Are we a product of our environment?

I've discussed nature versus nurture before, but last time I was talking about surrounding yourself with like minded people. How being around people that inspire you help bring those attributes out in yourself.


Esao Andrews - The Hiker
The Hiker by Esao Andrews
But what about being surrounded by shit you don't like? Take work for example, most people spend the majority of their lives doing shit that they don't really want to because they need income. Then at the end of the day they go home and complain about it. Most people wouldn't go to their jobs if they had the choice, but since they don't own all of their time they have to trade it for money so they can keep a roof over their head.

Does this environment make us who we are? Even if we don't care about it?


People react to different situations in different ways. If we have particularly difficult jobs that are generally thankless roles (let's say tech support for example, people only call when something has gone wrong) it's an environment that can be somewhat harsh at times to say the least. Some people react to difficult days by having a drink, planning vacations, and maybe some other people will go buy some fancy gadgets to remind themselves why they work.

But then there are people that question the idea of getting up every day to do something that you would never do if you had the choice. These people choose the idea of financial independence over anything else. They decide to buy all of their own time by saving their money so they don't have to do what someone else says anymore. They fast forward their savings to a point that they can be free from this rat race.

Did my environment make me this way before I started working?


In college I studied computer science. I'm not exactly sure why I choose it.... Okay, I lied, I choose it because I wanted to have a robot army. But once I took artificial intelligence and robotics I decided I made a mistake, and that none of my classes transferred... Anyways, I stuck with it because I didn't know what else I wanted to do, and I knew computers would at least make me money. But in all of my classes a common theme was to not re-invent the wheel. Re-use bits of working code and repurpose them for other things, or basically find the simplest solution (hopefully the most elegant simple solution).

So when I was in school did I just interpret the problem was work and that the solution was early retirement? Was this something I was taught all along? Maybe this is why so many early retirement bloggers are in the computer industry?

Let me rewind even earlier


Before I even had my first job at a grocery store I knew I wasn't a big fan of work. Perhaps it was seeing my dad work his ass off and miss my birthday one year when I was pretty young made me realize how much work got in the way of other important things.... Like life. Maybe it was seeing him work so hard that he actually gave himself a heart attack from stress (he's okay by the way). I saw how much work did not make him happy and I didn't want that, maybe my environments have been telling me my whole life that work is not what I really want to do.... I don't know.

Some people have a cozier work environment so they don't feel the need to escape it as quickly as others. I think that many other people just think it's a normal 35 year phase of life so they don't question it. But for some of us - our environment helps us focus on this goal sooner or more aggressively than others.

My Soylent Experiment

For the most part I try to write about things that people can relate to. Ways to help them view their finances so that they can manage their money better or save more. This is probably not one of those stories. Though, to be fair, this would potentially save most people time and money. :)

Look, I'm a weird guy. I like to do weird things. Sometimes I just do things because I think it will make a good story or to see if I can actually do it. I mean, if one of your friends started a story with "Back when I was in that cult in college..." I know that immediately I would be interested in what comes next. It probably doesn't even matter what the actual story was, I would have follow up questions about the cult. Anyways....

On December 28th, 2014. I gave up eating food... Or at least, I began to.


Soylent
(click for larger image)
Let me rewind all the way back to Easter Sunday of 2014 when the idea was hatched. I was talking with by brother about how now that I've gotten older, I can't just eat candy all day without feeling sick to my stomach. From here the conversation veered towards us asking if anyone had done a "cleanse" since those seem to be all the rage these days. And how you're supposed to feel so much better after one.

"There's no way I could do it." I said. "I could never make it a week or two with only drinking lemon water, rice and some other god awful shit. I wish I could just be put into a medically induced coma and be fed through a tube so that when they woke me up in a week my system was flushed out. It would feel like an instant cleanse!"

This idea was not met with much resistance. My cousin seemed to like the idea, though I'm sure if it came down to it, no one would have the balls to actually put themselves in a coma just to do a cleanse. Then my brother asked me if I had heard of Soylent, a food substitute. I had, but I had also never really looked into it.

Basically it's exactly what I said it was, a food substitute (not people). It's a powder that you mix with water and oil which contains proteins, carbohydrates, fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals, but without a lot of the undesirables such as sugars, saturated fats, or cholesterol that you might get with most other food. To get more details you should really check out their site, but the gist is that it's meant to replace food that people traditionally eat at a much lower price.

