When Brendan and I left on our five-day honeymoon to Japan after permanently departing our home in Sydney, I naturally harbored fears that we would end up unable to communicate or get anywhere. The main reason for this concern was that we hadn’t really planned the trip, save for our accommodation and a train trip to Kyoto. A few phrases from my two semesters of college Japanese more than 10 years ago still floated around my brain, but I knew more complicated questions like, “Does this have beef broth in it?”, would never form properly on my lips. How would we ever stick to our dietary restrictions in this foreign land of sushi and Kobe beef without being able to articulate our needs?
The result was that we ended up doing exactly what travel is designed to make us do – said “F%$! it” and let ourselves be guided by the journey instead of guiding it.
We found that when we took a breath and let each day of the trip happen, we received incredible kindness from the Japanese around us and stumbled upon sights, restaurants and bars we might not have otherwise seen had we completely mapped out our days. Instead of letting the frustration of a language barrier, a big, intricate city and scores of similar-sounding street names overwhelm us completely, we surrendered our control to Tokyo (and Kyoto for one night).