Sunday, August 13, 2006

Travel puzzle

For some reason (maybe malaise, maybe the uninspiringness of my guidebook) I am feeling meh about my planned Japan trip. That is bad, since I was going to buy plane tickets this week. Most of the meh feeling, I think, comes from the fact that Japan lacks some of the easy latch-ons I use to connect with other trips:

- Signs I can read
- Art museums with art I like
- Political, cultural, or religious history with which I am familiar or interested

So far I have lackadaisically noted a bunch of hiking trails, some restaurants, and some places to shop in Tokyo. That doesn't sound like a promising start for my last long (2 weeks+) vacation for the forseeable future. Add in the massive expense of traveling in Japan and you can see why I'm concerned about this being a disappointment.

So: what should I do? Book the Japan ticket and buy a popular book on the last 1000 years of Japanese history, hope it clicks, and do a lot of hiking? Revert to my previous Switzerland/Croatia plan (I am running out of European countries)? Drive around America and hit Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, etc.? Change my middle name from Dale to Danger and go to Israel or something? Augh.
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