Tuesday, February 15, 2011

i'm going on an adventure

Map from Tokyo Metro

So, I'm going to Japan! The other day my boyfriend and I bought plane tickets to Tokyo, leaving mid-May and returning mid-June. He has been planning for this trip all through college (he's about to graduate from a very intense five-year program) and invited me to go with him more than a year ago. Since then I've been debating whether or not I should. Wanting to go was never a question -- it was all about whether I could afford to go. And being afraid. And wondering even if I could save the money, should I really spend it?

Since finally buying the ticket I have told very few people about it. I guess I worry about what they will think. Will they say I'm being irresponsible spending money on something amazing but unnecessary?

I've wanted to travel for as long as I can remember. As a little kid I dreamed about what faraway places might be like. In high school I cut out travel articles from newspapers and magazines and pasted them into a book of places I needed to visit someday. In college I continued fantasizing and thinking "someday..." I figured it would happen eventually. When I had a good income. When I was more of a real grown-up.

But when debating with myself whether or not I wanted to take this trip, no matter how many times I almost said no, I kept turning back to the question: if not now, then when will the next opportunity be? When I finish grad school I will have my student loans to pay back, and less time off. Whereas now, I have savings that can hopefully be replenished by staying with my parents for the remainder of the summer and taking back my old tutoring job for a summer program at my undergrad. The period of time between when my academic-year jobs in Boston end for the summer and when that tutoring job begins is the perfect window for the trip.

I am not usually one to take chances, especially financially. I am always cautious, worrying about making the wrong decision. But I have been deliberating about this trip for more than a year and I decided to take the plunge for once. I don't want to have big regrets. I already regret not studying abroad in college -- I always had some excuse, like a boyfriend I didn't want to leave or a job from which I was afraid of asking for time off. I know that if I don't take the chance to go on this trip I will regret it.

I am still trying to get myself to really be excited about it instead of worrying. I'm looking for a temporary third job to start replacing some savings, and trying to cut a lot of things out of my budget.

And I'm slowly realizing that in three months I will be roaming the crazy streets of Tokyo and placing a long-awaited checkmark next to a place on my decade-old travel list.


  1. Hi I found your blog via the Yes and Yes board and wow, you are going to love Japan. I live in Tokyo at the moment and had to make the decision to use my savings to come and live here for a year (and yes it was very hard decision to make) but it's so worth it. And who says travel is unnecessary? Life experiences are priceless :)

  2. Hi there! I found your blog via Yes and Yes board too :) That's so awesome that you are going to Japan... I was there a few years ago and loved it. I think that these are the best kind of things to spend money on!

  3. hi everyone and thank you SO MUCH for the encouragement! I'm overcoming my nervousness and getting really, really excited!

  4. How exciting!!! JUMP, JUMP, JUMP towards your dreams as much as you can in this lifetime! Everything else will follow. As for the nay sayers, well, you will just have to prove them wrong.

    Bit of advice, be sure to get your passport asap, and just have them take the photo for you. They can be sticklers about what they accept.