Yuri’s Story

Having grown up in a small town in Okayama,Japan.

After I graduated high school, I worked in a large company in Okayama producing uniforms. My real interest was in learning about the design and creation of clothing and accessories, as I enjoyed in high school. But because I couldn’t follow that dream for family reasons, I took the job at the company to try and save money to go to school. When I started to work, I didn’t get to do any of the work making clothing that I wanted to do, and eventually my passion was lost. Looking for something that I wanted to do, I took a part-time job after work to save more money. I wasn’t unhappy, but I was bored doing the same thing day after day, and couldn’t feel proud of my life. It was really hard.

Then I decided to do something more exciting and go traveling by myself for the first time, and I discovered life at guesthouses. I was worried at first, but it was a great time and I was able to experience the warmth and thoughtfulness of people while traveling. I was fascinated by the guesthouse community in which I was able to make many friends and happy memories. That community made my traveling life more enjoyable, and the people I met there became like family. Seeing the free and happy lives of those I met at guesthouses broadened my outlook and values, and ultimately changed my life.

I started wanting to open my own guesthouse, but it was a hard decision to make because of the pressure from those around me to have a stable job. I thought so as well, and I felt torn. But seeing my friends who were working hard to do what they wanted to do encouraged me, and even though my goal seemed a long ways off, I saved money and finally quit my job.

After that, I worked at a guesthouse in Okayama, and it was everything I wanted. I went on to work at another guesthouse on Miyako Island, went to Cebu Island to study English, to Australia on a Working Holiday Visa, and worked at a guesthouse in Thailand. I will never forget the memories I made, and especially the people I met, over the course of that journey. I thought about the first time I traveled, and how I felt sort of lonely not knowing anyone and not speaking the language. I wondered if travelers who come to Japan without speaking Japanese feel the same way, and my wish to make a guesthouse of my own at which people might feel at home was strengthened.

I can’t thank my friends enough for the support they’ve given me, and I suppose I want to give back to others the same great experience that I was able to have at guesthouses. This is my dream. It is certainly a difficult decision to make: to change your life completely. But I can say that I love the way my life is going now, and I can say with confidence that that change was the best decision in my life, and I want to give the same chance to others going forward.We can do it whatever we want to.Thank you for reading xoxo

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