Today, I took a new path. I blazed a trail into the unknown and learned a very valuable lesson along the way: don’t leave your apartment without your keys. Because your boyfriend will leave and lock the door behind him.
As a result, I ended my workday at 4 o’clock, daydreamed about being home and on my couch in the A/C, and made it all the way to just outside my apartment building when I realized I didn’t have a key to get in, and R wouldn’t be home for six hours.
Fortunately, his work is only about a thirty-minute mixture of walking and riding the train away. In a direction I’ve never had reason to go before.
Now, you might think that living in a foreign country always feels… foreign. Or maybe you think that after a short while it all becomes commonplace. Both of those are true. The train ride to work for me feels as familiar as it does to any other commuter. Walking around my local park or supermarket is as normal as wandering around the small town I grew up in. But as soon as I step off the path that I travel every day, that’s when I re-enter the foreign country and remember, HOLY CRAP I LIVE IN JAPAN.
So taking that new train to that new city, it wasn’t that big of a deal. But it was enough to shake me up a little and remind me that there’s so much more out there that I haven’t seen, even as close as a ten-minute train ride away.
Which makes me wonder, how much did I miss when I was living back in Kansas? How many fascinating places did I not go because it all felt so normal to me? It doesn’t feel so normal from a thousand miles away.
A quick reminder that it’s always good to step outside your comfort zone.
Japanese phrase of the day: ぬるまゆにつかる
“neh-roo-mah-yoo nee tsu-ka-roo” – to avoid a challenge (stay in your comfort zone)