July 27

Why Tokyo?

Why Tokyo?

This exact line has been the response of me telling people I am leaving Amazon and moving to Tokyo. It has been a very interesting question because no one asked me why Seattle when I left Bangalore. In fact I have been pondering over this quite a bit and I don’t think I have a great answer.

I wonder if part of the question is implicitly asking: Why leave US? And why leave Amazon? If I have to answer the question of why Tokyo, I probably need to answer these questions.
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April 3

Humans: The only storytellers

About a month ago I got a chance to read a very interesting book called Sapiens. It was written by a historian and it was one of the most thought provoking books I have had a chance to read. I rarely read non-fiction but history interests me somewhat. This book was more of a mashup between human history and psychology. It’s goal in a way was to write an unbiased history of the Homo genus, more specifically the Homo sapiens species. That, btw, is modern human beings

What really caught my attention was a very obscure fact. The brain matter of another human species, Neanderthals, was bigger than homo sapiens. Yet that specie died out and never developed civilization and sophisticated tools etc. For all of my life, I had assumed that humans are special because we have more brain matter. However I was clearly wrong.
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March 30

Go Gokarna

Gokarna is almost a unknown twin of Goa. It’s a small religious town in Karnataka, located right on the beach and just below the state of Goa. My trip started off from Bangalore. There are quite a few different types of buses to go from Bangalore to Gokarna. I think there are trains from Bangalore as well but those usually take longer. On this trip we took a bus around 8PM in the evening and reached Gokarna around 6AM. The bus was a sleeper bus with A/C which meant I got some shut-eye during the night. However I strongly recommend to check the bus quality before going since buses can be really filthy. We had taken the KSRTC bus and seriously it was dirty, smelly and full of insects. I wouldn’t recommend it but I am hopeful that there are other cleaner buses as well.

Once we got to Gokarna town, we decided to wing it a bit in terms of where to stay. There are very few established places / hotels in the area. There are 3 major beaches with any kind of accommodation: Kudle, Om beach, Half moon beach. There is one more beach called Paradise beach but that doesn’t have any place to stay as such.
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November 23

Journey to the unknown : Cambodia

To read from the starting : Part1, Part2, Part3, Part4, Part5, Part6, Part7, Part8, Part9

The last week of this vacation was upon me. As difficult had I found it to come, it was now equally difficult to think about leaving. I was at the border town of Aranyaprathet in Thailand and planning to get to Cambodia today. I had long been waiting to see Angkor Wat. With that intention in mind, I started early hoping to reach early. I checked-out and found no one at reception. So I just left the key at the door and got a tuk-tuk for 50 THB to the border.
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October 19

Journey to the unknown : Aranyaprathet

To read from the starting : Part1, Part2, Part3, Part4, Part5, Part6, Part7, Part8

It had been almost 2 weeks in this wonderful (not unknown anymore) country. Every second seems to be getting me closer towards the end than to the start now. It was a weird feeling. To have started this trip off in worry, it was surprising I was more worried about the fact that trip going to end soon. Anyhow I was still in Chiang Rai and had a morning bus. I didnt have much to do so I just whiled away my time sleeping since and finding food. It almost felt like I was a hunter-gatherer when I had to go in search of some food that I would not mind eating.
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August 23

Journey to the unknown: Thailand – Chiang Mai

To read from the beginning : Part1, Part2, Part3, Part4, Part5, Part6

I was in Thailand, in Chiang Mai city, and I was traveling alone and I had lasted much longer than I had anticipated. It had been 10 days since I landed and things were getting better and better each day. For some reason getting up early had become the norm since there was so much to do and so many places to go and so little time here. 3 weeks seemed a short period now to experience all that you could.

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July 20

Journey to the unknown : Thailand – Sukhothai

To read from the beginning : Part1, Part2, Part3, Part4, Part5

I could not remember the last time when I woke up so early. I had to, to be on schedule. Even though the trip was supposed to be unplanned, it didn’t mean I didn’t have to be on schedule. I groggily looked at the phone buzzing with the alarm tone. It said 5:15 AM. As usual it took me a few moments to realize that I was in Thailand, in the new city of Sukthothai. On a 3 week unplanned backpacking trip. I packed up and took a hot shower. I had no clue when the next hot shower might be so I made the most of it. I helped myself to the free DIY tea and toasts. The morning still retained some of the chill.
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June 28

Journey to the unknown : Thailand : From one city to another

To read from the beginning checkout : Part1 , Part2 , Part3 , Part4

Day 8 in Thailand and I was back at the starting point Bangkok. I had taken the overnight train from Nakhon si Thammarat and I believe the fare was around 800 THB for the AC Sleeper train. I had debated between where to go next during the night and the choice was difficult to make. Should I go to Ayutthaya or Sukhothai? Both were beautiful relics of the Thai past and both had enough written about them. However finally I decided to go to Sukhothai which was a more recent kingdom but brutally plundered. The city of Ayutthaya reminded me a bit of the Indian city Ayodhya and hence I kind of decided to skip the same. I reached around 8.30AM though the scheduled arrival was 6.30AM. Its not just Indian railways that is late 😉

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May 24

Journey to the unknown : Thailand – Part 1

There are moments in your life when you take a decision so incredible you had never even dreamed of it. And then there are decisions that have been bubbling inside you for quite a bit and that one final moment it just appears bright and clear. I had not personally imagined doing a solo trip. After all being from a normal Indian family, I did not understand the meaning of the word solo. Nothing is solo. You always do thing with people and more people. The number of people hanging around you define your worth so solo mean worthless.

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