What do you do when you can't find your way home? I've never really felt that I had a home to go to when I find myself lost, but when I was in Japan, I had a host family that always left the lights on for me so that I could follow it and find my way back to them. I've never felt so loved and accepted before, and the last thing that I wanted to do was to have them worry about me...
But when I was in Japan, I had lost my way home. I had decided to go out into town with another friend of mine to explore Namba, Osaka. It was a great experience to navigate our way through a foreign country-with the glittering lights behind us, the busy buzz of civilians everywhere, the smell of delicious and cheap street food-we were young and completely enjoying our youth.
We danced to the sounds of Japanese and Korean music blasting from the night clubs, uncovered an underground shop, feasted on Ramen noodles, and didn't have a care in the world.
But pretty soon, it was past 11:00 PM and in Japan some trains stop operating after this time. Even when we were warned not to take the rapid express train home, we took it anyway in a rush to get to our homes quickly.
We didn't get off at the correct stop and ended up at the southern end of Osaka, far away from home and no way to get home. Our feet ached, our minds were weary, and our hearts were heavy. We had no other way to get in contact with our loved ones either. We were completely on our own at an empty Japanese train station around 12 midnight.
I was strangely calm even though knowing that I was lost. I only remember thinking that I will always find my way home one way or another, and being worried wouldn't help anything.
After standing around at the empty train station for a while, we luckily caught another train headed close to home. The train station workers knew our predicament just by looking at us, and decided to not charge us further fare as well. It's funny how body language is superbly universal.
The train could not take us all the way home, so our best bet was to take a taxi. Keep in mind that I am the only one in our whole group that doesn't know any Japanese, but I had a receipt from a store in my home town that I had, and showed it to the taxi driver. Miraculously, he knew where to go and took us all the way home. With a 60.00 dollar fee of course.
I was glad that I eventually found my way home, even though it was about one in the morning. But I was proud of myself for having so much hope during tough times.
My host family was a bit worried for me, but all was well when I explained to them what had happened.
I was glad that they were so understanding, I never had that before and it was nice to not be scolded at for simply living my life.
If you ever find yourself lost one day, unable to find your way home, please don't lose hope. Keep calm and know that things will be okay. They were for me and they will be for you. Go out there and enjoy your life for what it is.