The Untold Ogimi Experience


By Shen Hui Tan
Published on May 21st, 2018

No matter how bad a situation is, we can choose our attitude and the way we react to it. It is always possible to turn a negative situation into a positive one.

What happened?

On our first night in Ogimi, Kyle (our videographer) and I decided to drive up the mountain roads in a bid to capture a time-lapse video of the night sky for our ikeegai community members. Being a small village with a small population, roads are often unnamed and unlit.

On our way down, we had to make a diversion due to road works. Against my better judgment, and ignoring my gut feel, I turned into a small road that was indicated on the map. The moment I made the turn, we both felt that something was amiss. We decided to lumber on because reversing our way out seemed like a huge challenge then.

This turned out to be an abandoned road overgrown with grass in the dense thickets of wild trees.

We reassured each other as we went through one bump after another, but we ran out of luck some two-thirds of the way through, when one of our tires got stuck in a ditch. It took about two hours before our first help – the kind owners of the inn that we were staying at – found us. We could not get the car out of the ditch even with the extra help and had to activate the rescue company. Moreover, the battery of our inn owners’ car went flat!

It started to drizzle, so we huddled in the car to wait for the rescue vehicle. The first rescue man could not get the car out and had to call for reinforcement. In the end, we only managed to extract the car from the forest in the morning.

What an adventure it was! Strangely, I felt no fear throughout. I was most concerned about the safety of Kyle, and most apologetic for causing inconvenience to so many people. I was also touched by the gentle temperament of everyone and energized by the heartfelt conversations that we had about life and ikigai during the wait. It created a bond among us, and gave us a story to tell and laugh over!

The incident is a reminder that no matter how bad a situation is, we can choose our attitude and the way we react to it. It is always possible to turn a negative situation into a positive one.

Do you have a similar experience, where you got something positive out of a negative situation? Send me a message. I would love to hear from you!

More photos from our trip to Ogimi. Mouse over the thumbnails for captions!