough to find. I was even able to find squishy ones that were specifically meant to provide padding for blistered feet. But for some reason I couldn't find nail clippers for the life of me!
I swear I weaved through every single drug store in that damn mall! And in the end...I ended up finding a small pair of painted nail clippers in a souvenir shop.
When I returned to my hostel, soaking wet despite my umbrella, I took a nice long shower. Then I clipped my nails, did some laundry, ate a convenience store dinner and watched some Netflix on my phone in bed. Talk about uneventful.
I know what you're thinking:
Umm Hannah, why would you even include this in your blog? It's so boring! This is supposed to be a travel blog, not a blog about you running errands.
To be completely honest, I almost did leave this day out. I was thinking about ways I could skip over the day, pretend like it didn't happen, or to just summarize it on the next day's blog post...but that wouldn't be honest. The truth is: days like these are part of traveling too. This is especially true of extended trips; not every single day can be a huge adventure.
It's easy to look at the big travel influencers and to believe that travel is so easy! The weather is always perfect and things always go as planned. But this is far from the truth and most people just don't show you the in-between moments.
Traveling is unpredictable. As much as you'd like to think you're prepared, unexpected things always come up. The unexpected thing that happened on this particular day was the pouring rain. And unfortunately, every one of my possible plans included spending time outdoors. But what was I supposed to do? It's not like I can control the weather.
This is why you need to be flexible and why you shouldn't plan a strict itinerary for every single day. Because if you do, then you won't know what to do when things don't go as planned and that will lead to stress and anxiety. Learn to go with the flow and to not be disappointed if your trip doesn't always seem as glamorous as that big influencer's trip (because their's probably wasn't as glamorous as it seemed either).
Sometimes you have amazing days where you explore picturesque islands...and sometimes it rains and you need to buy nail clippers.
That's the reality of travel.
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See you soon!