In Japan Self Reflections and Refinements

Give Up Something Extreme

The other day I opened up my life list document to add an item. Give up something extreme for a period of time. My ideas for this were: car, Internet, electricity...something like that. Then I realized I have already done this. It was just time I properly reflected. 

While living in Japan for the past year I have been living without a car. In this time I have gotten to: have a lesser impact on the environment, save money on a car payment, insurance and gas, and use my own energy to get me places I need to go and get the things I need. 

In the past year with my feet, bicycle, and the public bus I have gotten everywhere I need to go. This has been mostly a great experience. Mostly.

Times I've love it:
-Not having to sit in traffic
-Times I haven't had to circle an area looking for parking, plus paying for it
-Not having to invest in a vehicle her e in Japan
-Getting daily exercise just with my commute to work and running errands
-Not having to take on the extra stress and confusion of obtaining a Japanese drivers license or owning a car in Japan

Times it sucks:
-When it's pouring down rain and I really need to go get groceries
-Windy and cold days when I have to walk to work
-When I have wanted to travel up north in my prefecture, where there is no public transportation
-Times I've screwed up busing because had to rely on something that sometimes confused me
-When I wish I could shop at Costco more. (Nope you can't balance a 10 pound box of Oatmeal, five pound bag of brown rice, two large jars of peanut butter, and a box of 40 granola bars on a bicycle-I know my limitations)

In Kanazawa it's been easy to live without a car. The bus system has easily gotten me most places I need to go that are just a bit to far to travel on foot regularly. All necessities are within a 10-15 minute walk from my apartment: work, grocery stores, library, 100 yen shop, public hot spring. Grocery shopping in Japan means I'm buying small quantities that can easily be fit in a backpack for the bike ride home.

However, I'm still not satisfied in my idea of giving up something extreme. It has gotten me thinking about a future life project of completing a series of 30-day challenges in which I give up things for 30 days. I don't mean to deprive myself or inflict purposeful strife or harm. I just want to think about the things I use in my life and what it would be like to eliminate them. The ideas that I have in mind are things that people before this point in time have easily gotten by without. Stay tuned for this emerging idea.

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