I’m not an early-riser, roommates and family could attest to mood-swings caused if I woke up before 10 am however, habits are easily broken while traveling. I always start the day before 8 am when I’m overseas. I travel for peace and solitude, to think about future plans and to ease my mind after months of being busy with studies as well as work.
By eight or seven in the morning, I was already out exploring Kyoto. There are just so many places to see in Kyoto and morning trips are advantageous if you seek to avoid crowds.
My visit to Wazuka and Obubu Tea Farms remain to be one of the highlights of my Kyoto trip.
My interest in tea started two years ago. A fairly short amount of time since there are either limited or expensive options back in the Philippines. My only experience with tea came in forms of teabags. Then, I moved to Australia where the tea culture, though not as widespread as in Japan, is thriving.
I had my first taste of green tea here. The varieties of teas to choose from were more accessible. It was a starting point which later developed to strong interest to learn more as I began to travel.
Tea has been an integral part of daily life for diverse communities around the world. You have the Turkish tea, coca tea of the Andeans, mate in Argentina, rooibos in Africa. Add to that the varieties found in main tea-producing countries such as Japan, China and India. Tea cultivation has a history that spanned thousands of years ago. It exists not only as a way of life but also as a form of livelihood for communities.
There is always a place where one feels a strange connection. Japan has been that place to me so far. For someone who grew up fascinated to European geography and history, there is something about Japan that draws me in. Whenever I visit, I’m completely at ease and somehow, I feel like I could live here rather than just be a guest. It is one of my goals to live in Japan, in a way I could tell if this odd attachment could result into something permanent or if it would just wear out akin to fleeting thoughts.
Last April, I had the opportunity to return to Japan. Aside from research, I fulfilled my dream to visit Kyoto. Two years ago, I was extremely sad that I was not able to come to Kyoto. Now, I got more than what I wish for. Here is a video I made that shows how wonderful this city is.
I spent the last 15 hours in Belgium reflecting about the past two months. It was a different feeling to have finally achieved something that was so far fetched before. The idea of traveling has always been a daydream for me and then unexpectedly, I was able to do it. Maybe it was luck or fate. It was challenging how I got here but I’m glad it turned out this way.
I was in second grade when I saw a photo of Tibet, a moment that sparked my interest in geography and history. I was blessed to have parents who encouraged us to learn everyday, not in a forceful way of course. but in our own pace. Old encyclopedias are still in our house. Obsolete to some but it was a treasure for me ever since I was child: these were my tickets to the world.
Now a decade has passed, I have visited many places I have seen only in my encyclopedia. The feeling of contentment and happiness is overflowing.
My travel time has now come to an end- almost. Brussels is my last destination as this is the hub where I will take my flight home to Australia. I had a day to spent so I opted to just stay in the city center. This is another museum that I came across by accident. The building was quite intriguing and when I learned that this is a museum for musical instruments, I even got more excited.
The museum has thousands of musical instruments on display. Instruments from all classifications are found in here wherein each classification and region are displayed accordingly in each level of the building.
During the evening, we headed to one of Amsterdam’s red light districts. I usually pride myself in how I blend in in different surroundings. However, this was not the case when we went to the red light district. We kind of stood out, we were both Asian, petite and the only women in some of the areas we walked through.