For the past few days I’ve been on a mini-vacation in Atlanta. Since I leave for London in four days, I’ve still got half my mind in work mode, but I’ve tried my damnedest to make time for fun and restful recharging. Here are just some of the things that are making me extra glad right now:
When I got back from Japan, the top questions I got from those of you who followed my trip on social media were,“What was your experience like traveling with a friend”, and “Who is Irene???”. Irene was my partner-in-crime on my trip to Japan, and clearly you all love her as much as I do.
I met Irene in 2015 when I worked at the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) for all of six weeks before I left to work at Georgetown. Not much came from that stint at the DLCC, except for my friendship with Irene. We’ve been close ever since then, and have been talking for ages about taking a trip together. So when Irene spotted some cheap flights to Japan a couple of months ago, we jumped at the chance to go on an adventure together. We’d never spent an extended amount of time together before our trip to Japan, but we had a feeling we’d be perfect travel companions.
Konnichiwa from Japan! The past week has been an incredible whirlwind of planes, bullet trains, taxis, subways and fun, fun, fun. With 14 hour flights, three hour train rides, and endless subway rides, I’ve had plenty of time to listen to some of my favorite podcasts.
Well, today’s the big day! I’m on my way to Japan. This trip came together so last minute, and it’s really been a whirlwind ever since we booked our tickets. I’d be lying if I said it hadn’t been a stressful planning process. I’ve had so much going on at work, and I haven’t had as much time to devote to planning this trip as I would have liked.
The good news is that I’m not an anxious traveler. While I don’t love unpredictability in my everyday life, I thrive in crazy situations and travel is always a perfect opportunity for me to rise to the occasion. There’s plenty about this trip that we’ll figure out on the go. One thing that I did spend a lot of time planning though was what’s going to go in my carry-on.
The only part about travel that makes me anxious is flying. It’s not that I’m scared of the flying itself. Heck no. I’ve been flying back and forth to Tokyo since I was less than a month old, and take off, landing, etc are as natural to me as breathing. What stresses me out is the discomfort of long flights. I have had terrible insomnia my whole life, and international flights really exacerbate my sleep issues. My greatest fear about travel is that I’ll get zero sleep on my way to my destination, leaving me exhausted and cranky for the whole trip. So, as soon as we started planning this trip, I began to mentally pack my carry-on. My coping mechanism is to make flights seem as luxurious as possible in the hopes that’ll make it easier to sleep.
When I’m on the go, I often forget to eat. I’m not really a breakfast person, and on weekdays I’m usually too busy to stop working and eat lunch. I frequently look up from my computer at 5:00 p.m. and realize I haven’t eaten a thing all day. Since I work on a college campus, there’s also always junk food (pizza, cupcakes, cookies – you name it!) lying around my office, and it takes so much willpower not to give in to that temptation on a daily basis. So I’m always on the hunt for healthy snack ideas.
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