Today I ask you—and me—to think of a most exotic, thrilling or memorable vacation spot. Then we write about an experience there, incorporating all our senses.
On Day 28, I write about a trip between my first and second year of business school at MIT. I traveled to Japan with two male classmates, one Japanese and the other Korean American. In some ways, our trip was the precursor to a class trip scheduled for later in the fall that we had helped to organize.
Having two parents who bought, sold and sometimes repaired Japanese art and particularly antiques, I had always dreamed of traveling to Japan to see the artwork, Shinto shrines, landscapes that inspired the art, and, of course, modern Tokyo.
Much of our trip was extraordinarily beautiful—the monasteries, the train ride through the Japanese Alps, the “fire flowers” (fireworks), the art. And then there was also this strange experience I recall in my current journal (I “released” my original Japan Trip journal during a big purge!).
The three of us sleep in an attic loft, giant cicadas flying about. My two companions have gone out “to find E____ a Japanese wife.”
I experienced some awkwardness in traveling with two men—one from an entirely different culture and the other, somewhat so.
Yet something else feels strange. At times—walking across a footbridge in a park, sitting on a park bench eating scallion pancakes, and now, here, alone in the attic room with all these cicadas, I feel my sense of who I am slipping away. I experience a visceral feeling of not really knowing who I am.
I shed all that I thought and believed about myself.
I feel strangely vulnerable and uncomfortable—like a mollusk whose shell has been removed.
Looking for the full prompt? You’ll find it in The Joy of Writing Journal: Spark Your Creativity in 8 Minutes a Day.
Then Go Write!
What do you recall about your travel experience?
Is it a humorous anecdote or something deeper?
Does the place feel familiar? foreign? A little of both?
What happens to you inside?
Share an excerpt, insight or a little of both as a comment below.
Note: Spend time on the Week 4 summary page: Note things that happened this past week that you can write about; make note of things that inspired you; schedule your writing times.