Long Time Dreamer, First Time Traveler

I dreamt about traveling since my late-teens, I talked about traveling since my mid-twenties, and at 28 years old I finally did it. As the fireworks were exploding around me, bringing in the new year of 2016, I was telling myself that this was the year I would finally exit Australia.

I proceeded to spend the first month of the year figuring out where to go, a whole world of possibilities and experiences to be had. However I soon found out that making a decision was going to be more difficult than I thought, for all the good reasons.

first time traveling japan city shot

The first country that popped up was Vietnam, it was cheap, had a lot to offer in terms of culture and is a popular choice for first-time backpackers. I pictured myself laughing with locals after attempting a strange cuisine, riding in the back of an ute to get to the next town, exploring the rice terraces…

What about Europe? I could visit a lot of countries in a small area, see major landmarks such as the Colosseum and the Eiffel Tower, plus could even catch up with Tyral

Come June and the planning wasn’t going too well, I still didn’t even have a passport and through my indecisiveness I missed the window to travel mid-year in my university break.

girl street japan first time traveling

tokyo first time traveling

I finally got into gear, organised my passport and even made a decision on the location, Japan. I have always had a fascination with Japan, starting back with my love for Pokemon and Dragon Ball Z, then karate, then the architecture.

I planned to leave mid-December and spend a month in Japan, celebrating Christmas and ringing in the new year in a new country excited me. Once university finished I approached my boss informing him I was ready to work full-time for 3 weeks before my trip only to be met with “We’re shutting up shop.” Crap, I didn’t have a job, what would a sensible person do? They would book flights a couple weeks earlier and just go of course.

monkey first time traveling japan

I now only had a couple weeks to “plan”, I needed supplies such as a Lonely Planet book, adaptors for Japan’s outlets, a good bag and learn a few phrases.

Suddenly it was 3am on a Wednesday, and I was waiting for my Uber to come and take me to the airport. I was nervous, I was excited, I had no idea what I was doing. I made it to our layover with only a major stuff-up, which was not realising carry-on also had a weight limit. Whoops.

However after another 8-hour flight I landed in Osaka, and the first thing I see getting of the plane? A giant Pikachu! Here I was, it was 3am, I was in an entirely new country, I had my return ticket for early January, and I spent the first 4 hours trying to sleep in the airport.

house first time traveling japan

The first night I decided to get a room in a hotel so I could sleep without issues, but sitting alone in this room I was overcome with some major homesickness. In reality I had no idea what I was doing and I questioned if I should just go back home.

Those feelings gradually decreased over the next couple days and looking back I think it was a good sign that I got homesick. It meant I was out of my comfort zone!

first time traveling japan hat

Fast-forward a few weeks and I had made my way around Japan, starting in Osaka, then spending a few days in Kyoto, then Kanazawa and finally Tokyo. After a poor planning mishap by myself I decided to change my flights and leave a few days before Christmas.

I was sitting in Narita airport, waiting for my flight, I was ready to leave, excited to get back home. I reflected on my trip and I was little bummed out, throughout this whole experience my life didn’t change. Reading blogs and watching travel videos I was promised that traveling would change my life, but sitting in the airport I felt like the same person. What gave?

first time traveling japan crowd workers

It’s now been roughly seven months since getting back from my first trip, and while I didn’t notice it at the airport in Tokyo its apparent my life has changed.

Not in some “Oh my god I’m totally a different person now” kind of way, but realising there is a big world out there and I want to see it all. I changed in the sense that I want more out life, not more ‘things’, but rather more experiences, more stories, more adventures.

first time travel camera anthony adventures

In these last seven months I’ve been on little micro-adventures around Victoria, I’ve gotten more into my photography and filming. I’ve flown to India and road-tripped from Melbourne to Uluru. Now I’m planning a south-east Asia adventure once I finish university.

Without a doubt, travel changed me.


Adventures by Anthony.

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Anthony

Studying his Master of Architecture, Anthony caught the travel bug in late December of 2016. Anthony's interests lie in architecture and urbanism, as well as recently focusing on photography and videography, along with his own travel blog of Adventures by Anthony.

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