In my whole trip, traveling South America is the most memorable one.
Needless to say, a trip in South America is somewhat adventerous. It is a huge land in the meanwhile, there are so many places you must visit such as Machu Picchu, Uyuni Salt Lake, Iguazu falls etc.
I started my trip from Lima, Peru, visiting my friends. My friends, Suemy and her mom, were originally from Lima but stayed in Japan for 18 years. However right before starting my trip, they moved back to Lima and I was welcomed to their house.
Right after arrival they welcomed me with a peru dish.
They showed me around interesting places in Lima and taught me their culture. Also we celebrated Suemy's birthday together. 1 month after traveling, I felt at home and safe at their place. I got my energy charged at this moment before starting a big adventure.
They took me to a Peruvian herval medicine shop. It contains aloevera. It was tasty!!
Peruvian people love dancing :)
Finally I came all the way to South America...
Also Suemy advised me to take a movie rather than pictures. Since then I started editing movies..
After having a nice time with them, I again became alone and started my journey to Cusco. From Lima to Cusco, I took a bus which is around 24 hours drive. In South America, being 24 hours in a bus is quite normal. I took buses frequently. Of course it is tiring but that is the way how to explorer in South America.
Bus riding was actually nice in South America. The view was more than I can express. Seeing the vast nature was touchy. I was listening to music and all the time I was having an emotional moment. It was a good time to think about myself.
There are several grades and this is one of the good ones. Looks fine, right?
However going to Cusco always brings altitude sickness. The elevation is around 3,400m. The drive itself was fine but after arriving to Cusco, I was suffering from nausea and headache as well as coldness. The temperature became so low but they don't have a good heater system. I was again staying at somebody's house but taking a shower was like a torture..
Having 1 night was enough for me to recover from the sickness. I started exploring the historical town from the next day. The view was vast and the sky was clear. The city was quite pretty and there were so many interesting food and culture.
Morning time is freezing cold and daytime is hot like a summer..
Also Cusco is the main place to access to Machu Picchu. I took a "backpacker way" to reach there, taking a van, arriving to the nearest point after 7 hours drive, and walk up along a train path.
On the way to Machu Picchu, I met 3 girls from Singapore. It takes around 1.5 hours to go up and we started walking together. They eventually turned to my travel mates and we traveled together for several days.
The view of Machu Picchu was more than I had seen in TV shows or pictures. All the way to Machu Picchu makes me feel more valuable to be there.
Over all, the Inca culture was very interesting. Foods were all about Pollo (chicken) and potatos.lol
South America has too many fascinating places to tell all in once!!! There are tons of nice places & stories that I cannot write here. I hope you can enjoy pictures at least.
Interacting with people who have different backgrounds definitely helps you open your eyes and mind. Not only making your trip more fun, but it helps your life itself richer.
I often eat with my Couch Surfing host or other travellers. Sometimes I travel with them. Couch Surfing have helped me to know how local people live and what they see their life as well. And most importantly, it has told me how people can be nice to strangers.
Me, my friend Heidi and our host Adrian. We went sightseeing in Palenke.
There were so many valuable encounter with people during my trip in Central America as well as South America. Each encounter was memorable and I would love to introduce who I met and what I did with each of them, but I met too many people to mention one by one.. Please accept my apology to skip explaining now.
However I cannot write my trip story in Central America without mentioning about Heidi from Finland.
I met her throug Couch Surfing in Mexico. We were staying at the same house and we totally got along. We shared so many stories, cultural difference between Japan and Finland, our travel experience, our values etc. Not only exploring new places, but getting to know or getting along with somebody during a trip is one of the best moments in our life.
Me and Heidi had somewhat a similar travel schedule. We met in San Cristbal de las Casas and headed to the next destination, Palenke, on the same day. Again, we stayed together.
Having spended a couple of days together, I headed to Guatemala as I had originally planned while Heidi decided to stay in Mexico.
Now let me talk back to my travel story. In Guatemala, there is a huge Mayan ruin named Tikal. I have read a travel book that says Tikal is marvelous. So I was dreaming of seeing the view.
Finally I got a chance to see it and yes... the view was beyond description. Once you visit there, you can find how strong power the Maya people had and you would be surprised realizing the long history of civilization.
Also I went to Belieze, a small country located next to Guatemala. I must say the country is not so popular in general, but it is well known by scuba divers. The country has a beautiful diving spot called the Belize Barrier Reef. "Scuba Diving at the Belize Barrier Reef" was in my backet list for a long while. So I stopped by this small country using local buses from Guatemala.
Used school bus from the US is their transportation local bus in Belieze.
I missed the beach view and atmosphere. It was so relaxing and just gorgeous. The Belieze Barrier Reef was mystical.