I was eating horribly before. My breakfast would consist of getting to the office and eating breakfast bars or something along those lines, and lunch was usually a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and whatever snacks they had around the office for almost all of last year. When I got home dinner was usually some frozen food that I would heat up, though in the past year I was getting much better at cooking my own food so dinner became a decent meal, though it was probably still not particularly balanced as I'm not so good at getting the proper amounts of fruits and vegetables.

Switching to Soylent made at least my breakfasts and lunch infinitely more balanced and healthy for me. Dinner was probably much more balanced of a meal as well, so I view this as an upgrade to my old diet. And when you buy in bulk, food prices come in at just over $9 per day or $255 per month for ALL of your food requirements. Compared to most people I know, this is usually cheap for an entire month of food, but for some people (many personal finance bloggers included) this may not be the cheapest option. For me, this actually increased my food budget since my breakfasts were usually stuff from work and PB&J sandwiches probably ended up only costing me $0.60 a day. But since I'm getting a more well rounded diet I am fine with the increase.

My Experience

Version 1.1 - My food comes with versions which I think is kind of weird, funny, and awesome, all at the same time. When you first mix up Soylent it comes out as this beige-ish color, there's a little grainy-ness to it but all in all I thought it almost tasted a little like watered down cake batter. I really didn't mind the taste so I drink it plain, though some people add chocolate syrup or peanut butter to give it a flavor that appeals to them more. Maybe if I get bored I'll try that sometime but for now I'm fine with it as is. It's also much better when it's cold. I usually mix up a pitcher after I've finished the previous one, this usually means it can chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours before I feel like drinking it. Also that 3 hours gives it some time to let any powder that I didn't thoroughly mix in get absorbed in so the next shake before a meal finishes the mixing.

Everywhere in Soylent's forums they mention starting off easy and not switching your full diet to Soylent all at once. Well, I'm not one for following advice so I just dove right in and started making all of my meals Soylent.

Day 1: I was headed to a birthday party that night so I decided I should drink a "meal" before I left to the bar. I had a late "lunch" meal that day so I drank about half a days worth of "food" within a 4 hour span. I quickly learned on the first day that you can get uncomfortably full drinking Soylent.

Day 2: Excessive gas. Maybe this is TMI but I had a very large volume of gas, but the worst part was that this gas smelled bad... Probably some of the worst smelling I've ever had.

Day 3: I wonder if this is what my dog feels like when I introduce new food in her diet? Soylent goes in, Soylent goes out. I had to take a break and eat regular food on day three. My bowels were paying the price for making such a dramatic shift in food. Luckily it only took a single meal to help my bowels feel better.

Week 2-3: After a while my body started to adjust to the new source of food. The gas lessened a little but that's still somewhat of an issue. I'm eating a regular meal about once every 4 days or so to keep my digestion more comfortable still.

Week 4-5: I've just switched from Soylent version 1.1 to version 1.3 (version 1.2 was released and discontinued pretty quickly) they have changed the formula slightly based on user feedback. They have added 1 more gram of fiber (per meal) to the mix so it's slightly thicker and fills you up more. It's also a little grainier which I'm also okay with. They also changed the source of where they get the omega-3 oil that goes into the mix. It no longer comes from fish oil and is processed from an algae that they harvest themselves.

Week 6-7: I think my body is finally adjusted to my new diet. Gas isn't really an issue anymore. I actually have not eaten solid food since the Superbowl (Feb. 1st).

Going Forward

At this point I want to finish at least this month without eating normal food. Mostly just so I can say that I went a month without eating food. But who knows how long I'll really last on an all Soylent diet.

In a way I sort of view myself as being in a position that's similar to a Tesla owner. WHAT!? How can that be? Okay let me explain. As soon as you tell people you stopped eating food you have to explain yourself, you have to make it seem like you did this out of some sort of logical reasoning. You become a spokesperson for Soylent, much like how Telsa owners become sort of spokespeople for Teslas. (Though one is probably an easier sell than the other)

Common Questions

Don't you miss food? - I used to view food as just sustenance, it was pretty much just something that kept me going. The idea of fancy dinners was mostly wasted on me, I did appreciate nice food, but for some reason paying exorbitant amounts for a meal just didn't appeal to me. I do miss the things that are horrible for me like bacon or just super fatty unhealthy foods but that's simply what I used to eat. But now that I've actually switched to something that is actually much more close to being just "sustenance", I do miss food. I actually appreciate food a lot more now that I've stopped eating it. The few meals that I have ate this year I have made sure they were "worth it".

