After 17 days of travel from 26 December 2023 to 12 Jan 2024, many things I experienced changed my perspective on living life. There will always be pros and cons in every country and culture. Here are some of the practices that I think would add value to my life after returning from Japan and Korea.
For the longest time, I always knew that being immersed in a huge body of water took away the stress of the day for me. Unfortunately, we only had showers for almost thirty years of my life because bathtub culture is not a thing in Singapore. The health benefits that come with even just ten minutes of soaking in hot water are amazing. I also enjoyed trying out different bath salts. The only thing concerning might be the water bill because it's not exactly cheap in Singapore to fill a tub every single day.
#2: Exercise & Keeping Active
This wasn't a practice. It was more of a thing that happened over the vacation course. I walked about 10,000 steps a day. While I don't think I would have this sort of time to exercise daily in this amount, a little would go a long way.
#3: Nutritionally Balanced Simple Meals
I've been eating instant and fast food for a long time. It's not any different in Japan or Korea. However, the fast food options here are more balanced and healthier. Instead of soda, they offer miso soup and tea. Instead of french fries, I ate rice. It's different, but my body no longer feels hollow. I recover quickly from fatigue and muscle aches with enough rest.
#4: Quality Sleep over Quantity Sleep
Not all the hotels were comfortable to sleep in. However, I slept the best at Nara and Tokyo because the beds were different, and the environment made me feel as if I had my own safe space. I don't have a personal or safe space back home. The difference is real.
I didn't know how this elevated the level of hygiene until I came to Japan. It's a technology that should honestly be widely implemented.
#6: Efficiently Utilised Small Spaces
This can be used when designing the new house with my mother. Japan is an expert in aesthetically appealing solutions. I might find a way to ship over some items or have them custom-made because I really enjoy the minimalist, traditional style sense of Nara and the multi-purpose space in Tokyo.
#7: Sense of Identity Through Fashion
The need to buy new clothes never weighed on me as much as now. I've always worn hand-me-downs and clothes that were simply cheap and practical without much thought for preference. However, seeing how people dressed and behaved in these countries made me realise just how much of a shell I was. I have to slowly take back my life in areas that are no longer at the mercy of my parents. I'm no longer living in poverty, so why do I continue having that mindset?
#8: Embrace Nature & Disconnect
Of all the places we visited in Japan, Nara is my favourite. The old and the new fusing in the culture was something that resonated with my old soul but futuristic mind. I felt most grounded there, like I was home, even if it was a place I'd never been to before. I can't live in a concrete jungle, even if I am a shut-in. It's not good for the mind or soul in the long run without a place to centre myself.
We touched down near midnight last night and had a lot to settle. My father thought it would be funny to torment us by layering the floors of our rooms and all surface furniture with oil, so we had to spend time cleaning everything before we could call this space our own again. The lying old man definitely has shown his true colours, and I'm seeing everything in FHD after this trip. My brother might be an asshole, but my father is the true villain.
Having fired a gun in Busan, I don't think anything scares me now. Whatever 2024 may have, bring it on! I'll fight with everything I have for a better life of my own design.