Wednesday, September 10, 2014

From Hakone to Takao to Tokyo to Manila to Bahrain to Athens in 6 days. Living aTravelife.


Last night, in Bahrain living a Travelife, I went for a sunset swim in the Arabian Sea right after a nine-hour flight on Gulf Air from Asia.



The water was so warm and nice that I would have stayed there for a few hours, just thinking about Travel and Life, if only we hadn't booked dinner at Bahrain's best restaurant.

More on this dinner in a later blog entry. 
We had really good food.

I REALLY LIKE BAHRAIN

At the beautiful Sofitel Bahrain this morning

It was such a nice and relaxing stay in Bahrain, albeit short.

But, to be frank, if someone had told me last Friday night that I would be swimming in the Arabian Sea on a Tuesday night, living a Travelife, my reaction would have been: "I would so love to. But the chances of that happening are about zero."

It's been a very eventful few days, you see. And until a few days ago, absolutely nothing had been finalised for my trip.

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A HOSPITAL IN JAPAN AT MIDNIGHT
ON WEDNESDAY

Last Wednesday, I was at the emergency room of a hospital in a small town by the sea in Japan at midnight.

My friends and I were staying at Japan's top luxury ryokan when I'd gotten the worst stomach cramps ever.

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TRAVELIFE WITH US

MOROCCO




The emergency services team that came to my aid felt we needed to rule out appendicitis so they'd rushed me in an ambulance to a hospital 40 minutes away.

So for a few crucial hours on Wednesday night, still living a Travelife, I was mentally preparing myself to go under the knife.

And thinking about how an operation would affect my next few weeks.

A WAGYU STEAK DINNER
IN THE MOUNTAINS OF JAPAN
ON THURSDAY NIGHT



But -- what do you know. Someone up there loved me enough to make it just a really bad case of stomach flu.

And by Thursday night, admittedly with lots of willpower involved, I was in a restaurant in the middle of the mountains of Japan with friends, and I actually had a wagyu steak.

SAKE COCKTAILS AND 
A MOLECULAR GASTRONOMY DINNER
ON FRIDAY NIGHT



And on Friday night, I'd organised a sake cocktail party on a rooftop with a killer view of Tokyo, and a molecular gastronomy dinner that everyone said was a most fitting ending to a nice week-long trip around Japan.

But I'd been so busy with being unwell and having to play host to a group of friends at the same time that I'd not been able to do anything at all about my trip to Bahrain and Europe this week.



So on Friday night, there I was having sake on a rooftop terrace, enjoying a very nice evening. But I also had no visa to Bahrain, no hotel in Bahrain, and no proper ticket to Europe.

I NEVER THINK OF THINGS
BEYOND MY CONTROL

Breakfast at the Sofitel Bahrain this morning

But there was very little I could do until my hosting duties ended.

So I just put thoughts of Bahrain aside for the moment and decided to leave everything to fate.


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People who know me will tell you that I never think about things I have no control over, because I think it's useless to do so.

But as soon as I safely saw my friends off to the airport on Saturday morning, I sat down finally and opened my computer, and got to work.

APPLYING FOR A VISA TO BAHRAIN
ON A SATURDAY NIGHT

Lobby of Sofitel Bahrain

This is probably the most photo-finish trip I have ever done, but everything fell into place after Saturday afternoon.

Within hours I had a hotel and I'd applied for a visa to Bahrain, and on Sunday night I got the visa sorted out.

A FLIGHT FROM TOKYO TO MANILA
ON MONDAY NIGHT
AND A FLIGHT TO BAHRAIN
ON TUESDAY AFTERNOON

Dinner on Monday night on Delta Airlines
Tokyo to Manila

On Monday night, I was on a flight back to Manila and on Tuesday afternoon, I made it for a flight to Bahrain.

My friend who came along said: "I never doubted everything would work out. This is a Travelife after all." Talk about a great vote of confidence when even I didn't have this.

Indeed. But even for a never-endingly eventful Travelife, this sure was one close call of a trip.

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