A couple weeks ago I expressed my uncertainty about the future. Well lucky for me the loose ends wrapped themselves up pretty quickly. I didn’t wan’t to tell many people my tentative plans in case they didn’t work out. Not only would I have to face disappointment, but telling people my plans failed would be like salt on the wound. Instead, I kept my cards close to my chest until I was fairly certain of my plans. But most of my plane ticket have been purchases and I feel like its safe to share my excitement.
Its safe to say that spring is going to be full of great things. The end of my work contract is just the beginning of my new adventures.
In March after I finish work, my parents will be coming out to Japan. That’s right, Patty and Doug are going to make their way over the Pacific to spend some quality time with yours truly. I’m showing them the ropes of Shikoku island and then we will take a tour of western Honshu and the Kansai region. I would be down playing it if I were to say I’m excited for them to come. Its going to be great showing them my life for the last 18 months and all the awesome that Japan has to offer. My friends in Japan are pretty excited as well. Some members of my volleyball team have already decided that there will be a welcoming party for them, and have written their arrival on their calendars. They also picked the best time to come, peak season of the cherry blossoms, there’s going to be sakura picnics all over the place. I don’t know if my parents know what they are getting themselves into.
After I say goodbye to the parents, I will have about a month of downtime. What better place to spend free time than on the beach right? What better place to go to the beach than Thailand? I was thinking the same thing. After getting my business taken care and say my sad goodbyes to Japan I will be heading over to Southeast Asia. The details of this trip are yet to be determined. All I know is I will have about 4 weeks to spend on the beach and see the lovely sights. If you happen to have travel advice, places to go/stay, things to eat, things not to do/see/eat, I would be more than happy to hear your thoughts. If you just so happen to have free time and money from mid April to mid May your company would be fantastic!
After beaching it for a month I have my next big step, Europe. I will be an au pair for a wonderful family living in the Netherlands. A few of my friends have also been au pairs, and had great experiences so I decided it sounded like a good plan. I found the family through a website called greataupair.com, and after about a month of email correspondence we decided that it was a great fit. It ended up being much simpler than anticipated and we have been able to spend more time getting to know each other than filling out paper work. I was able to talk to them over skype last weekend, and it only made me more excited to become part of their family. The kids are too cute for words and the parents and I seem to get along great. This will be my first time to Europe, and I couldn’t be more excited to see yet another new place, while having an adopted family. The same thing also applies to Europe, I don’t know how much time I will have to travel but if you have must see places, food, people I would love to hear all about it. If you happen to have been an au pair, tips, lessons, dos and don’ts would be great. And if you happen to be in Europe or know someone that I should be friends with, that is even better.
Having post Japan plans has made the end of my time here much easier. I know that there is life after Japan and it lessons the blow of leaving such a wonderful place. However, there’s so much awesome coming up that it would be easy to lose focus on what I’m in the middle of now. I keep meeting more great people, and have almost all my weekends planned until March. I don’t want to take Japan for granted because I am so excited for what is to come. There’s more awesome left in Japan and I don’t want to miss it.