Nope, I HAVEN’T started packing yet. Thank you for asking / making me panic.
I do realize that in 17 days, I’ll be in Tokyo. I also realize that I leave my house in LESS THAN A WEEK (then I’m off to the Connecticut / Boston area to visit with family and friends before leaving the country for who knows how long). And yes, I realize that I should have started packing by now, especially since I only have a week to do so. But hey, I’m an all-star procrastinator, so I’ve honestly accepted the fact that I’ll probably be frantically shoving all of my clothes in a suitcase the day before I leave. That was what happened when I moved to France for 10 months, and it worked out pretty nicely.
I haven’t been completely idle in my preparations, though, I promise. I now have an envelope full of crisp yen notes, the beginnings of a professional wardrobe, a miniature drug store’s worth of necessary toiletries, and an International Driver’s Permit! Honestly, I might even have two IDPs, since I lost the first one somewhere… Luckily the process for getting an International Driver’s Permit is a breeze, so misplacing the first one wasn’t a complete disaster (I can only imagine the nightmare of losing a passport).
Seeing as my time here in the USA is quickly ticking away, though… to tell you the truth, I’m freaking out a little bit. And it’s not just the packing obstacle that is worrying me.
I have to acknowledge that this adventure comes with a mixed bag of emotions. While moving to Japan is extremely exciting (I’m talking bouncing-off-walls, beaming-when-talking-about-it-to-strangers exciting), it’s also a little sad. I’m leaving behind a lot of people whom I love. I’m also leaving behind a set of social rules that I understand, as well as the ability to easily communicate with the people around me, since most people in my rural town will have little to no English ability. (And I’m not crossing my fingers that there are any fluent French speakers there, either). These challenges are all part of the expat life, and of course, there’s always Skype and Google Translate to help me through; I just wanted to voice the slight scary shadow that lingers with moving to a foreign country.
Enough about my fears though: I’ll be in TOKYO in 17 DAYS! My excitement far outweighs my nerves: I can’t help telling EVERYONE about my job. My dentist, my coworkers, the cashier at Forever 21… Somehow it slips into almost every conversation, I don’t know how that happens? A mystery, to be sure.