After visiting these countries, I headed to Cancun, Mexico. My friend, Heidi, also headed to Cancun on the same day, which was a lucky coincidence. She was going to stay at her friend's place. She was sweet enough to ask her friend if I can also stay with them. Lucky me, I was accepted :)
Here, some surprise happened... Our host, Robert's house was like my dream house. Specious rooms, a huge yard with a swimming pool, and most importantly, happy family were there. It was the best house that I had seen in my life and I thought "my dream is right in front of me now."
I had a wonderful time with my host Robert, his family and Heidi. We had fabulous meals together.
OMG, I miss it!!! Robert used to work as a chef. His dishes are fabulous!
Spending nice moments with great people under the sunshine in Cancun taught me that a life should be enjoyenable.
We can choose our life. Our future is like a white cambus. We can be whatever we want. We can do whatever we want. It has been only 1 month since I started my trip, but I have already learned something valuable through this experience. It gave me such a strong impact. I still remember the moment.
Here I added some more pictures in Central America. Mexico is such a colorful and fun place.
After having had such precious time, I headed to my main destination of this trip, South America.
Before having started this trip, I was expecting that English would be enough since places that I planned to visit were basically famous places. However, the expectation was betrayed easily. Not so many people speak English especially in Central America AT ALL. People at an airport doesn't even speak numbers in English. I was quite shocked and surprised to know that Spanish is such a strong language in the world. So I started learning Spanish since I was going to be in Spanish-speaking countries for 3 months. Travel is all about survival and adoptation..
I started my trip in Central America from Mexico. I reached Mexico City with a little bit anxious because I hadn't done a backpacking trip for a long while. It was already dark at night when I reached there, so I directly went to a hostel and wait util the next morning came.
From the next day, I started exploring places. The town was quite colonial and pretty.
Colonial music was there as well.
They are religious. I faced a lot of Cathoric culture there....
There are 2 things I enjoyed through the whole trip in Mexico and Guatemala; Mexican dishes and ruins.
Mexican dishes there was amazingly tasty and cheap. I never got tired of Mexican tacos. 1 tacos was only around 60 cents. And it was super tasty.. I cannot forget.
Super fresh and yummy!! I cannot forget....
As for ruins, I went to see Teotihuacan, Tikal, Palenque... many Maya sites. When I visited those places, I couldn't stop thinking about the tremendous power of history, eternity as well as my own life. Not only me, but people who visit either of them must feel the same. The energy that the Maya ruins have is beyond description.
Besides these places there were 2 places I wanted to go; Guanajuato and San Cristobal de las Casas.
I coincidentally found both of them when I was surfing the internet before. They caught my eyes and they came into my bucket list.
Guanajuato is famous for colorful houses. I rode on a bus and reached Guanajuato after 5 hours drive from Mexico City.
In San Cristobal de las Casas, you can see people still live wearing traditional clothes.
The place is quite conservative and you cannot even allow to take their picture. I visited several small villeges by bus and saw people there still live in a history. Not only wearing a traditional clothes, they pray, wash clothes by hand, helping family etc. I felt like I came back to the past.
While those places in the west part are quite histrical or typical Mexican atmosphere, Cancun in the west side was very relaxing, resorty with the great Carribean ocean view. The beautiful beach made me feel I am literally free. I still cleary remember what I was thinking at that time.
I have found the world is so huge and the future is like a canvas. We can be whatever we want, we can do whatever we want... This open-minded free feeling was just awesome.
While I was traveling this area, I met amazing people. Especially Heidi from Finland who I met in Mexico has turned to be one of my close friends. People who I meet while traveling often influence my thought . They always turn my life more valuable so does Heidi.
I would like to share a little bit more stories about who I met and what I did in Central America in the next article.
Also enjoy places that you may have not even imagin what they are like by accessing the album here :)
After Las Vegas, I visited NY. The main purpose of visiting there is to see my old friend.
My trip in New York
Back in 2006 to 2007, I was in Orange Country, California. I skipped 1 year from my university and study abroad. I went to a college, working on a cerficate in E-commerce. At that time, I got to know my friend, Koji. He was my closest friend at that time and we shared great "schoold days" time together. Even though we were quite close, I couldn't have an opportunity to meet him after finishing the school. So I decided to visit him who had already moved to NY, aiming to catch up after 8 years' absence.
My trip was not only all about sightseeing, but it was full of interaction with people. I used Couch Serfing that definitely made my trip fun thus valuable, and I visited old friends living all around the world. NY became the first place to see what kind of world my good friend lives.
I directly flew from Las Vegas to NY. It was the beginning of April. Las Vegas was pretty warm and confortable, but NY was chilly. When I was in the States before, I only visited places in California. Therefore, my image of "America" is more like Californian style, but I have found NY is rather Europe than "America".
Right after arrival, I met him. Even though there were so many changes had happened in our life, I didn't feel 8 years since then. We shared a lot of stories while exploring the city. I was just happy to have seen him more than anything else. Even though our life had been changed a lot, his kindness was still the same.
