Now It’s Time

Source: It’s a tad dramatic, I know.

I’m off to Tokyo on July 4th at 06:00! With a brief stop in Minneapolis, I arrive in Haneda the next day at 14:00. I originally wanted to use an image of the President from Independence Day as he gives one of the most rousing speeches that has ever graced the silver screen.


With Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum, Earth was *stacked!*

I wanted to bang out some inspirational words of my own and confidently board an F16 to defend Earth let everyone know I’m super excited and ready to take on the challenge of living in Japan. In reality though, I’m closer to this:


I was told by my travel coordinator that relocation is one of the most stressful things someone can do. It turns out they were extremely correct. There’s a lot of hurry-up-and-wait that goes along with relocation whether it’s waiting for a visa to process or waiting for confirmation for housing. There’s late-night phone calls, email threads, and sharing documents to coordinate the move. I’d say most of the stress has come from the fact that I feel I have too much control over the situation and I have no idea what I am doing! I was initially hoping I’d provide dates and they would provide itineraries for me to pick. In reality, I’ve done most of the planning and handing it to them for approval. Packing was the only agency I wanted to exert for the move.

It’s very odd to boil your life down to two oversized suitcases and a massive 40L travel backpack. It’s not a case of “you learn what matters” but more of a “I know someone who will appreciate this more than I have, I hope they can take it!” When they do, everybody wins! It feels off because there’s a lingering sense of forgetting to pack something or if what I am bringing is the right thing to bring. It’s mentally draining and emotionally exhausting and I highly recommend you give stuff to friends and family to “perma-borrow” just so you can travel lighter. Oh, and it definitely helps if you learn how to properly pack clothes. Fold n’ roll, fold n’ roll!

For the past month, I’ve been on the junket meeting as many people as I can and doing things in New York City that have been on my list. It was hilarious going to Next Level in Brooklyn on a Wednesday night, compete in a fighting game, and lose my only two matches convincingly. Talking and listening to the people there made me appreciate speaking in English; it won’t be long before I’ll have to speak it slowly (after failing to speak Japanese slowly!). I’m not exactly looking forward to it, but the occasional English text from friends and family will probably be more welcome than I realize.

It’s been heartwarming seeing people and listen to them offer advice, wish me well, or even just take a moment to say they’ll miss me. It’s only been these last few days where I’ve started to feel the weight of my decision. Seeing people for potentially the last time has left me in tears on more than one occasion now. What’s frustrating is finding the right words in that state which, as one can imagine, is very difficult. It’s made me do a lot of reflecting.

I eventually settled on the Binary Sunset for this post’s image (largely because I love Star Wars). For Luke, he was looking off to the horizon dreaming of being something more than a simple farm boy. As it would turn out, this scene was simultaneously the sunset of Luke’s old life and the dawn of his next one. As I get closer to my travel date, I’ve been guilty of “taking in” a sunset or two and it’s been reminding me of this scene from A New Hope. I recognize I’m not going off to war; however, I still acknowledge the apprehension I am feeling. I then remind myself that I’m fortunate to be in this predicament in the first place. It’s bittersweet.

The sun is starting to set on a wonderful part of my life and I can only hope that the work I put into my next one is just as rewarding. While I can’t guarantee my next post will be less introspective, I’ll comfortably assert the next time you hear from me, it’ll probably be in a different time zone!