I am learning fast the Art of backpacking and really finding the craft in living off next to nothing, but having maximum fun! Actually so much fun, I can't figure out why the hell I haven't been doing this the whole time.. The house in which I stayed after the yogies- in a room I affectionately nicknamed "The Chopstick", plonked me within a diverse group of travellers who were mega cool. Named Australia House- ironically there wasn't an Aussie in sight, but one of every other jelly bean.
Hirafu, Kutchan, The three snow resorts: An'nupuri, Grand Hirafu and Hanazono, and snow life :)
I had a blast learning from other travellers; watching anime, snowboarding, finding the hidden gem foodies and bars and getting the ins and outs of 'how to's with $0 output' + nifty life hacks... oh and doing design work for one of Niseko's biggest entrepreneurs- check out the designs in DIGITAL
Working and relaxing with others, some who speak English, some who don't; some who speak Japanese, some who don't, really makes you up your game of interesting techniques for communication ;P You are all there because you want to be which brings an infectious energy to the environment- I feel like I have slipped out of orbit into a track that runs at whole different organic interesting flow. My new friends have similar backgrounds, interesting stories and are all curious, adventurous intriguing souls.
An interesting conversation developed the other night about how you reach a point where you have grown up within yourself to travel with no fixed plan and no tight bookings. You realise you have collected the skills and tools to work with, and have got to a point where the anxiety about using them to effect has toned back a notch to just trust in your instincts and decisions. It followed on to thoughts about positivity and why the opposite is more prevalent in society today. Here's me delivering a bit of tongue in cheek logic lol..
Lance, Rebecca and Nigel and Barbara were cave-men and ladies back a few hundred thousand years. They decided to go out on a group date one night as ya do. Take-outs were closed, the nectar bars run dry and they had missed the boat a bit with dinner so got their hunt on. They had wandered into unfamiliar territory but Lance and Rebecca being the 'cow hide up' kinda peps went charging into a cave looking for a tiger to hunt. It was all good- they had their tiger catching skills down pat from hunting back in their neck of the woods. Nigel and Barbara weren’t so sure, they hid outside the cave- there were too many obstacles, it was dark, there was a hike to get in there, there were all sorts of other creepies and crawlies!
Unfortunately for Lance and Rebecca, they hadn’t expected the Brown Bear that had made the cave his home, and who unfortunately wasn’t too keen on being woken up. He didn’t mean to eat them, mornings and surprises weren’t his forte. Nigel and Barbara freaked, flipped and ran. “Of CORSE the others were going to get eaten they said!”. The story became a fable to the next generations- passed down from Nigel and Barabara’s children, an on to the children who followed.
Who was that dude who ate the poisonous berry so we know not to? -Lance’s Grandpa eh?! Makes you think of all the different components that make each individual experience so different and varied too... thoughts?
Yesterday I decided it was time to get on the road again and make my way down the island. Robert and Dan from Aussie House were road tripping around Hokkaido, and it worked out that I joined them with a friend to hit some amazing spots before hitch-hiking on further around the coast of Hokkaido. Starting off in Kutchan at the ¥100 Shop ($1 for ya'll in Kiwi) to dress up the car: "The Dominator- Delica" we then travelled on Route 66 (yeehhaaaa!) to Lake Toya- an incredibly idillic spot with an active volcano and an island in the middle of the lake. We visited a mental institution that collapsed in an eruption and stopped for a pic-nic/ snooze in the sun with homemade quiche (GO SAM!!) on the lakefront.
I parted ways at Date and hitchhiked around the coast to Tomakomai, where I was shown exceptional kindness & Japanese hospitality and taken for sushi train express for dinner. Domo Arigato Gozaimasu! Today was a travelling adventure to the Ferry Terminal to catch an overnight MOL Sunflower Ferry from Tomakomai to Oarai outside Tokyo.
Today Hokkaido, tomorrow Honshu! Looking forwards to sea legs for 12 hours and to what I come across next!
My hitchhiking companions ^=^
Lake Toya, Tomakomai...