How are you alive? How have you not wasted away? That can't be healthy? - How do people in coma's live off of feeding tubes? It's the same thing in essence, I'm just voluntarily doing it. Before I switched to this diet I had a pretty unbalanced diet. Like I said, I used to view food as just sustenance to keep me going so making dinner every night just seemed like a tedious hour everyday. Now I can get the same amount of calories with a single drink. I'm not starving, I'm never really hungry, I haven't lost weight, and my skin actually seems clearer than it used to be. Some people on the Soylent online forums talk about having so much more energy after switching to Soylent. I have my own energy level issues normally so I haven't noticed this difference. But when I do eat food I do notice a food coma-ish type of effect, when you are on Soylent that no longer happens anymore, so that's a plus.

Other Observations

I have more spare time after work. It's nice to get home and have an extra hour to spend on something that is not a grocery store run, making dinner, or washing dishes. Most people might call that lazy, but I just view it as making meals more efficient, it really only takes me 5 minutes to make a full days worth of food now.

I've accidentally become a vegan. I didn't intend to become a vegan, but it's just sort of an unintentional after effect of switching to Soylent. Honestly, I'm not sure what I think about that since I used to always say I was a firm believer of the food chain and that humans are near the top of it (just below zombies).

If you tell someone that you are drinking a protein shake - that's normal. No one cares. If you tell someone you are drinking a food substitute you are a social pariah.

Speaking of being a social pariah. I feel like even after my experiment I will still probably have Soylent in my diet to some degree, it's very convenient to make, and sometimes it's perfect for a quick meal before bed after a long night at the bar. This actually really helps prevent hangovers for me, also if I'm sick (either because of a long night of drinking or just actually being sick) it's an easy way to get food in you when you don't feel like eating. And getting nutrition in your body will help it get better quicker.

I don't think I will stay on 100% Soylent much longer because it makes you a social pariah. Most people go out to eat, it's just a default thing that most friends or acquaintances do. Telling people you don't eat instantly makes you an outcast. Even friends have a hard time reacting to this one.

There are some extreme things that people do to reach financial independence as fast as they can. J$ over at Budgets are Sexy recently reminded me that:

Extreme actions yield extreme results

As far as how this can help your path to financial independence, there's the first point of that it might possibly be much cheaper than your current food budget. It's also an extremely efficient method to get food because you spend less time needing to buy food, prepare good, eat food, and clean up food. Because it's so efficient you can easily find yourself with an extra hour every day to work on something else.

I know that this isn't for everyone but to me this is a very interesting experiment. And hey, I've actually found a much greater appreciation for food now!

The Problem With Work

Maze by James Jean
Maze by James Jean
Work sucks. I'm sure if we all had the choice of kicking back on the beach or going into the office, 99 out of 100 people would choose a day in the sun. That other guy that choose the office probably has a fear of sharks or something.

If we didn't have to work then most of us would probably choose not to. But it's a necessary part of life, and I do respect the process of it all. I mean, if you didn't have to work for things then you probably wouldn't appreciate the results as much. For example, do you think that a high school kid that worked hard to buy a car, or a kid that was given a car from their parents will take better care of their vehicle? My guess is the kid that worked for it will appreciate the sacrifice that went into it.

While I see nothing wrong with work itself, I do see a problem with how society perceives people because of their work.

What did we do? TurboTax Backtracks

It takes years to build up trust, and only seconds to destroy it.

Forgive me my love by Jason Lips


Yesterday I received an email from TurboTax titled:

"Our apologies. We're fixing things."

I didn't buy TurboTax this year because they changed their software so that I would have to pay twice as much to get my taxes done. Apparently the backlash of other customers who didn't realize this, and people like myself who simply choose not to use them for their taxes this year they decided they needed to fix things.

So it looks like they are giving out a lot of free software upgrades to what people were expecting and hoping that will repair the damage that was done. I kind of view this as too little too late. While I haven't actually bought software to do my taxes this year I did my research on what I would have needed and already found a cheaper option.

While I'm sure that this approach will save them a lot of customers, especially ones that haven't done their taxes yet, they already lost me. What they did this year makes me wonder if next year they will just raise the base price instead of making us need the upgrade like this year.

Also on another note with TurboTax, apparently there are many states that aren't accepting returns right now from TurboTax because of a large amount of fraudulent claims.... It just doesn't look like things are going well for them this year. Partially their fault, partially not.

Get Vindictive - Using Spite to Succeed

In the past week there were a lot of changes that happened at my work. My current manager decided to move to a different department in search for a slightly different career path and by doing this a new management position opened up at work.


