Golden Week syndrome

Apparently Golden Week has started in Japan, everybody is going crazy on FB because for one whole week everybody is allowed to go on vacation. This is one of the two times in the year where the Japanese are expected to take time off, during that one week (and again one week in August) you should take your yearly vacation days and go somewhere. Or let me rephrase it this way: You are supposed to take your vacation days during this time, because the company is officially closed. You basically can not not take your vacation during that time.

Of course what happens is that flights and hotels get 10 times more expensive during that time (I’m not kidding, I was looking for someplace to go to last year) and the streets get clogged and basically nobody is left in the greater Tokyo region.

When I left Japan, people seriously asked me what’s wrong with me that I would want to leave and why I wasn’t looking for a job there again.

Seeing my friends on FB today who are genuinely happy about their one week of freedom and after having travelled extensively for the past two months, makes me think that maybe Stockholm syndrome might be a good way to explain this.

I know I am a long way from being truly free – I don’t have a lot of money or a passive income and I am lightyears away from being truly location independent.

But I have some freedom. And I intend to keep it that way and not make it worse by living in a country which doesn’t even allow you to take time off when you want.

Yes, even though freedom brings trouble with it, even though freedom can stress me out sometimes and I have to look for a job and a flat and stuff like that. If that’s the price of freedom I am willing to pay every cent!

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Golden Week syndrome

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