Swimming Downstream

Japanese Garden - acheckedbag.wordpress.com

Japanese Garden – New Otani Hotel Tokyo

Typically I have zero issue with sticking out – I’m covered in tattoos, so case in point. However, traveling abroad begs a different question:  do you have a bit more fun when you for in?

As a white woman with dark hair, blending comes rather easily in many places – I don’t ignore this truth. That being said, I feel as though culturally I blend in places like Japan just as much and I think it counts for more.

Something as simple as knowing key words (hello, please, thank you, excuse me, etc) opens doors and hearts for you. Plus….it is rather amusing to then have locals assume you are also a local (or at least a fluent speaker), and rattle off all sorts of things in Spanish, German, Japanese or what have you.  Not going to lie. I’ve had all three of those happen in recent months – discussing mini bar charges at check out is way beyond my 8 word Japanese vocabulary, but both me and the front desk got a kick out of it.

As I sit here in the Munich airport, I appreciate that most places will richly reward you for taking a little bit of your time to learn about them before you visit.  For example, I’ve been practicing my “cava / jamón / patatas bavas por favor” for this next week in Madrid. 😉


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