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Sitting comfortably in the San Francisco airport, I am either ready or I am too late. I’ve packed, un packed, re-packed, and done it all over again. I had three false starts getting out the door this morning with that “one last thing” that I remembered. I got dropped off by some of my favorite people and will miss all my friends and family very much. But the time will fly by. I’ll be home before I know it. 83 days only SOUNDS like a long time, but in the grander scope of a lifetime, it’s really very brief. I’m glad to be doing this now in my life, when I have support to fall back on if things go sideways.

I can’t wait to get out there into the big scary world. And find that it might not be quite so scary.

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Even Butterbeer is strapped in and ready to go!

Meet Butterbeer. Coworkers suggested that I bring him along for portraits wherever we go,  and I’m going along with it.

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By this time,  two weeks from today,  I will be in a plane flying over the Pacific Ocean.

I’ve got only twenty days left until I leave for Tokyo.  I’m excited, scared, feeling unprepared, but READY to be going.  I’ve received TONS of advice about where to go, what to do, what things I need to bring (and what I don’t).  I’m still sticking with my “making it up as I go” plan, which I’m sure will be frustrating at times, but more liberating than having a strict tourism plan and schedule.

It’s been requested that I do a version of NPR’s “Sandwich Monday” where I find a fast food place that is common in California, but sample a menu item that would NEVER be found there.  So watch this space for “Foreign Fast Food Mondays!”

In 83 days, I will be on a plane from San Francisco, CA to Tokyo, Japan.  Tokyo is only the first of many destinations I will be visiting this summer, including:

Hong Kong, China
New Delhi, India
Amman, Jordan
Casablanca, Morocco
Barcelona, Spain
Paris, France
London, England
Dublin, Ireland
Cork, Ireland
Reykjavik, Iceland

And probably a few other places in Europe as well.  I have a month to spend there, and a Eurail pass good for the whole month.

I have prepaid all my airfare, my cruise, my travel insurance, and my accommodations for the first 5 weeks (until I arrive in Barcelona) and my Eurail pass.  I’d have to do a bunch of math, but I’m pretty sure all of this has been done for less than $7500.  All I need to do now is get work to formally approve the time off (whoops), although that shouldn’t be a problem.  My boss and grandboss have been very supportive of my going on this adventure and I couldn’t be more appreciative of the company I work for.

As much as I’m looking forward to this, I have to admit I’m a little scared.  I’m going out into the world, to all these places, all by myself.  I’ll miss my friends and family, but this is my dream.  I’ve always wanted to travel, but haven’t had the time or money before.  Now that I have it, I’d better do it.  So away I go!

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