Blue Birds Adventures

The Slow Travel Experience

Recharging My Inner Power: Volunteering as a Green Tea Farmer in Japan

Last weekend, as thunder roared across the Zakynthos, an unexpected power cut plunged us into darkness. For hours, we were left without electricity, relying on a humble gas cooker from our trusty camper van to brew our morning coffee. It was during this time that a metaphor unfolded before me, reminding me of a time when my own personal electricity, my inner spark, had run out.

My Story of Burnout

You see, a few years ago, I found myself immersed in the world of accountancy. I excelled in my work, receiving praise for my daily efforts, and diligently pursuing ACCA qualifications while studying Finance and Accounting degree in Manchester. On the surface, everything seemed to be on track, but deep within, something was amiss. As I observed my senior colleagues, I couldn’t envision myself walking in their footsteps. My personal electricity had dimmed, and I felt drained.

Every day, I dragged myself out of bed, engaging in tasks that failed to charge my battery. Now, let me be clear: I hold immense respect for the remarkable accountants who find fulfilment in their field. But for me, it wasn’t the right fit. I knew I had to make a change. And so, I made a bold decision.

Taking a month-long sabbatical from work, I embarked on a solo journey to Japan (I’ll share my budget-friendly tips in another article). In retrospect, it may have seemed audacious, but at the time, it felt like the only logical step. I sought to reshape my surroundings, immerse myself in the unknown, and witness the gradual recharging of my inner battery.

Green Tea Farming in Wazuka town

For an entire month, I was welcomed into the home of a Japanese family of tea farmers in the peaceful town of Wazuka. This quiet town, just an hour away from Kyoto, is known for its Uji tea — the best kind of green tea. Not many people know that Wazuka town produces almost half of all Uji tea sold in Japan.

Working in the green tea fields was more than just work for me. It helped me to relax and understand myself better. When I was working with the green tea plants, I felt calm and peaceful. Doing the same things over and over, like cutting the plants and picking the tea leaves, helped me to stop worrying and find peace.

Living with the Japanese family gave me a chance to immerse myself in their culture and way of life. We shared meals and took part in traditional tea ceremonies, which taught me to appreciate simplicity, mindfulness, and the beauty of nature.

During this transformative experience, I may not have figured out my exact career path, but I gained clarity on what I didn’t want. Sometimes, understanding what we don’t want is the first step in finding our true passions.

Rediscovering My Spark

Returning from Japan, I never looked back at the world of accountancy. I had reconnected with my true self and opened the doors for extraordinary possibilities. There’s a saying that goes, “Sometimes you have to walk a long way to find the way to yourself.” So, if you find yourself in a state of electricity depletion, I encourage you to take a step back and contemplate how you can ignite the spark once more.

Imagine being stuck without personal electricity for years. How would it impact your well-being, your passions, and your sense of purpose? Don’t wait for such a scenario to unfold. Take charge of your own journey. Just as our electricity eventually returned after a few hours due to decisive action, so too can you reclaim your inner power.

Remember, sometimes it’s through exploring, discovering ourselves, and stepping into the unknown that we find clarity and inspiration to pursue our true passions. Embrace new experiences, seek meaning, and let the world guide you on your authentic path.

Your inner electricity is precious, and it’s time to let it shine brightly once again.

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