Switching Off In Tokyo

A few weeks ago when I was in Tokyo, someone replied to my Instagram stories asking if I was going to do a blog post on the coolest spots to go to. I had totally considered it after I’d booked my flights there – I’m a blogger, what I do is ‘capture and create content’ and overshare my life on the web, so how could I miss an opportunity like that? Plus it’s a photographers paradise! But after thinking about it (and not even for very long) I thought nah – not today Satan.

For once, I wanted to remove that pressure from myself. I wanted to switch off. And switching off in a city that seems so damn ON seems so damn, well, kind of wrong? It’s such a centre for tech – everyones glued to their phones more than anywhere and there’s a photo op on every corner.

Holidays are never holidays anymore when you’re in this line of work. I mean, if you didn’t post a hot dog legs pic did you even go to Ibiza? If you didn’t post a photo of you drinking a coconut on the beach did you even go to Bali? I think not. There’s always something to photograph and share, and your mind is constantly switched on. With most holidays, you pack so much in to your time whilst your there that it’s photo opportunity overload. Must. Make. Memories. Must. Photograph. Everything.

It would be waste not to take photos, so every day I left armed with my iPhone, Google Pixel2 and Olympus Pen so that I could shoot and capture if I wanted, but I removed the pressure of having to actually do a post recapping it. This time I wanted to take a break and actually enjoy myself. Who cares if I only post once a day to Instagram compared to my usual 2? Who really cares if I’m not uploading everything to stories? Sometimes it really is better to just embrace it and live in the moment – and god, yes, I am so aware of how lame and #inspoquote that sounds.

I’m pretty sure it swings back to my perfectionism – I want everything to be so perfect, that if I mentally commit to doing something, like a blog post on a trip, I’ll want it to be the absolute best and I’ll pile on so much pressure to do that it basically sucks all of the fun out of the holiday. Every time I’ve been away lately, I’ve applied this pressure and buckled and worried and been totally unable to enjoy it, unable to switch off like others usually do because I’m in storyteller over sharer mode.

But I guess, obviously… I wasn’t totally able to switch off. I booked a photographer so that I could get some great shots, and remove Instagram boyfriend responsibilities of the pal I was staying with (although not entirely. Those cute candids gotta be taken y’know) – but it allowed me to put my work in a little box, create a separation between work and life, and leave me to just enjoy a really really fucking cool city for what it is, not what I’m trying to show it to you as. I could enjoy it, for once just for me, not for my blog.

But then again, if you don’t post a photo taken with all of the crazy lights in Akihabara, did you even go to Tokyo at all though?

Photos by @akiraharigae

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  1. Sophie these shots are amazing! And I feel like I know exactly what you mean about capturing content while you're away – I've only been blogging around 7 months now and if I'm completely honest it has made all of the trips and holidays I've take in that time mentally difficult, not as fun, and not even mildly relaxing, so I can only imagine how I'd feel if I'd been doing it years. So glad you were able to switch off and enjoy the trip (and also get these snaps because they really are gorge) xxx

  2. Well these photos are just incredible! Plus, it’s so true about holidays not being holidays when you’re in this line of work!

    It’s nice to hear you we’re able to switch off for a bit! xxx

  3. These pictures are just INSANE lady – you look beautiful! Completely hear you about not being able to switch off and holidays not really feeling like holidays anymore – there's always a very fine line! So glad you had a lovely time and relaxed though love!

    Hayley xo