The city itself was too huge to explore. You can enjoy exploration but I find it better go for luxury one like Las Vegas. NY would be more suitable to try something expensive.
Foods are definitely something you can enjoy. I have tried something new like Vegan meals, Egg benedicts, and chicken over rice which is sold with food trucks.
Vegan food. The meat made from soy beans was really like a meet! So so interesting!!
Buying at a food truck is a parfect option to eat at a park. One of the good things about NY is there are a lot of parks.
I could say NY would be nice to stay for a while rather than just traveling. It is the center of the world. The city never let us get bored (I believe..). I spent a week there but I would like to visit there again sometime in the future.
Since I was in the States before, I didn't find the trip hard. Real exploration, a backpacker-style trip, was from Central America. On the way to my next destination, Mexico, I was a little bit nervous because I had no clue about the country and I hadn't been a backpaker for long.
However my trip in Central America turned to be amazing. I would like to share the story in the next article.
One of the most "wanted-to-go" place, Guanajuato in Mexico
You can see more pictures in NY in the following album.
I started my trip from North America. My first destination was Las Vegas.
It must be no need to even mention why I wanted to go there. It is such a special city. Since I saw a TV program, Las Vegas had been one of my want-to-go places. I thought it would be something that I had never seen in my life. (Before the trip, I had already visited 30+ countries.)
My idol, Minions!!! There were so many characters/people in cospre like that.
If you go to Las Vegas, you cannot miss the Grand Canyon as well. There are so many tours available from Las Vegas. You can even find one day trips.
I only saw from the top. Next time I go there, I want to go down and explore.
Also I was dying to go to Sedona, Arizona. (I am always greedy :P) It is quite far away from the Grand Canyon but I found one tour that covers both. Sedona is famous as a vortex. Getting lots of energy/power from the earth before starting the long journey would be cool... So I decided to cover it as well.
I left my home, Japan, on 8th of April in 2015 and headed to the first destination, Las Vegas.
My first destination, Las Vegas
After having arrived, I met my first host, Beau, as he was working at the airport.
Speaking of which, I used Couch Surfing a lot. I wanted to meet local people rather than keep traveling. Meeting local people makes our trip more fun. Also you will find out how people could be nice to people who you have never met. I had used several times before the trip and had a lot of good memories with CS. Therefore, I used CS for the trip as well. If you don't know CS, I recommend you check out once.
Las Vegas is a town you can enjoy even just walking around as there are so many free shows as well as casinos. However I must say you can enjoy better if you come with somebody and make the trip luxury one. As I even couldn't go see any shows, I must revenge..
The trip to the Grand Canyon & Sedona was only 2 days 1 night, super short one. I could only enjoy the tip of their attractions, therfore those places were my revenge place as well.
I definitely enjoyed the amazing view and got lots of energy from the earth though.
Our tour also stopped by Antelope Canyon. It is located quite close to Sedona.
The beginning of my long journey was already awesome. Not only having enjoyed the trip, I also had a good moment with my host, Beau. He welcomed me and I felt so happy to chat with him.
After having fully enjoyed the place, I headed to my second destination, NY. My purpose of visiting there was to meet my good friend, who I hadn't seen for 8 years. I headed to NY with expectation.
I posted more pictures in the following album. Please enjoy!! :)
Hello my friends!
Now I would like to share some of my life stories with you guys through this blog.
Why? When I meet somebody new, I always talk about my life experiences. I can say that my past experiences sound interesting and adventurous enough to catch somebody's curiosity. I am so glad when somebody shows curiosity.
However, every time I talk to them, I face one problem: I cannot share the stories as much as they want to hear or I want to tell. Time is limited and we always go to different stories..
One day, one of my friends said to me,
"I want to know about your world-round trip. If you write a blog, you had better post some articles in English."
It would be a good idea. Not only to my current friends, but also I can share with people who I will meet in the future if I record in a blog.
So I have decided to write some articles in English. I would like to start with my round-the-world trip experience because that is the hottest topic everyone get curious, but for this very first article, I would like to share the whole picture of my trip with you. I hope you enjoy it :)
When I traveled around the world?
From 8th of April to 3rd of November, 2015
In total 7 months
Where I visited?
- North America (United States)
- Central America (Mexico, Guatemala, Belize)
- South America (Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil)
- Africa (Morocco)
- Europe (Spain, France, Switzerland, Germany, Poland, the Baltic countries, Finland)
- Asia (India, Singapore, Indonesia)
In total 23 countries
Why I traveled around the world?
The story is too long... To make the story super short, I was, among the rest, dreaming of traveling around the world so long. Travel is my life and passion. And I wanted to explore the world before some restriction would appear in my life. I have found the period would be the best timing for me, so I made the dream come true.
I would like to share some stories with amazing world pictures, starting from North America :)
I will share stories one by one. Stay tuned :P hehe