Friday, February 6, 2009

Weekly Geeks: Passions

#1. What are you passionate about besides reading and blogging? For example, are you crafty (knitting, woodworking, scrapbooking, model building)? Do you cook? Into gaming (computer or board)? Sports (player or spectator)? Photography? Maybe you like geocaching, rock climbing? Or love attending events like renaissance fairs, concerts? Music? Dancing? You get the idea.
Tell us why you're passionate about it. Post photos of what you've made or of yourself doing whatever it is you love doing.
#2. Get us involved. Link to tutorials, recipes, Youtube videos, websites, fan sites, etc, anything that will help us learn more about your interest or how to do your hobby. Maybe you'd like to link to another hobbyist whose work you admire or tell us about a book or magazine related to your interest.
#3. Visit other Weekly Geeks. Link in your post to other Geeks who've peaked your interest in their passion. Or maybe you might find a fellow afincionado among us, link to them.

I actually found this pretty hard. Like Nymeth, I find it hard to have time for than one hobby and book blogging is about as time consuming as hobbies can get.

So I've decided to share a passion that I no longer have the money for. I really love to travel. Traveling opens up the world in a way that both allows me to escape my own limited existence while expanding my knowledge and experiences. I became really interested in travel in 8th grade French class. But really and truly, I was exposed to the idea of other cultures and places through books and through the annual missions conferences at my churches growing up.

I haven't been to as many countries as Laura from Texas in Africa, but I've been to a few. I liked each one, similar to the way I find something interesting about each place in the States I've been to. I've been to Canada, Belgium, France, Costa Rica, Japan, South Korea, Mongolia, and Hong Kong.

I won't lie...France and Japan were my favorites, but I think having studied both languages before going and spending the most time in those two places is why.

I think the most fun trip I ever took was a weekend trip to Kyoto Japan for my 24th birthday. I went with my roommate and we had such fun. When you daydream about Japan, Kyoto is the place you daydream about. It is a modern city, but there are pockets of mystery and it's absolutely beautiful. I still hope to go there in the fall sometime,when the leaves are changing even though it's packed out during that season. When we went, we went to see all the famous temples, dressed up as maikos to get our photos taken, got attacked by the deer in Nara, ate yaki niku (for my birthday meal..YUM!), sang karaoke, had tea ceremony, went for a hike and got lost, made friends with a kind Japanese woman who helped us find our way, and I got treated like a celebrity by school kids at one of the temples for my gaijin-ness. (for being a foreigner)

One of the most life changing trips I've taken was to Hiroshima Japan. At the time I went, I was thinking through issues of Christian non-violence and believe have the point hammered home The Peace Museum in Hiroshima Japan is the place to go. It's horrifying, but humbling, and I love the way the memory of what happened is preserved. I've also been to Nagasaki, but I do think the museum in Hiroshima is better. (although I had a lovely time in Nagasaki...there are a bunch of other sites of historical interest there including the hill where the 26 martyrs were killed and a lot of Christianity in Japan's history)

Although Japan is very expensive to travel to, I think it's one of the best countries to visit. It's mostly safe, and the tourism industry is highly developed. Each region has special food and customs, the history is long, and there are lots of gorgeous things to see. To cut down on cost, you can do what I did and live there for a year or so. And the food...oh the food. How I miss it.

As far as other Weekly Geek Participants I was interested in learning about Bookish Ruth's passion for animal rescue!



bermudaonion said...

I love to travel, too, but I've never really had the money for it.

Alexa said...

I love traveling too. Inter railing round Europe was one of best holidays ever and the road trip we took through the US last year was amazing.
I've been in Japan but only for five hours on a stop over at the airport, I'd love to go back some day.

Nymeth said...

I loved this post, Amy. I've always wanted to go to Japan, but you made me want to more than ever. Seeing as much of the world as I can is definitely one of my goals in life.

Monica said...

I love travelling and I am so jealous you got to go to so many places in Japan. I went on a student exchange for 2 weeks, and it was absolutely amazing. We were in Yokohama for most of the trip, and went to Tokyo too.

Marg said...

I can no longer afford to really travel either. I lived overseas for 5 years and travelled quite a bit but since coming back I havne't left the country again, and that I got home 9 years ago.

Amy said...

Kathy...didn't you live in France?

Alexa...I'd like to spend more time in Europe. When I have more money, I guess! ;) too! I used to have the goal of also learning five languages...that has not happened!

Monica..I lived in Tokyo. Tokyo is actually a pretty good base. I didn't know you'd been. Did you enjoy it?

Marg..I wish I had more money :(

Chris said...

I wish I could say I travel but I've only ever been to Prince Edward Island and Alberta. :(

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