Tokyo to Portland

12 February 2013

Tuesday


leaving Tokyo 1

I departed Tokyo as I arrived, on the Narita express, at the Shinjuku station. Tokyo is an overwhelming place, and it would be easy to feel oneself quite at sea while attempting to negotiate this vast metropolis. But today it feels just slightly less overwhelming, because I became just a little familiarized with a very small portion of Tokyo, having learned how to use the local train stations at Shinjuku and Yoyogi and Iidabashi, and so on. So in at least one sense, I did not depart as I arrived, because I take back with me a little bit of knowledge about Tokyo. As a true believer in the Socratic imperative that knowledge is good, I then count my week long expedition a good thing, however many mistakes I might have made, and however short the time may have been.

leaving Tokyo 2

I think that some people derive a perverse pleasure from talking about all the things that went wrong in the course of travel. I have had my share of mishaps, but I have never had a vacation that left me feeling dissatisfied that I had come — only dissatisfied that I had to leave. As difficult as it is to tear myself away from my routine, once torn away I quite definitely have the feeling that I could keep going on the road indefinitely, with no need to go home again.

leaving Tokyo 3

I have never had a vacation I would not readily and gladly repeat — indeed, as I travel I often think of a first trip as reconnaissance for a future trip that will be all the more fulfilling because I have some basic knowledge that will make that next attempt that much better. It is highly likely that there are places I have seen that I will never visit again, but I always go home with the idea that I can’t wait to go again, and that I never really wanted to leave.

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Grand Strategy Annex

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