Joan Cornella
Joan Cornella
To be honest, if my old manager hadn't decided to leave my department, I don't think I would have really given much thought to the position. I figured one day I would probably step into that position but that it would be perhaps a year or two down the road so I wasn't in a big rush. I've been told in the past by previous managers that they think I would be good at it, and personally I do think I have what it takes to do well but that's beside the point of this story.

Anyways, last Thursday my manager brought me into a conference room to tell me that he was leaving our team, and that the Account Director (his boss) had decided to put.... We'll call him "Buddy", into the newly vacant position. He was merely telling me of the decision to see how I would feel about this change.

I guess you could say that no one expected my reaction. I flat out said that I would be angry and disappointed with that change and that I would be interested in being considered for the position myself.

Why I'm switching away from TurboTax this year

This year I lagged compared to my usual approach to taxes. It seems like every year the date that I receive all of my tax forms gets pushed back further and further. I swear that I remember getting my taxes done before January 15th once but now it seems like I can't even attempt to complete my taxes until mid February anymore.


Ryohei Hase
His only wish was to touch by Ryohei Hase
This year I'm glad I waited on it though. Normally, every year I purchase TurboTax and plug away at it myself for a few hours and then "voilà!" I'm done, and hopefully a refund will be coming in a few weeks (except not last year) and not an audit. But this year I have to take a new approach, and if you are a TurboTax user then you might want to reconsider too! You see TurboTax did something sort of sneaky, they changed their software so that the deluxe version no longer includes the forms necessary to enter your schedule D forms for capital gains and losses.

Many loyal customers of TurboTax didn't read the fine print on the boxes about the changes that were made to the software so now when they are in the middle of their taxes find out that they have to upgrade to the next level up of the software. So instead of paying about $48 for the version they thought they needed they end up upgrading to the premier version which costs them $75 instead. The other option they could do is purchase another program from somewhere else and start the whole process over again which is also a bit absurd, no one really wants to go through that all again.

The response from Intuit (the owners of TurboTax) has been that they clearly labeled their packaging - which in all fairness they did. But for users like myself that have used TurboTax for the past decade or more it's like going to buy a Happy Meal and suddenly they say that the Happy Meal does not come with fries and a drink. Sure it may be labeled that way on the menu but when you have been ordering the same thing for forever you kind of just expect it to be the same.

So this year I'm making the switch. I've always wanted to try a different tax software... Well not really, but I did have a little curiosity of what would happen if I did a side by side comparison, not that I want to do my taxes twice in one year. So this year I'm switching to H&R Blocks software to give it a spin. It's actually cheaper than the usual version of TurboTax that I would use coming in at $42 and everyone online says that it's basically the same and that the only reason they never made the switch was because they were loyal to TurboTax. I should also be able to import last years version of my taxes from TurboTax into their software so getting my previous information should be just as easy as before.

So how are you doing your taxes this year? If you are a TurboTax user are you going to stick with it or are you going to jump ship like many others? Is now a good time to invest in H&R Block?

Landlord Hating

haters gonna hate
They see me rollin'
They hatin'
Landlording they tryin to catch me ridin dirty


This one goes out to all the people that live in over populated cities. That means you San Francisco, and I'm also looking at you Manhattan!

Next to bloodsucking lawyers, landlords are probably next in the queue of hated on people in the world. Actually, let me take that back -- everyone accepts lawyers as money grubbing individuals so no one really has to talk about it as if it were something new. And most people don't need lawyers so it's much less of a common ground for people to talk about. But most people have dealt with a landlord in their lives and it seems that lately, the new trend is to hate on them.

Look, I get it. You want to pay the least amount possible that you can for the roof over your head -- We all do! But it's a business son! Simple supply and demand, if people are willing to pay more, then why would I rent for less?

Weird Things to do in Japan

There really is no shortage of things to do in Japan, but while visiting all of the castles, temples, and gardens are nice. To me, they can be forgetful and are not the highlights of my trip, some of my best memories came from the weird things I found that you can do in Japan. Most of these were in Tokyo, not all of them, but I think I started looking for more weird stuff as my trip progressed since those things stuck out to me and less of the standard "tourist sites".

