We leave in a few days for Japan.
Make that, “Oh my god we leave in a few days for Japan!”
Our house is a wreck because the day after we get back from OMG JAPAN, we pick up the keys to a rental apartment so we can move in while our house is being remodeled.
I haven’t even started packing for this trip. Unless packing equates to a pile of stuff I found while cleaning up the house we’re moving out of the day after we get back from OMG JAPAN. Then, yes, packing has begun. But not the kind of packing I’m used to. Under normal circumstance, by now I would have had my suitcase nearly full and all my toiletries and electronics neat and tidy and ready to go.
And, while we have our first and last couple of nights of the trip booked in Tokyo, we’re kinda clueless as to what’s going to happen in the eight or so days in between.
This is both frightening and exhilarating for me.
On the one hand, it’s often what I preach. “Just make sure you have your first and last night’s hotel stay booked and let the trip unfold in between.” But on the other hand, what if we MISS something because we haven’t done enough research? What if we never get to see the not-to-be-missed temple in Kyoto or the coolest store ever in Tokyo? Now THAT would be a disaster (not really).
In addition to this bit of stress, I have to plan out both my running schedule and nutrition for what will be the two weeks prior to running the marathon on February 28. There will be some days when we’re in the mountains and it’ll be difficult for me to run my usual prescribed workouts. And then there’s my food!
No matter where I travel, I’ve always been able to find plenty to eat or have enough food with me that I can get along just fine. But because of the marathon, I have to seriously consider how I’m going to fuel both my workouts and the marathon on my plant-based diet in a country where fish is so ubiquitous, even in tofu dishes.
Breathe, Beth, breathe.
I know it’ll all work out. Armed with my protein bars and a bit of research on how to eat vegan in Japan, I’m fairly confident I won’t starve. And I know I’ll be able to carbo load on at least rice in the days leading up to the race.
As for that week where we don’t have anything yet planned out? Worse case scenario is that we are unable to find a hotel and we sleep in the streets, that we’re confused by the language, intimidated by public transportation, unable to access cash with our ATM cards and helpless when trying to find a vegan-friendly restaurant.
See, sometimes travel terrifies me, too!
If any of those things happen, then so be it. But something tells me that no matter how things unfold, we’ll be OK and yelling “yatta” (Japanese for “we did it”) at the end of the trip.
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Juliet Yates says
I like what you say about “make sure you have your first and last night’s hotel stay booked and let the trip unfold in between.”
I have a similar motto “20% planning, 80% let it unfold”. This kind of wisdom is often learned the hard way. For me it was trying in ernest to get it right, so much so that I was really getting it wrong. Over planning, must-do stops, things I thought I “should” do.
Eventually out of frustration I would give up and give in. Then and only then, would I sense relief, ease and the kind of peace and freedom I crave on the road. Put down the struggle along with the lists. Make yourself available to the magic that’s all around and let it unfold.
Beth Whitman says
Great 80/20 rule, Juliet!