I’m not the only one in my family with a travel bug. My entire family can’t sit still and travels in one form or another and with varying degrees. But probably the current winners of most traveled would be my aunt and uncle (on my birth mother’s side). They’ve been to 70+ countries and counting. They’ve been traveling longer than I’ve been alive. My uncle was a professor of anthropology at one of the local universities where I grew up who created the universities study abroad program and my aunt helped him take students on trips across the USA and everywhere else, taking their three daughters along for the ride. I never understood as a kid (and as their only cousin on that side of the family) why I never could go along. So while I was home last we sat down and ironed out our plans for this summer, fulfilling a childhood dream of mine, to travel with them. Usually my aunt and uncle travel over the winter to warmer or milder climates but my uncle can’t handle how cold it gets in South Korea and my aunt couldn’t take time off from work to come during the summer until this year.
We crammed three places into about a week: Jeju island, Hiroshima and Kyoto. It was a lot of fun but we definitely over extended ourselves to the point my uncle’s leg kept swelling up. (He’s nearly 80, so we kept rewarding him with ice cream) We did some things I’ve already done and a lot of things I haven’t. We booked good tours and tours that were disappointing. We stayed at amazing hotels and also hotels where we were floored by just how little was included and how expensive those things were. We also had plans to do amazing things and couldn’t accomplish them due to weather or actual inability to do them physically. It was a fun trip but I think we all need about a week of rest to just recover. I am however glad that they had a good time and I was able to make their first trip to Japan pleasant. (My uncle has been technically to Japan but he had to be hospitalized and didn’t get to see anything, it was definitely a first for my aunt). I learned a bit about myself and it was nice to just talk to them. It should also be noted that this trip occurred during a heat wave in both Japan and Korea, which had more of an impact on our trip than we’d expected.