Robot Cabaret (Tokyo - Robot Restaurant - Shinjuku)


They say that it took $10 million to create this club, and it shows. Even the bathrooms of the lounge area are worth visiting! The show has multiple acts, there's cabaret girls, Rock-em' Sock-em' robots, various animatronic mythical beasts that fight each other. I went to the show and I'm still not entirely sure of everything that happened, but it was one of the best experiences I had in Tokyo. I highly recommend it. Please know that you need to get tickets in advance, you won't be able to just show up and buy tickets for the next show or probably even the next night.


Weirdness level: 10 out of 10
Awesomeness level: 10 out of 10

Sleep in a Capsule Hotel (Tokyo)

If you want a cheap place to stay that will be a truly unique experience, look no further than the capsule hotel of whatever major city you happen to be in. When I travel I don't need a lot of amenities for where I stay, it's simply a place to sleep at night. If that's really all you want then this could be a great option for you since that's all you're really provided with. The downside is that at about 5am everyone's alarms start going off in 5 minute intervals. Luckily for me, I stayed here on my first night so I was already awake!
Capsule Hotel ShinjukuCapsule Hotel Shinjuku

Weirdness level: 7 out of 10
Awesomeness level: 5 out of 10


Bunny Café (Tokyo - Ra.a.g.f. - Harajuku)

If you've been away from your pets at home for a while and want some furry companionship, you should consider heading to a rabbit café. You pay for how much time you would like to spend in the cafe and while you are there you get free coffee or tea while you hang out with some furry friends. I believe it was about $8 for a half hour and that included purchasing extra rabbit food to feed the bunnies.


Rabbit Cafe Tokyo
Playing with Josette at Ra.a.g.f.
It was somewhat difficult to find a rabbit café that was still open. I could not locate any of the ones I found online that were in Asakusa, one had definitely been closed and the other I simply could not find. I ended up going to Rabbit and Grow Fat (Ra.a.g.f) in Harajuku which was a nice little place to visit.

Weirdness level: 7 out of 10
Awesomeness level: 8 out of 10

Maid Café (Tokyo - @Home Maid Café - Asakusa)

If paying for a bunny's time isn't your thing then perhaps paying to be someone's master is more to your liking? Maid café's are a place to go to experience Japan's kawaii culture ("cute" culture). When you walk in maid's will 'welcome you home' and entertain you by serving you food, drinks or playing games with the 'masters' who come in the café.



Zee and Aina @Home Maid Café
It's an interesting experience to say the least. people watching in the café is also interesting because of the number of regular customers that appear to come in and partake in the services offered.

Weirdness level: 8 out of 10
Awesomeness level: 6.5 out of 10

Teddy Bear Eco Village (Hida Takayama)

I visited Hida Takayama as a day trip from Nagoya, but I think it can also be done from Tokyo as well. To begin it was a beautiful train ride in the snow and Hida Takayama was a cool little town to walk around with a fresh blanket of snow. When I got there I discovered the gem that is called Teddy Bear Eco Village. I'm not sure exactly how to describe this place, it's like your 80 year old aunt couldn't become a cat lady because she was allergic so she decided to build a teddy bear museum instead. Where she created dioramas of scenes she wanted to act out in her life but never did. There's a teddy bear bakery, a teddy bear mayor, teddy bear Michael Jackson Thriller, animatronic polar bears, and even your standard teddy bear wedding... Well, not quite standard, the bears getting married were larger than me and had their own outdoor chapel in which they were wed.

Teddy Bear Eco Village
I call this look 'Thug Passion' - also note the bear chapel behind me
I think that since I was the only person there, it may have made it more special for me. If it had been swamped with children (which I imagine it is at times) then perhaps it wouldn't have been as strange of an experience for me.

Weirdness level: 8 out of 10
Awesomeness level: 7 out of 10

Cup Noodles Museum (Yokohama)

Just a short train ride from Tokyo is the town of Yokohama. Besides for their great Chinatown they also have both a Ramen museum and the Cup of Noodles Museum. This one wasn't exactly weird, but it was more like a college dream come true to get to actually make my own Cup or Noodles. You buy a cup, decorate it, get to choose the toppings and take home your own shrink wrapped cup of noodles to eat.

Cup of Noodles Museum

Weirdness level: 7 out of 10
Awesomeness level: 8 out of 10

Kigurumi Pajamas (Tokyo)

I think Kigurumi Pajamas fall under the Kawaii or "cute" culture status. Kigurumi is a Japanese name for costumed performers who represent costumed characters, often cartoons. Anyways, onesies are a lot of fun, what kid did not love pretending to be a dinosaur growing up. None.


