Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ivan Henares celebrates 25 years of traveling & travel writing

While looking through my old stuff, I found a travel journal which I made in 1985 about our family trip to Japan and Taiwan. I was five at that time and after the trip, my mom encouraged me to write about the trip which was bound into a scrap book called My Trip to Japan and Taipei: April 15-24, 1985.

The photo above is my family at Zojoji Temple with Tokyo Tower in the background, a testament to the fact that despite their push for modernity and progress, Japan prides itself in its heritage and puts in a lot of effort for its preservation.

Zojoji Temple, the chief temple of the Jodo Buddhist sect, was founded in 1393. Tokyo Tower on the other hand was built in 1958. Modeled after the Eiffel Tower, it is 1092 feet high and broadcasts most of Japan's TV and radio stations.

I even made my own illustrations to accompany the hand-written text of the scrap book. It took me several months to complete it, October 1985 to be exact. But it was my first attempt at travel writing.

In Japan, we visited the 1985 International Exposition in Tsukuba, Tokyo Disneyland and the different districts of Tokyo such as Ginza and Akihabara.

There's also a drawing I made of the subway system which really wowed me as a young kid. I'm sure even as adults, we're still impressed with the very efficient public transportation system of Japan today.

After Japan, we spent an additional four days in Taipei before returning back to the Philippines. We got to visit the Taipei Zoo and the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall among other attractions in Taipei.

Twenty-five years ago, who would have thought I'd be traveling and writing like this now? It's fun to look back at where it all started, and why I continuously yearn to visit other places and experience different cultures even more.

Ivan About Town just turned five!
I didn't realize it either that my blog turned five this month too! I wrote my first blog entry on April 19, 2005 in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. As the first line of my first entry went, "What a way to start my blog, writing about my journeys in some really exotic place!"

It was my first backpack trip. And I thought, instead of having to repeat my stories to my friends when I got back, I'd just update them through a blog. So that's how Ivan About Town was born. Hope to visit Kota Kinabalu again this year!
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