Finding the Silver (or Gold) Linings

I’ve always struggled with focusing on the negative events that happen in my life.  I could hold on to and complain about an issue FOREVER.  Over the past couple of years, I’ve started to change my mindset and look at the positive side to a bad situation.  It is an ongoing process but being able to find  the good in these recent travel incidents, are signs that it’s possible.

——> Osaka

I was excited the Friday afternoon before a week vacation.  I was headed to Osaka and Hawaii, got to leave work early, and was going to ride the famous Shinkansen (bullet train) for the first time.  To save money, I figured I’d buy a non-reserved seat and sit once people got off at their stops.  I don’t know why I thought that the Shinkansen (or what I now call the Shinkanstand) would have less of a crowd compared to the metro; especially on a Friday evening.  I got on what seemed to be a short line of people and walked into one of the non-reserved cars.  There were no seats available so we continued to walk down the aisle.  The train began to move shortly after.  “Okay, I can stand for just a few minutes until the next stop,” I thought.  I ended up standing for 2 1/2 hours!  The people sitting around me weren’t getting off.  I wanted to go to a different car several times but there were long lines down the narrow aisles of each of them.

Long line in the aisle
My bags for the ride

When someone finally got up, I rushed to the seat. It was in the middle and the woman sitting in the aisle was sleeping. I mumbled a quick “Sumimasen” (excuse me) before climbing over her and hitting her knees with my suitcase. I sat down and took a deep breath, relieved that I could relax.  Literally 5 minutes later, I heard the dreaded music that plays when the next stop is coming up and realized it was mine.  I’m going to buy reserved seating from now on.

Silver Linings:

•Osaka is a great city with so much to do and the vibe is different than Tokyo.

•I enjoyed staying at a capsule hotel for $60.

•I tried some delicious foods that are special to Osaka.

——> Hawaii

I arrived at Kansai International Airport for my flight to Hawaii around 5pm. It was set to leave at 7:30pm so timing was good.  The line was long but I didn’t mind.  I honestly thought about how proud I was about packing light for the first time.  I thought wrong again.  When I finally reached the check-in counter, the woman told me that my bag was overweight and couldn’t be carried on like I planned.  I had to pay ¥6500 ($60) to check it in.  She then told me that the lines were moving slowly so I should head to security ASAP.  The line was ridiculous and by the time I got to immigration, my flight had already started to board.  After a bit of a mix up with my forms, I ran towards a sign pointing to my gate number expecting it to be close, but saw a shuttle train instead.  The shuttle came quickly and once I got off, I started to run to my gate again.  Turns out, they hadn’t started boarding yet. 

Window seat to Hawaii

Gold Linings:

•I got a window seat by an exit so I had extra leg room and didn’t have to ask anyone to move when I wanted to get up.

•Hawaii is absolutely beautiful and the sunsets are surreal!

•I did more physical activities in one week than I have in my entire life lol

What crazy travel stories do you have? Leave a comment below!

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