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Impulse Trip

“Impulse purchase”, to buy something driven by a sudden, random, and unexplainable urge, is characteristic behavior of women who regard shopping one of the most effective ways to relieve mental stress. The amount of money spent for impulse purchasing doesn’t matter. The act of identifying what looks adorable (and sometimes turns out to be a rubbish), spending certain amount of money with credit card in an attempt to numb a sense of guilty, and purchasing an item not out of necessity but just for the sake of calming down an unstoppable urge without weighing actual consequences is simply meaningful.

My four-day trip is the case, I'm guessing. I’m usually a person of contemplation, deliberation, and preparedness (who’s giggling here?!), but not this time. I made a decision within a second when the idea occurred to me. This is what I call "Impulse Trip". Now let me go on to additional justification. I’m also a person who needs certain time of being alone, or put it more nicely, solitariness. Since 3.11, the day when the earthquake shook the eastern part of Japan, I’ve been wanting to secure time to be totally on my own to reflect on who I am and pay my sincere respect for so many lost lives in the course of the disaster. I rushed to a travel agency, booked my flight and went on a short vacation.

Traveling alone is good in a sense that you will have more opportunities to talk with local people than traveling with somebody else. This may sound a little contradictory as a remark from a traveling-alone-advocate, but it’s just fun and refreshing to enjoy small talks with the people you met during the trip. Besides, a choice of whether you start conversations or simply exchange greetings is always in your hands. It turned out, as expected, I had a good time meeting nice people.

When I was using a computer available for free at the corner of a hotel lobby, a young black guy talked to me saying “Hi, you speak English. And you’re Japanese, right?” He, J.D., was a young American military personnel who evacuated from Japan a day before. The reason he talked to me was, in his account, that he was seeking suggestions on a relationship with his Japanese girlfriend who is eight years older than him (yeah, I’m Japanese and older!). He said that the relationship had just begun, but already started thinking about marrying her, or to be more precise, consequences of the marriage.

I was a bit amazed by the fact that a 24 year old American guy is being serious about marrying a girl who he’d been dating for only a couple of weeks (am I ignorant of men’s mindset or too old to be that romantic??). The night before he left Japan, she invited him to dinner at her home. It was his very first time to eat girlfriend’s homemade food and he seemed rather happy. Smart female readers will see some implications here, and of course, I told him so too. As we talked, however, I got to know that he was very mature for his age and would make a right decision by himself. I had a certain view on the situation deep down actually, but refrained from bringing it up because I was not in the position of opining about their relationship so bluntly.

All in all, I very much enjoyed the short getaway. The most fulfilling moment was when I was in sitting in a chair on a hotel room balcony viewing calm sea and a blue sky. Am I a successful, mature, and snobbish businesswoman? Far from it. But I realized that I’ve grown out of a traveler who seeks excitement, novelty, and surprises from a trip. Just reclining in a deck chair, reading whatever I like, writing whatever comes up to my mind, having afternoon beer (not “tea”, folks!), and hanging out completely on my own. One could ever expect more from a vacation? I don’t really think so.

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Aya

Author:Aya
English learner

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