Category: Essays

Where it Stands (with less than 90 days)

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.

My Headlamp

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?

To regroup, I spent the last week writing bits of blog posts. To answer this question I’d like to offer up the titles of those upcoming posts. In no particular order, Mount Up!

  • 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…

“日本の会社ですよ!”

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.

Yar!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:

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, CSolio!olorado 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.

Perseverance

As impossible as the world may be to navigate, as arbitrary any goal may seem, and as lacking in meaning it all may appear to have; the realm of possibility presented before you each day begs for a cause.

In less than 9 months, I will be hiking through Japan in an attempt to prove something to myself. Each day before that, during that, and after that, should be recognized as a journey in itself.

Over the past few months, I’ve been going to a gym roughly four days a week, studying Japanese, and saving money. I come home every night and wonder exactly why am I going through all of this. It’s taken so much time away from everything else I want to do. I guess the answer is just perseverance.

You see, my goal is to help. I want to help the world, the individuals in it, and provide a manuscript for others to do the same. So far it’s been really difficult. As many of you know, I’ve spent months dropped out of blogging from being too busy. I’ve questioned many things in my life, and I find myself changing every day.

I think we all go through this process on the track towards any goals. For me, It’s hard not to over think, it’s hard to choose a more difficult option. And sometimes, it’s even difficult to get out of my warm bed.

So, I have a new promise to myself; A promise I will keep with me from this day. I think we’re happiest on our way towards something meaningful. So, with rejuvenated and renewed effort – I’m making that promise public. I hope, by doing so, it will encourage others to do the same.

My promise:

Avoid entropy like the plague.

Who’s with me?

Where Have I Been?

Life is full of a multitude of gifts, surprises, plans, and settings. Sometimes a blessing, and sometimes a curse, it can be quite difficult to decide which is which at first glance. This describes the latent issue I hadn’t foreseen in my plan for this site. You see, I began with a simple goal. That goal was to explain the preparation, and eventually continue with a follow-through once it had occurred. I, then, brainstormed my plans for the site. And so began the problem.

By complicating each piece of the journey, the adventurer inside of you subsides and gives in to the bystander inherent to all of us.

Therein lies the problem, complexity. After I started this blog, I slowly began my plans to work with video which needs countless hours of processing on my old Powerbook G4. I grasped at the Japanese version of this blog in an attempt to jump start it. I began collecting all of the data I could while setting up habits and lifehacks to help… Anyway, it became too complicated while I was in the midst of my English conversation classes, studying of the Japanese language. And then there was LOST, countless blogs, and other things (i.e. sleep). Altogether I’ve been so busy preparing for things, and because of that, I have been neglecting the blog itself. And for that, I’ve decided to rekindle that flame, regroup, and change a few dates. I’m simplifying everything so I can continue providing as best I can.

Does this mean you’re quitting the walk?

Absolutely not! I have been planning continually this month, like every other month up to now. I even made my first purchase. I bought socks from a hiking store near Hiroshima. The socks are my first official purchase of my ever-growing budget. I’m also in the midst of reading a few books to help guide my journey (through the paths of those who came before me.

Does this mean there won’t be video?

Nope! It simply means the video will take a little longer to get up and running. I’m quite excited for it! and I hope you are too!

So what does this mean?

It means I’m getting back to writing. I will be posting slower than I had in the past. However, I hope to keep posts as content rich as possible. I plan to do that through my system of simplification. Get things done, and do them well. As lacking in poetic language as this post may be, I hope it gives an explanation for the wait between posts. If you have any questions, let me know. Until then, Stay tuned!

Seperating One from Another

Brainstorming for this post, a variety of notes flooded my mind, and paper. Here is a handful of those:

Then, I received my video camera in the mail. You know what this means. Soon there will be video. This post is merely an taste of what is to come. Stay tuned!