I am back! I have had a very busy two months and I have a lot to share! Big news: I am relocating to Japan! On a very short two week’s notice actually. My blog was dedicated to adventures in Tampa, but now it’s about to go worldwide people! I guess I should edit my “About Me” section. Before I blog about my new experiences in Japan, I’ll be releasing some new blogs about my whereabouts in Tampa, St. Pete, and Washington D.C, so look out for them!
I had gotten my flight plans very last minute and my estimated departure date had changed twice. I was to leave on a Sunday, but the lady scheduling my flight plan got sick in the middle of the week and my package was left unfinished up until I followed up the Friday before! It was Memorial Day weekend, so then I likely was not going to fly out until Tuesday. After a fun weekend, it is Tuesday morning and I STILL don’t have a flight arranged. I concluded that I’m not flying out Tuesday, so hell I’m going to the beach.
After an hour soaking in the Perdido Beach sun, I check my email to find my flight itinerary. I leave at 9am Wednesday, the next day, from Tampa. I drove home to start packing the few things I needed. After a few unsuccessful efforts to change my flight plan to fly out of Pensacola, I had to rent a car to drive to Tampa in order to catch my flight. I rarely pull any all nighters, not even in college, but I definitely had to this time. I had to be in Tampa by 7am at the latest to catch my flight, and it is an 8 hour drive. I took a two hour nap then packed my things to hit the road. I rented a car at the airport and said a tearful goodbye to my parents and little brother. My mom had been so excited that I am leaving to Japan, but I didn’t think she would be so sad to see me leave. I don’t get to see my family often, so goodbyes are now getting to the point where they are just hard to say. As we embraced, I knew we were going to see each other again this year hopefully in September during my schooling in San Diego.
Knowing that I would see my family again and that they will always be there right at home where I left them is comforting when saying goodbye. It was excruciating leaving behind my friends in Tampa. Much harder than saying goodbye to the friends and family back home because I had no idea when I would see them again. I had made the best friends I have ever had in Tampa. These are the kind of friends that never cease to surprise you with kindness. Friends that go out of their way to do a favor. Friends that love me overwhelmingly. Friends that are brothers and sisters to me. It was hard knowing that all of us will be at different corners on the globe, which is awesome, but so sad that the likelihood of us being all together again at once is small. I wept in happiness and sadness the last few days I had in Tampa.
The drive to catch my flight in Tampa was not that bad. My dad had bought me a white chocolate mocha iced latte with a double shot (wow that sounds complicated) and it got me through. And the rental car had an AUX input, so score. The roads were clear so I had no problem getting down to Tampa. I have done this 8 hour trip countless times, so I am used to making the journey. Not in the night though. I am used to driving in the day. Sleep deprived and over caffeinated, I started to feel carsick in the last two hour stretch. I seriously thought I was giving myself carsickness, but I know my driving skills are smooth so it couldn’t have been me! I think I was feeling sick from all that caffeine. I made it to my apartment and drop some things off at 4:45am. I wanted to take a nap, but I honestly didn’t trust myself to wake back up after not having any sleep! So I laid my head down just for an hour, said one last goodbye to my roomates, and started to the airport.
When I got to my terminal I was pleasantly surprised that a colleague Mr. M was there to bid me goodbye! He has been working hard to make sure my paperwork was prepared on my short two week notice to move to Japan. It was 7am and he went out of his way to give me a few more pieces of paperwork that I definitely needed. It was a real treat.
It was a looong journey to get to Sasebo, Japan. I flew from Tampa, to Huston, to Tokyo, to Fukuoka, then got on a 2 hour bus ride to Sasebo. This was by far the longest amount of travel I’ve even taken in one bite. The flight from Huston to Tokyo was the longest bit. It was probably 13 hours. The worst part was I was sitting in a middle seat! Ugh! Not preferable, but not the end of the world. I sat next to a kind Japanese man. It was funny because our level of skill in each other’s native language was so minimal, that it was kind of tough to communicate, but fun! I didn’t feel so bad at my pre-school level Japanese skills for once! We tried our best speaking a combination of Japanese and English. I had a Japanese phrase/translation book that I was studying so that helped a little bit, but most of the conversation had to be input into google translate! Haha what a time it is we live in. It was all good fun. I hope to take lessons while I’m here in Japan.
Once I got to Fukuoka, I saw a familiar face at the airport surprisingly. I had met her two summers ago, and she was headed to Sasebo as well! We sat next to each other on the bus and caught up. It really is such a small world.
After 30+ hours of travel time, I made it to my accommodation in Sasebo. I spent most of my Friday catching up on sleep from the long journey. My adventure awaits!