I got this souvenir from the AirBnB we stayed at in Hirayu Onsen in Japan. I like these sweet mementos we get from various places like hotels, museums, Tourist Information Centers – it adds a personal touch enhancing the cultural experience.
Honestly I don’t know what this simple gift is, or what it says. Google Translate says words like “travel safely…circle of life…shrine”. I reckon it’s a charm to keep one safe, as Hirayu Onsen was, after all, our jumping point to Japan’s Alps, Kamikochi.
Speaking of traveling safely, I’ve put together this list of things I keep in mind whenever D and I are out for our adventures.
Research and Be Alert.
It’s worth checking out forums for Do’s and Don’ts; routes and paths to take; helpful phone numbers that may come in handy in case of an emergency; nearest convenience stores, ATM machines, bus stops or train stations.
I remember before smart phones, D and I almost got in trouble getting into the wrong side of town one night while we went out looking for a 711 so I could withdraw from an ATM. It’s a good thing a concerned local told us not to wander farther and head back to the hotel.
Pack up wisely.
One of my many lessons I learned is choosing comfort over fashion. I’ve had one too many instances of chucking my “stylish” shoes and buying comfortable sneakers because my feet were killing me.
If the trip will entail long walks, it’s best to pack comfortable shoes. If I’ll be out mostly under the sun, I would pack on the sunblock, a hat, sunglasses. Or a foldable umbrella, and refillable water bottle. A first aid kit in my suitcase is something I won’t hopefully have to use, but good to have as it might come handy.
Stretch and Hydrate
Before and after long walks, I give these muscles a good stretch – they love it! When seated for a long time in the plane, I walk around to stretch my legs. Drinking up on water is also quite refreshing, that’s why I keep my water bottle in my bag all the time. I also look for sources of drinkable water for a potential refill. I know I’d thank myself later for this supply of water when I start hitting five thousand steps and up.
Don’t be Reckless
We always let someone else, usually family, know our whereabouts and our itinerary. We also register when we are trekking, and hire services of a local certified guide. When there is a spot that looks too tempting to have that ‘daredevil’ shot of, I’d most probably skip it. Aside from my fear of heights, I know that a small wrong step can bring me a long term pain, so call it boring but I’d rather be safe than sorry.
I hope you find my little list useful. If you have something planned to go to soon – I hope you have an awesome time. Safe travels!