For the past year, as a freelance photographer and writer, I have been in a fortunate position. Not only have I been able to go out on the streets and experience the day-to-day life in the world’s biggest metropolis, but I have also had the pleasure of diving into some of the many intricacies and layers that this vibrant cultural centre has to offer. If someone had asked me a few years ago how I felt about living in Japan I would have thought they were crazy. But as life always gets its way, I now have the pleasure of calling Japan my home and I couldn't be any happier. There’s never a day that goes by without fueling most of my senses with countless little details. The horde of mouth-watering food joints, the cool and unique cafés that sprawl around the city, the endless list of festivals, the beautiful beaches just a short train ride from the city, the different faces of Mount Fuji as the seasons go by, the cutting edge technology, the world of Ghibli… the opportunities for amazement have been limitless.
Self Portrait -- Photo by Diego Rojas
As I sat pondering over everything I’ve come into contact with here in Japan, I started feeling that something was missing in all of this and realized that my adventure needed something extra… I needed to find a bigger purpose for all this fun I was having besides the mere pleasure of discovering the “new”. I needed to let others into this new world I was being introduced to day after day. So a few months ago while clicking away around the web, I ran into Odigo Travel and right there I knew I had found the answer. What better way to complement all I was experiencing than to share it with other passionate travelers? What better way to let others in on this adventure than to invite them to enjoy the same incredible activities? Why keep it all to myself? Why not help other visitors get the thrill of being in Japan and at the same time contribute by promoting the endless beauty of this very special place?
Scouting out new places for Odigo on the lively streets of Japan -- Photo by Diego Rojas
Busy streets of Shibuya -- Photo by Diego Rojas
Fast forward to today, after collaborating with Odigo for the last three months I have no doubts that joining this community of creative individuals and spirited travellers has changed my life in Japan and has given my work the direction it needed to make a significant contribution to the joy of others. As a travel writer for Odigo, I get to be part of a growing community that cares for the development of its contributors by providing retreats and workshops, while giving me the chance to make a few bucks. I get to discover new places and enjoy a unique activity every day. The park just around the corner from my house, the quaint bakery along the shotengai (shopping street), the futuristic Buddhist temple with a view of the Tokyo tower, the intense Sumo practice session, the snorkeling trip to a secluded beach, and so on and so forth. But best of all, I get to share them with others, guiding them in their adventure and discovery of the hidden treasures that are hard to find without local advice.
So my friends, if you are passionate travellers with an appreciation for the endless charms this country has to offer and are keen on sharing your experiences on this island with the world, I invite you to join Odigo Travel. This is the opportunity to “unlock your odyssey” and let others in on the fun along the way. This is the chance to contribute to a better way of travelling and to a better understanding of not only the Japanese culture but also cultures all around the world. And as I have, you might also find a deeper purpose to keep on adventuring and exploring around, or not… but at least I guarantee you will have a lot of fun.
Enjoying a day in the park... -- Photo by Diego Rojas
Amazing playground art -- Photo by Diego Rojas
I would like to leave you with a quote that has inspired my traveling for the last little while:
Being cosmopolitan does not mean being indifferent to one nation and sensible to others, no. It means the generous ambition of being sensible to all the nations and all the ages… -- Jorge Luis Borges
Since I came across this quote I have set out to discover and experience the different cultures and traditions that we are so fortunate to have around the world. In this pursuit, I’ve had the pleasure of living in four different countries, travelling to many more, and getting to know people from many walks of life along the way. As a result of this desire to experience the unknown and discover new cultures (and of course thanks to my amazing Japanese wife), I now have the pleasure of calling Tokyo home.
Sunset in the land of the rising sun -- Photo by Diego Rojas
If you would like to join the Odigo contributor community email us at [email protected]
Take a look at Diego's favorite spots and trips in Odigo on his profile page.
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