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Ladies and Gentlemen, I write this with a penetrating, stinging sadness as I announce, the official ending of our adventures with YamaKataGo.com.
What started as nothing more than a sightseeing hobby of mine, hiking through Japan equipped with only two boots and a camera, has miraculously turned into one of the greatest projects of my life. Topped perhaps, only by my 5th grade Presidential Campaign popup book that I somehow managed to complete the night before it was due after a 6 week trip to Bogota, Colombia. Jokes aside, YamaKataGo was what kept me sane my last few months in the Navy. A creative outlet, a platform to tell me story, and a way to connect with you.
I can honestly say that I challenged myself to bring you a side of Japan and Costa Rica that is not often captured by your typical Japan Blogger or Costa Rican travel book. We journeyed together to the Mountaintops of Hokkaido, found ourselves face to face with a Bear Cub in Western Japan, traversed through Costa Rican jungles, and traveled through a Coastal City in Eastern Costa Rica that resembles Jamaica more than it does a Central American country.
Alas, that has all, much to my regret, come to a termination. I am by no means a writer, but I’ve heard (read) many writers say many times, that the best way to reflect, is always, through travel. And, fortunately for me, the last three months has given me that time to figure things out.
I ventured through the capital of Colombia, Bogota, and saw her historic beauty.
This photo above looks like a really simple photo, but this is, by far, my favorite picture that I have ever taken. I can close my eyes and remember the exact scenario, the entire feeling in all its contrast, the intense mixture of warmth and coldness, love and isolation, vibrancy and dullness, that was the moment this picture was taken.
I got to see a small Colombian River town and go white water rafting through it. First time rafting, first and last time cliff jumping.
I checked out the Caribbean Santa Marta of Colombia where singer Carlos Vives is from (whose album “El Amor de Mi Tierra” was my entire childhood).
I then took a small detour to Richmond, Virginia and checked out the Civil War Museum.
Followed by a much overdue visit to my Alma Mater, The United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
And finally, thanks to much luck and fortunate timing, have found myself back in the exciting world that is Tokyo, Japan.
What has that extensive traveling taught me? What has it allowed me to reflect on? Well, primarily, my reasoning for shutting down the project, YamaKataGo.com. In travel, I have realized, that rarely does anyone ever get to choose how they go or when they go, only what they do before they go. Excuse the somber drawback, but dwelling on that exact thought has pushed me more than ever, to spend my time living, chasing, doing what it is that gets my heart, my soul, racing. And in the pursuit of such happiness, I’m afraid I cannot commit enough time to YamaKataGo.com AND provide quality content.
As such, this will be my last post on YamaKataGo.com. But…..Ladies and Gentleman, I am more than thrilled to officially announce the creation of Yugen International as Creative Director and Coffee Roaster. Our content here at YamaKata will be shifting over to YugenInternational.com, as will my time and dedication. I really am sad to see YamaKata go, but thrilled to see what lies ahead for Yugen International.
What is Yugen International? Well, some of you may have seen snippets of it during our development phase or heard rumors of us on Reddit, but, in the last three months, we have found a much sharper, more refined direction for Yugen and are thrilled about where we’re headed. If you’re interested in learning more, check out the website! And since YamaKataGo.com is migrating to YugenInternational.com, there will be a lot of admin and maintenance to take care of, so please bear with us and with the change. As always guys, thanks for reading, look forward to seeing you over at Yugen!