I wanted to say slow travel as per the larger Slow Movement, but it's not exactly about the pace per se. It's more about not having a strict itinerary, not trying to achieve things (like check off tourist sights) while travelling, not seeing your vacation as a project to be completed.
I admit, I'm that kind of person. Was that kind of person... or at least someone trying not to be that kind of person now. A recovering addict from travel done like it's an achievement competition. I had a list of around 30 things to see, do or eat in Kyoto. But I feel tired looking at that list now. Like, physically tired. And bored. At this thought, the intellectual/rational side starts guilt-tripping the f*ck out of me, because "IT'S SUCH A WASTE OF TIME! IT'S SO EXPENSIVE TO COME HERE AND YOU DON'T SQUANDER IT LIKE THAT! DO MORE!" But since last year, I started a personal practice to start listening to what my body is telling me. I'm realising that ultimately, he's the boss, not my mind, not my achievement mindsets, not my health-eating drive. And my body is telling me now that he finds this long list nauseating.
So I listen.
I'm going to (try to) experience Kyoto without a prior plan. Or rather, I'll make stuff up along the way as I go. Maybe I will still refer to the list, and see if anything resonates with how I feel that day. If not, I just leave the house. And wander. And get lost. And discover sh*t. It's my third day in today, and I'm already profiting from this stance. I chanced upon so many places and things I did not plan for. Serendipity is a close cousin of aimlessness, it seems. Of course there's just as many, if not more, misses than hits. But it's all part of the process. The gems are worth all the fakes along the way.
And yes ok, strictly speaking, I'm here in Kyoto because I had a plan. To study kintsugi. And do some stuff I mentioned in my previous post. But I'm glad my body is telling me otherwise now, because just following that plan would have made this trip less than savoury. I'll still go to classes as planned, but beyond that, it's all up to providence.
And it's beginning to feel like a real adventure.