last night before Japan

“Too often travel, instead of broadening the mind, merely lengthens the conversation.”

Tomorrow, I embark on a great adventure.  Tomorrow, I will board a plane to head across the ‘other’ ocean.  Yes, I am going West this time, and I am not stopping at just California.

I have some jitters.  I thought I had quelled them last night in some video chats last night.  Then, Christmas Eve hit me.  With every rush imaginable, we had one of my grandparents over to share an afternoon meal and presents with.  With no football, we watched Up.

I am thankful for my family.  I am thankful for both ends of the crazy good and the crazy bad that we sometimes have to go through (you know, the holiday season?).  Watching Up with them presented perhaps one of the hardest times that I have had to get up from the couch, especially knowing that Japan is looming on one of the days when my entire family is together year after year.  So, tomorrow, when they drop me off at the airport (me, with my Santa hat and international-flight track pants; them, probably still in their pajamas), I guess I want us all to understand why we go adventure early in life; why we try to plan adventure in advance; why we should seek adventure daily forever.  And that message I saw abundantly clear in Up.  We travel, we adventure so we can move on to the next, sometimes not even realizing that there have been other adventures along the way.

I am finding each adventure sheds light on the previous and especially on the people who you wish could adventure with you.  In each of my (now numerous) trips, I go to see places and find myself surprised at who comes to mind when I ask myself, “Who would be losing themselves in this moment?” Each adventure brings another person into my life a little more.

So, I am not running away… this time.  I am running toward some more such moments.

I need to shout out to one person who continues to inspire me to travel and who cheered me on tonight.  I need to shout out (in advance) to my tour-host.  I need to thank my family for bringing me to a point in my life where I can jump when I want.

Things left to do:

  • rig up the iPod with some decent travel tunes
  • pack the carry-on(s?)
  • make sure I have a toothbrush
  • consider packing toilet paper if I have room

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