日本語版はこちら(Japanese version is here)
I write the final prologue as my preparation except budgeting and a process until my arrival at Sydney. I will hand over to 20-year-old-me from the next. Here we go!
Around the time of a cherry bloom, I went to Australia from Narita (Tokyo) airport by the plane. An older boy who lived in the next room of Sanraku-so came to see me off to a station. I could not depart from Haneda Airport where I went through many nights for the airplane washing work. However, Haneda was not an international airport 20 years ago, so I could not be helped.
I had worked the airplane washing job until the end. Because I did not know well the situation in Australia, I wanted to save money as much as possible. During the day, I went to the embassy and libraries to collect information for going round Australia by bicycle. Some documents said desert becomes below freezing, so I bought a wrong sleeping bag for winter mountains (Koyama-kun: Thank you for buying the bag from me). I went to a local bicycle shop in the neighborhood and I learned the maintenance of the bicycle while helping his work. I became able to to fix tires and punctured tubes quickly, I also learned how to adjust wheels using brakes and how to replace of a chain. I learned also the adjustment of gears, but this did not go well, so I did not touch much on it while I was twirling Australia by bicycle.
I decided to use a cross bike that can go both on and off roads. It was a red domestic bike. A red bike should be used for the red land. I ordered and bought from "the local bicycle shop in town" that helped me a lot. You can do your shopping by flipping through a catalog while consulting to masters on a shopping street in those days. Considered now, I do not think the bicycle shop master knew the equipment necessary to go round Australia by bicycle. But, that is all right. That's how it goes. Before my departure, I gave up my room at Sanraku-so, a four and a half tatami size room in a wooden mortar apartment which had neither bath nor telephone, but had a common toilet. The day before my departure, I stayed in the room of Mr. Koyama, who lived in the room diagonally opposite. His four and a half tatami size room was completely full as there are Mr. Koyama, me, his luggages, my travel baggages, and my bike.
Then, the older boy who lived next door at Sanrakuso, carried these baggages to the nearest station. I was anxious when I arrived at the airport. It was not surprising, since I was trying to round Australia by bicycle in my first trip abroad.
"What I am really doing!"
When I am doing something weird, I have things thinking about as I come back to reality. This happens at this time.
"For what, I'm doing this?"
"I turned down the employment and made my parents worried. And then, where will I go?"
When I get back to reality, I think I am doing a strange thing, but I am just progressing what I love to do with every effort. It is not the same as a success imaged by the general public. Sometimes, I suddenly remember about it. I may have avoided cool professions, things making a money, and an undergraduate degree which I can get a job easily. During my undergraduate years, I was accepted to take a Bioinformatics master's course, got the A and suggested to continue the study, but I went to environmental studies. I liked microeconomics of behavioral science more than macroeconomics which can make money. For climate change research, I also like adaptation close to developing country problems rather than mitigation that can be a business. It is possible to work harder for what you like. And then, you can move forward.
Mr. Steve Jobs had a speech "you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future." 20-year-old-i arrived at the airport did not have a mentor like Mr. Steve Jobs, so he did not know that the dot of now connect to the dot of the future. However, I threw away backward thinking immediately, and began moving forward. Because I carried a bike, my luggage was overweight clearly. So, I asked passengers who do not have much luggage and ride on the same flight.
"In order to go round Australia by bicycle, I would like to get on the plane, but my luggage is overweight. So, could you carry this as your luggage?"
I think I was refused by people like office workers. After talking some, one of university students had a dubious look accepted my request. I get on an airplane for hours for the first time. I also sat next to a blonde girl coming from Ireland for the first time. All told, at the end of March in 1993, 20-year-old-i with a bright red bicycle was landed at Sydney.
If I think it now, I traveled by bicycle in Australia as a dot has led to I got the scholarship from Oxford that is a 100 time competitive rate as a dot. At the time of the interview for the scholarship, I did a lot of talk about the bike trip in Australia. I think there were candidates superior to me. However, I think this trip stood me out from the disorderly crowd. As Mr. Jobs said, this was not known by 20-year-old-i standing at Narita Airport. Young people do not listen to their predecessors. So, it is not necessary "to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future and to act mercenary." Anyway, it is all good if you keep working on what you love diligently. This might not be the success seen by others, but you should have a fun life when you will look back in the future.