July 8 – Enough Research!!!

I am a planner.

I like to know what has happened, what will happen, and the contingencies if unexpected thing A-B-or C happens.

I’ve travelled a good bit in the past few years and typically my itineraries are a pretty tight set of activities to maximize my time at my exotic location!

With all that beings said, I’m pretty much done with Japan research at this point.

This is my second year of preparation for this trip to Japan.  I applied for the Fund for Teachers grant last year with a similar fellowship idea in Japan.  This year, I rethought my goals of the fellowship and tweaked a thing or two.  In that process I dived into Japanese history and travel guides to pick out the places that would provide the most “bang for the buck”.

You see, unlike many trips of this sort, there’s no group I’m with, no “program” to follow…this trip is on me.

Since receiving the grant earlier in the year, I’ve spent an incalculable amount of time searching for flights, hotels, transportation, you name it!  Lately, I’ve been trying to figure out how to most effectively spend my time in each of the six cities I will find myself in.

I’m done!

In three days, I’ll be in an uncomfortable airline seat gazing out over the Pacific as we start to approach Japan.  I’ll get off the plane, get my Wifi hotspotty thing, get my rail pass, hop on the Nartia Express and go to the Shinjuku Train Station in Tokyo.  After that, we’re going to be playing things by ear a little bit.

A few days ago I found myself frustrated that I could plan this trip like I do my other trips.  From my computer seat 6,700 miles from Tokyo (thanks Google!), it’s tough for me to know exactly when I’ll go where, how much time this or that will take, and what I’m going to do after that.  If I could know everything there is to know about my Fellowship goal before the trip, I should just send back the money (note to Fund for Teacher people…that’s not happening…).

I’ve had many people ask me about what are all the things that I plan to do in Japan.  And while I can answer them with a few starting points that I know I’ll go check out and experience, I think I’ll be as surprised as they are once the trip is over.

I’m excited about this trip – it’s going to be fun, interesting, though-provoking, terrifying, and exhausting…all at the same time.  I hope you follow this adventure along with me!