Oh Japan. Sweet, beautiful, amazing Japan. Reyka and I thought we knew what loving a country meant before you.
But it's hard to explain why. Sure, there's the outstanding food, fascinating language, and world-shaming public transport system (can we get bullet trains in the United States, please?). But there's more. It's like an energy, or a mix of energies. A sense of belonging alongside bottomless fascination.
Basically, on one side, we feel like we've found a home away from home. Maybe it's the peaceful, quiet farm town of Nara that reminded us of Ohio where we went to college. Or maybe it's the people who are out-of-this-world polite and kind. Reyka went to a Jazzercise class (dance + exercise) in Hiroshima and they all clapped for her and asked for a group picture:
And also, we are not bored. Often, as a tourist, we run out of things to do. We see all the good sights. We meet some friends. We eat the food. And that's that. But here, there's just so much depth. We could probably stay here for a decade, happily exploring, living, learning, and enjoying life. Japan has 421 inhabited islands after all, add on a wickedly interesting history full of feudalism, samurais, and emperors, and well, there's just a lot here.
We are now in Sapporo, the biggest city on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido that is currently covered in snow and ice. Full of ski resorts, cliffs, and hot springs, this is the more rugged side of Japan. I hope to hit the slopes while here. Will they have size 14 boots? Guess we'll find out...
We leave for South Korea this upcoming Wednesday, and we have absolutely no idea what to expect. Is it similar to Japan? What’s the food like? Are people going to be friendly or standoffish? What is the general feeling regarding Mr. Un just up north? I'm pumped. We will be spending the holidays this year abroad, and even though we're going to miss our families a LOT, we're excited to experience festivities in a different country.
We recorded a Travel Course! We'll be sharing everything we've learned from the past 18 months traveling in a 12 part video series to be posted on Skill Share, a website for courses. If you want to know tips for booking cheap flights, finding cheap accommodation, how to learn a language, staying safe, where to go, and much, much more, stay tuned for it. We hope to post it in the next two weeks. Reyka is editing them as I write this.
For all you Wyatt and Reyka Newsletter lovers, we have some exciting news. You're going to hear from us 3 more times a month! That's right y'all, this is going to be the Wyatt and Reyka Weekly. Or W&R Tidbits in a Week. Or Sunday Breakfast with Wyatt and Reyka. Not quite sure on the name yet (any good ideas?), but we mainly just want to share more with you all. A month is a long time, and there's a lot that is fascinating that doesn't quite fit in the big, once a month email. Plus, it's hard for me to remember what day of the month it is, the 1st often creeps up on me and passes by without a single thought entering my brain. (Notice how it's the 10th today?) Alarms don't work. Calendar notifications don't work. I hope that writing with a weekly deadline should help with this. I hope you stick around, as I am confident you will like what you read 😊
Upcoming Videos: Exploring Kobe (The home of the world's best beef), Hiroshima (the A-Bomb Building, Museum, and Memorials), I tried learning Japanese in a Week, Kyoto (Japan's most traditional city), Nara (Wild deer, everywhere?), and Fukuoka (Japan's beach beaches).
Universal Studios Osaka was just... Wow. I finally got to taste Butter Beer at Harry Potter World. We rode Mario Karts in Super Nintendo World, and got soaking wet on the Jurassic Park ride. Check it out here:
Get Airbnb! Don't get us wrong, we love a good hotel unlimited breakfast, but there is just nothing like spending 20$ a night to have your own beautiful apartment in the middle of a city. For budget traveling, it's pretty much unbeatable. Of course, for many, the ease and luxuries of staying in hotels makes the extra cost worth it, but if you want to travel long term and don't have $10,000 to blow on hotels, just get an airbnb. You'll thank us later.
Have you ever found a home away from home? Are you interested in our travel course? Do you like theme parks? Let us know by replying to this email!
Wyatt and Reyka