My Japanese tests out of the way, the best possible direction to go is onward. However, with that, the time has presented itself to regroup.
Defining core principles every step of the way leads to a better understanding of the journey we find ourselves in every day.
In less than 90 days, I will hike through the heart of Japan in order to find fulfillment and learn how to support those around me. It would be a farce for me to say this reason is the end all and be all of the journey ahead. In fact, though broad, simplistic, and exacting in theme, this hike represents even more. This hike represents a milestone in my life, my career and my dreams. We all face changes on a daily basis. Truth be told, I’m not the ideal candidate for a multi-month vacation from a steady paycheck. Far from it actually. Buried in student debt, strapped to an ever-dwindling bank account, ever-swallowed daily by bills and obligatory requirements, pausing to regroup sounds crazy. Instead I pause, not while shaking a fist towards the sky, not while applying for yet another credit card, not while driving myself further into seclusion. No. in fact, I pause with excitement, encouragement, and an ecstatic state of mind.
Once again… What’s the point?
- The Cake Fiend of Principles
- Ice Baths and Convulsions from the Deepest Netherworlds
- Socrates, The Cave, and The Matrix Effect
- Man, That Discovery Guy Just Ate a Skunk!
- The Impossibility of Frodo Baggins And The Importance of Improbable Goals
- “A Bivy Sack, What the?” or “A Video Guide of Partial Sanity”
Many of these posts will come about in the following weeks. As always, I’m extremely excited to be moving forward on this quest!
The gear, man!! Where is the gear!?
It’s been an exhaustively long time since I’ve updated the world on the gear I’ve purchased for my trip. So without further ado…
Laughing, beside myself with the irony I found myself in, the Boulder, Colorado Mont-Bell store clerk informed me that I had traveled halfway around the world (from Yamaguchi, Japan to Colorado, USA) to end up in the only North American location of a Japanese owned outdoors store. My quest for equipment and perilous research showed an earnest attempt by the world in teaching me the Campbellian hero’s quest had only just begun.
Needless to say, I decided to avoid paying tariffs on that which I could find locally once I had returned to Japan. Instead, with wonderful side quests accompanied by my family and friends, I ventured to purchase the equipment I wanted from the western world.
In the end, I went to REI. With the promise of a fiscal year ending dividend and the chance to vote for the board of directors (Read: membership card), I purchased American and European goods. This included:
- An O|R Alpine Bivy Sack (tested in store!)
- An REI Ridgeline 65 backpack (smaller than my donated training bag [Thanks again Chris!])
- A Victorinox Swiss Army Knife (after hours of debating Leatherman‘s bottle opener with the Victorex’s corkscrew… and whether I needed pliers or not… I guess that’s important too)
- An REI Duck’s Bag 60 (Rainy Season Represent!!)
- A Black Diamond headlight (I can’t seem to remember what type it is, between helplessly navigating the lumens of one model vs another, the store clerk jumped in to my rescue)
- A Sea to Summit waterproof medium-sized stuffbag
- A 3-litre Camelbak resevoir
- and umm, a plastic shovel.
With that, I had money leftover from the current exchange rate so I went ahead and bought a few goodies from other places:
- A Boulder, Colorado Underarmour hat (From a hilarious store on Pearl St. with the most x-rated pasta)
- A pair of Half Jacket Oakley sunglasses (I went for it in hopes of high quality)
Being a lucky American, I also joyously received equipment from my overly giving parents and siblings. This included:
- A Survival Kit (Thx Mom!)
- First Aid stuff! (Thanks everyone!)
- Mark ‘The Big Fix‘ (Thanks Kelly (my sister), my lips will never go chapped again)
- A Solio Classic solar charger (Thanks to my parents, I will be able to charge my video camera throughout! Standby for field tests)
It goes without saying how undeserved I am of the ability to receive such awesome gifts alongside the luxury of visiting my family and friends. It was also amazing to have the chance to speak with such knowledgeable folks at the various outdoors stores throughout the Front Range of Colorado. With the help of all of you, I’ve learned that Smartwool socks are the same price wherever you go, and of course, I had the best holiday season yet!
So, Are you still going to do it?
Yes, yes of course. Though, not without knowing where my towel is.