Travel Guide: Japan with a Toddler

Every time I visit a new country, I’m struck by how hard it is to know and understand a place unless you visit, walk, observe, listen and get to know the people and customs there. Travel opens your eyes to how small the world really is, how human beings in all parts of the globe seek kindness and connection, pleasure and beauty. In some places, its easier to find this than others, but its always there. We just returned from Japan, and I feel like we barely scratched the surface in our three weeks of travel. But the one thing we’ll remember most is the kindness and generosity of the people we met there. Wherever my husband goes, he makes friends. It’s one of the qualities I admire most in him. He’s not afraid to introduce himself, ask questions, take risks. His unabashed curiosity and unselfconsciousness always opens doors and leads to adventures, even it’s just learning someone’s story. His ability to connect with others makes our travel experience so much richer.  

Stepping off the plane in Denpasar and climbing into our driver’s car, the smells and sounds of the island enveloped me.  The humid, sticky air smelled of savory charred chicken and chiles mixed with sour smoke from trash burning in roadside fires, those smells wafting through the high-pitched buzz of hundreds of motorbikes.  Small children…