I got mine from a store called Don Quijote which is a big chain in major cities. That store is full of weird stuff in it's own right so you might want to check it out anyways!

Weirdness level: 7 out of 10
Awesomeness level: 9 out of 10

Onsen - Public Baths (Kinosaki Onsen)

Get naked and bathe with a bunch of strangers. These are separated by gender, but bathing in the traditional way for Japan is really an experience. Onsens are natural hot springs, the ones that I went to in Kinosaki Onsen were outdoors and amazing. But before you just jump in the waters you clean yourself thoroughly before, the baths are merely for soaking and relaxing.

Kinosaki Onsen
In my Yukata in front of one of the main bath houses in Kinosaki Onsen
I also went to an Onsen in Osaka called Spa World which is not that far out of the way compared to Kinosaki Onsen. I highly recommend it as a mid day break after walking around.

Weirdness level: 6 out of 10
Awesomeness level: 8 out of 10

Winter Lights Festivals (Nabana No Sato & Kobe)


Luminaire Kobe
Kobe's Luminaire
Visiting Japan in December means you will probably stumble across various city illuminations. I ended up seeing a few amazing winter lights festivals with the highlights in Kobe's Luminaire and Nabana No Sato. Had I realized each town had some sort of celebration revolving around light displays I could have hit more of them. These aren't that "weird" but they aren't year round so if you can see them you definitely should.

It's  like unlocking rainbow road!


Over 1 million lights in this tunnel
Weirdness level: 6 out of 10
Awesomeness level: 10 out of 10

The Click of the Moment

"I deserve this."

I thought as I clicked the button confirming my flight to Japan. After more than a year without taking a day off of work I had earned deserved this.


Natalie Shau
Lucifer by Natalie Shau
But did I really? What had I done to deserve twenty some odd days half way around the world? All that I had really done was my job.... for a year.... and I was paid for it. It's not like I had adopted a Japanese child and was showing them their culture. I hadn't even adopted a Shiba Inu. Or at the very least I could have held open an elevator door for a Japanese person, but I don't recall that happening lately. Usually I press the door close button as soon as I get in, in hopes that I have the elevator to myself. That way I can pretend I'm at home in my bathroom and do some last minute personal grooming.... Is that another grey hair, they don't hide like they used to.

Perspective

Well I'm back from my vacation and made it through the holidays. I didn't mean to neglect my blog but that sort of just happened while I was in Japan. But now that I'm back hopefully I'll be able to pick up a regular schedule again.

The thing about changing your environment for a while is that you see a lot of stuff that you normally wouldn't. Hopefully the change of perspective will be useful and you can learn or takeaway a few things from the experience. So here are some things I noticed while in Japan, some things I will miss, others I hope to learn from, and some I hope to avoid!

My new kigurumi pajamas
Almost every night I had had PJ's laid out for me at my hotel. I will miss this part of Japan. I didn't expect that to even be a part of my whole trip but it's just something that happened that I appreciated. BUT, on a side note I bought some new kigurumi pajamas while I was there so even if they aren't laid out for me every night, I will still remember the weirdness of Japan when I put these on before bed.

New Money

I’m glad the portrait of Ben Franklin stayed the same on the new $100 bill. There’s something about his slight, tight frown, the paternal hint of disappointment in his eyes and those pursed, sealed lips that seem to say, “I don’t approve of what you’re doing, but I can’t stop you from rolling this banknote into a straw and ripping a fat rail of white lightning in the Buffalo Wild Wings handicapped bathroom stall, you goddamn beautiful disaster.” 
Via - Streeter Seidell

Culture Shock

Before I begin I have been a little delayed on posting and replying, that is because I'm currently out of the country on vacation, so bear with me for a few more weeks while I continue exploring the world.

Robot Cabaret Show - Tokyo, Japan
Robot Cabaret Show - Tokyo, Japan
I was in need of a change. I was burnt out on almost everything as of late, I was very tired of work and I didn't really have any good reason why. I don't particularly dislike my job like previous ones, so I'm not entirely sure why I was feeling that way. But it had been almost two years since I had been on a real vacation and I even started dreaming about being at work. Everything just needed change.

So I picked to go to Japan for vacation, I'd never been there so that was one of my few requirements. I had looked into Borneo as a possible location but I found that I couldn't actually go up an hug an orangutan in the wild so that kind of turned me off. I was also considering a volunteer vacation to Africa where I would volunteer at an animal sanctuary (see the animal trend here) but after some research I found that volunteering would be much more expensive than just going to Japan so that's how my choice was made.