“The Japanese are hardworking people. Many companies are very strict, you rarely have a day off and there’s a lot of pressure and stress in Japan. When I was 16, I didn’t sign up for this life. I was playing drums in a band called ”SSIZE” in my hometown Chiba. It used to be my dream to be a professional musician, but when the other members started to have kids and careers, I began to work full time. My company was strict as well. If I’d stayed in that position, I would’ve had a safe and easy life, but I wanted to do more than working. So I went to the nearest university and taught myself English. I began my travels in Japan, but continued to Australia, where I made money by playing music on the street, amongst other things. After Australia, I explored big parts of Southeast Asia, New Zealand and Taiwan and finally I came to Europe. After I’ve lived in Northern Ireland and England, I moved to Amsterdam two months ago, where I found a place via HelpX. HelpX is a website that lists farms, hostels and bed & breakfasts who invite volunteer helpers to stay with them for a while in exchange for free accommodation and food. At the moment, I’m staying with a host who owns a bed & breakfast. I change bed sheets, cook, clean and take care of her dogs. I do this two or three days a week, and next to that I work in two restaurants. So I still work a lot, but I also meet many new people and try many new things. What I did was not common in Japan; my family doesn’t understand it. Yet I don’t easily worry. Travelling has opened my mind, my heart and my future too. Don’t think too much, but live without limits.”

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