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The best Tokyo guidebook Hidden Tokyo
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2019: A New site & no resolutions

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After starting this site in 2014 and then putting in the 10,000 hours plus in learning WordPress, web design, building social media, SEO, blogging, and all this fun and grueling want-to-rip-your-hair-out terrain that comes with learning how to run and design a self-hosted website, I found myself in a conflict and in a frustrating dead end. Did I just waste three years of my life??

I put so much work into this site over the years and learned a ton and yet, I no longer felt like keeping it running. I really loved the strategic part of creating content online but that wasn’t enough to sustain me. I moved to Boston, started photography school and then a lot changed in my life.

After a ton of personal change and even a new professional path I embarked on, I found it impossible to keep this site running over the last year and a half. When something doesn’t feel right, you can’t force it and when you do there’s a resistance.

This seems to be the obvious indication of the direction in life you’re meant to go at the moment. There was a ton of resistance for about a year with keeping this website and so I felt it best to work on other things and I knew that if or when the time was right then I’d turn back to it.

I was long past the days of keeping a blog in order to just write about places and get paid trips and yet, everything inside of me told me not to give it up or even sell the site. My life then took another turn when in the spring of 2018 I decided to go back to this site after feeling like it was intuitively the right decision.

Of course, this went against all logic seeming as I’d moved into a different chapter of my life and I could not foresee why or how I’d turn this site around. It wasn’t until a month later did I actually get a full and clear vision on what to do and that first started with creating a product to sell, a book.

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It’s really hard to justify the hours of running a website if at the end of the day, you’re ROI isn’t worth it or you don’t find deep existential joy in creating content for sake of it.

New Years in Singapore
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Photograph by Shubhankar Sharma via Unsplash. I’m obsessed with this photograph as much as I love Singapore. I assume the night sky is real but either way, it helps makes the image.

For awhile I’ve wanted to write a book about Tokyo but it wasn’t the right time. Of course I also had the familiar hurdle of wanting to write the book but not having a clue about how to even get started. You’re assaulted with not only those obstacles but also obstacles of fear and self doubt and what ifs. The fear of “what if no one buys my book” still lingers in the back of my mind. But I approached the problem with structure and after five months of wicked hard work, I had my first book.

With the Olympics coming up in 2020, 28 millions tourists a year, and the vast amount of insider knowledge, photographs, content, and love I have for Tokyo, I felt like this was the best time if any to publish a super insightful guidebook. And once I finished the book, I turned back to my site and things sorta fell into place – not without its headaches.

I spent pretty much the entire month of December dragging this site out of its awkward teenage phase and then giving it a much needed makeover and update. I also experienced a slight panic attack when I had to restore my site due to a glitch and then for about twenty minutes, I thought I lost it when the restore appeared to not work. This is the digital equivalent of your business burning down. Fortunately, that didn’t happen.

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When I first started a blog on WordPress, I found the learning curve to be quite steep and yet now, I’m amazed at the technical skills I’ve gained looking back. The coolest part about building a website is seeing something you’ve created take form. It all takes time – that magical ingredient of patience.

I couldn’t have imagined a year ago much less two years ago that I’d have completely turned this site around and have created something I actually feel excited about. And best of all, I have a plethora of content to share and re-gained enthusiasm. So that’s where this site is going in 2019 and beyond.

There are no resolutions as I’ve decided not to make any this year. Instead, my only “resolution” is to find enjoyment in any “work” I do. Because it’s only when you can truly relax and tap into that source of enjoyment can you generate any kind of momentum that creative energy thrives upon.



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