How a break up lead me to my first solo trip

Hey loves! So I took my first solo trip earlier this year to Japan, and although it originally wasn’t a solo trip I’m glad it ended that way.

So let me back up, I know a few of you are wondering how this Eat Pray Love experience happened, so let me tell you. My boyfriend at the time and I were looking to go on our second trip together, we went on a romantic Mexico trip but this time we both wanted to do something more adventurous and far from New York as possible. We landed on Japan which was something on both of our bucket lists so it was a huge win when we were able to find round trip tickets for under $500. Yes I said under $500!

A month before the trip my boyfriend and I broke up. Not to get into too much detail but I wasn’t extremely happy and made some bad decisions which lead to the break up. Life happens no big deal in my mind but the upsetting part was that he no longer wanted to spend 12 days with me in Asia. In hindsight I can now see why he would feel uncomfortable about traveling alone with an ex, not all people can push aside their hurt feelings as I could at the time. So I then cancelled my flight because I was too scared to travel alone. My biggest hesitations were traveling alone to Asia and not knowing Japanese. If you been to a number of Asian countries like China you know that they don’t necessarily cater to western languages like they do in Europe and South America. Also sitting on a 13 hour flight with no one to talk to was nerve racking.

The turning point happened two weeks before the trip, I met with one of my favorite travel influencers Jakiya who manages @TravelingFro and a number of other creatives that have gone after their passions. A lot of people in the inspiring group were years into their journey and left me with the advice to never let anyone or anything stop you from accomplishing your goals and going after what you love. They also encouraged me to repurchase that ticket and gave some great recommendations.

So I booked that ticket, which was no where as cheap as the original, and had the best awakening experience.

Japan has taught me so many things about myself and only sharpened the drive that I had within to pursue my goals. Here’s some of the main things I’ve learned.

1.) Never let another person’s decision cancel your plans or stop you from attaining a certain goal.

2.) Take a leap of faith and go after those things that scare you because you’ve simply never experienced it. If you never gone on a solo trip mainly because you were afraid, put away that fear and go. You’ll be happy you did.

3.) Never stay in a unhappy relationship even if that person is good to you. It’s not fair to both parties.

4.) You get 100% control over your experience on a solo trip. Everything is on your time, and you also get to meet some cool like minded people on the way.

5.) Solo trips are a great way to self reflect on your life and gives you the opportunity to navigate through your journey with a clear mind.

For those of you who are reading this and have never gone on a solo trip, stop the fear and GO. For those that have gone through a a breakup or a devastating experience go on that solo trip to learn more about yourself you never know what you can find out.

Thanks Loves!

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Top Six Things Americans Should Know About Japan Before They Travel.

  1. The people and cultureWhen I tell you as soon as I touched down in Tokyo I was in for an extreme culture shock. Outside of being a black girl with braids walking around in braids and standing out, I immediately felt like I wasn’t in Kansas anymore. Kansas being NYC.
    • The people are so polite and respectful. A characteristic you may rarely get on a nice summer day after months of snow in NY. They believe in this concept called omotenashi, which is essentially selfless hospitality. And let me tell you they practice this belief well. I remember getting off of the subway and walking 20 minutes in the wrong direction of my hostel. There was a older man who did not understand a word I was saying and vice verse and he ended up walking me 20 minutes to the doorsteps of my hotel. So AMAZING. I could never get that back in the states.

  1. TrashMy biggest question I found myself continually asking was how could Japan be so clean but there aren’t many trash cans around. After asking a million people I finally got an answer and turns out you are expected to take your trash home with you. Yup, that’s right even if you are buying food or ice cream off of the street or even a water bottle you must dispose of the trash your self and preferably at home.
    • I wondered how did this not cause an adverse effect and because there were limited public trash can people would just liter. I guess this goes back to the culture and respect that is engraved in them. Maybe New York can try this method sometime. Although I don’t think it would work for very long.
  2. FashionOne of the first things I noticed when I landed in Tokyo was the fashion. Majority of the people I’ve seen were so trendy, and stylish. As a girl who works in the retail world and a believer of looking good I was shocked to see how many people had the same mindset. People wore designer out there like they were at H&M prices, they aren’t btw. Definitely a fashion capital.
  3. Cherry BlossomsVisiting the Sakuras in Japan is definitely one of the biggest reasons many people go to visit in the spring. Note that the cherry blossoms last for about 14 days usually end of March early April. Some years the weather gets warmer a  earlier so the past couple of years the blossoms bloomed in March. Thank you global warming! If that’s the case and you missed them in Tokyo by a week you can always head north. The cherry blossoms travel north because of the trend in weather by region.

  1. Capsule HostelsIf you are a hostel person Japan will definitely please you. Capsule hotels and hostels are all over the place. These are essentially little boxes where you sleep stacked up bunk bed style some even have tvs in there. Depending on where you stay there may be a floor designated for your luggage and changing and you only bring yourself to the floor where your capsule bed is. It’s definitely an experience!

  1. ToiletsI know I know why are toilets on the list you may ask. Well because they definitely stood out. Japan has the cleanest bathrooms I’ve ever seen. I’m talking from hotel bathrooms to public bathrooms near tourist attractions SO CLEAN. Literally all toilets were bidets. Japan was obviously my first experience with one and for those two weeks I was so accustomed I was sad we don’t have them everywhere in the U.S.

If you are planning your trip to Japan soon here are some things i wish I knew prior to going. Hope you all enjoy and book that ticket soon.