Why the Road Less Traveled Rewards You...
Today in Kyoto...
I was very tired. I've been going at it really hard since my arrival in Japan and today my body told me to go slow and pace myself. So I listened, as we often should, and decided to cruise on one of those open air busses for a quick tour of Kyoto. The weather was brilliant today so the topless bus was an easy and relaxing way to get my bearings, breath in some fresh air and hear more history of this ancient city.
On the bus was fellow rider and 70 year old widower, José. He's visiting Japan from Buenos Aires and he loves to Tango.
After our short bus tour he asked if I wanted to spend some time together seeing more of Kyoto. I told him yes, but I needed something to eat first. He was fine with that. He hates dining alone.
Over some hot soba he tells me more about being alone and his loneliness - his three best friends are dead, his wife passed four years ago and his only brother had a stroke and can't speak. He decided to spend his retirement traveling, seeing the world and staying in Air Bnbs. He also hates the cold and chooses to travel by chasing summer.
As our meal came to a close José told me it's good to live a full life and see the world. His said his friends worked very hard, had a lot of money, but died with all of it. He asked rhetorically, "what was it good for?"
Although today was physically challenging I'm grateful for the fatigue. The universe, in one of its perfect ways, provided me a brilliant gift - a reminder to live honestly and fully through the story of José.
*I took this photo of Sokujoin Temple after I accidentally wandered onto a hiking trail out of the back of Fushimi Inari-Tashi Shrine and ended up in front of it. As I tried to make my way to the nearest train station a sweet older gentleman noticed my confusion and in his best English gave me the way.
The road less traveled rewards those who are brave enough to take it. I can prove it to you.