A trip to Japan always means lots of walking, which we actually enjoy. It really is the best way to get out and experience Tokyo. Unlike previous trips though, walking was not always easy for us, and turned out to be a real learning experience in both positive and not-so-positive ways:
- Both Brett and I are out of shape, much more than we realized. We’re both overweight, and in my case carrying around a few too many extra pounds caused my bursitis to act up from time to time. When I weigh less, it’s not an issue. We need to get more exercise than we do now so that we have more stamina no matter where we go. Brett’s going to start taking a walk on the beach path every morning, and I’m going to punch up my bike riding. When I get my weight down and the bursitis under control I’ll join Brett on the longer walks.
- Long plane trips affect us more than in the past. Even with the more comfortable seats we booked for this trip, the long plane ride over affected my back somewhat, and Brett said it was hard on him too. Fortunately I knew what to do about my back this time to ward off major problems like I experienced last summer, but we realize it’s something that will always need to be considered going forward. Visiting Japan will always require a long flight, but we may have to consider breaking up other journeys into shorter sections, with a period of rest in between.
- We need much, much better shoes for walking. The shoes we took with us this were not made for walking any distance, and we walked miles each day. Our feet more than let us know that we need better shoes. Before we do any more traveling we are both going to invest in some good-fitting, quality walking shoes.
- Jet lag affects us more than it did in the past. We noticed it took us a bit longer to recover this time than it has in the past. We’re getting older, and don’t bounce back like we once did, so it’s something we’re going to have to consider for future trip and plans.
- We’re still open to adventure. We continue to enjoy trying new things and new foods, and going places and doing things we haven’t done before.
- We’re still very good at packing just the right amount. We brought just the right amount of clothing: five days of outfits. Everything fit perfectly into our carry-on bags, with room for gifts coming over, and plenty of room for souvenirs going home.
- We’re still flexible. We’ve been able to adjust our plans easily without throwing everything off, or feeling disappointed. We had an unexpected rainy day earlier in the week, but quickly changed our plans and had a wonderful time exploring the area around Tokyo Station (which was mostly covered) with our son and grandson instead of heading out on our own to a more distant part of the city as we had planned.
- We’ve gotten even better at managing our travel funds. Lots of things catch our eye (and boy have they this trip), but we’ve been even better at telling ourselves no, that we don’t need something, and reminding ourselves that we’d much rather use our money for other things, like being able to splurge on our grandchildren, and do some special things for our son and daughter-in-law.
We won’t be traveling again for the rest of this year, and for at least half of next year, so we have time to get ourselves in better shape, plan an affordable flight schedule that works for us that includes some built-in rest periods, and find better shoes for walking!
It’s good to be home, but I can’t wait to go back!