Sat/Sun July 25/26
Hello, dead travel journal!
So many feelings, BRACE YOURSELVES!
I began writing this on the plane from NYC to Tokyo, because as many of you who read this place already know, I will be teaching English in Japan starting August 2015! :)
I was debating on writing a post this past week, but I was in such a state of frantic panic one moment, and eerie calm the next, that I thought it best to wait until I was centered… Am I centered now?! Of COURSE NOT! But here we go! A little bit of a backstory before we get into anything…
Why am I doing this?! I am sure I will go more into that in future posts, but as of right now, I keep reminding myself that I want:
- to increase my intercultural competency and awareness (professional and personal),
- to serve as a vessel of culture and language exchange as intended by my position, and
- to challenge myself to something profoundly out of my actual comfort zone (even though I perceived it to be much closer to my comfort zone when first applying and accepting, thus the freaking out now!) that I come out stronger and changed.
Will work on this, because I am bound to lose sight of these goals in the many freak outs that are sure to come!
I will be teaching in Komono-cho, in the Mie Prefecture of Japan. It’s near Nagoya (~1 hr), Kyoto (~2 hrs), and Osaka (~3 hrs). I’ll be teaching at two Senior High Schools, and my roles will vary depending on the teachers I will be paired up with.
While it is easy for me to say I am somewhat excited now, the past two weeks have definitely not been the easiest (many of you saw me at my most anxious, thank you for bearing with me!)… Making the decision to move to Japan for at least a year was a lot easier to do from a distance, when it just sounded like a great idea. Therefore, the past week felt as though I had committed to a killer roller coaster, was strapped in, ready to go, but didn’t actually think about the drop or ANY of the actual roller coaster ride before I got in. I just had this far off idea that it was good for me to get on. Needless to say, this past week was filled with every physical, behavioral, and emotional manifestation of anxiety I thought possible in me. I’d worked myself up so hard that I had chest pains, tummy aches, nightmares about creepy girls in bird masks, bouts of crying as I tape boxes of my possessions shut and stored them away, reckless decision making, you name it. It kind of felt as though my life as I knew it was coming to an end (I know this sounds REALLY dramatic but bear with me!) and I had to embrace every last moment of it as though it were my last. As though I were dying. Last wishes kind of thing.
But I made it, I got through saying the hardest goodbyes (the thought of waving goodbye to my mom at the airport is bringing tears to my eyes now, and I really don’t want to be that crying girl on the plane), and I am sitting in my plane window seat, buckled in, ready to take on (or as ready as I can be) this new adventure.
I will be posting as much and as often as I can, and look forward to sharing a little bit about my crazy life with all of you. There will be a lot of emotions in the posts coming from Japan, I can feel it, but I am excited to explore that through here!
Now that I have made it to the hotel and survived my first few hours in Japan, here are some pictures!
|First view of Japan!|
|Me with my million bags, cheesing and breathing in AIR after 13+ hours in a plane!|
|Bus ride to our hotel!! :) My interview buddy Leora is sitting next to me! :D|
|Tokyo emerging from the haze!!|
|View out our hotel window.|
|Some CRAZY awesome clock in a nearby building.|
|Love foreign currency!|
|They had these in our drawers!! :D Whaaaaat!|
Anyway, that’s a first taste for you! :) More to come later! I might not be able to write until I get to my actual prefecture, by which point I won’t have internet for a few weeks, but we’ll do our best!
Before I leave you though, I know I was freaking out A LOT about this move and this decision, but once I got here I realized that I was still myself, I was still Agata, and I was just bringing my experiences to Japan. I wasn’t somebody totally unrecognizable in the moment I stepped off the plane, and that realization comforted me more than I can explain! It helped me realize that I CAN do this, and that while it will be hard, it will also be AWESOME and an amazing experience. :D I can do it!!