I'm sitting at Gate 64 of Tokyo's Narita airport, en route to Pennsylvania. I'll only be in the US for a week — just long enough to take care of some unfinished business (that sounds so mysterious and ominous, doesn't it?).
I haven't had the sunniest attitude about this trip. The purpose of the trip isn't exactly fun. And I'm missing out on a lot of big events here. I also had to work like crazy to get my sub plans put together — it was not an easy feat considering I'm missing seven days of school. (It's true what they say about teaching: it's three times the work to take any time off. I ended up presenting Paul (who is subbing for me) two binders with tabbed schedules and notes as well as a YouTube playlist of recorded lessons. Overkill, for sure, but I feel better knowing exactly what my students will be doing while I'm gone. Also, I think I tend to go overboard trying to control the things I can control when other parts of my life are out of my hands.
It's funny. I remember spending many years wishing I could afford to take a trip overseas. I even went a few years in a row in college without going back home. This trip is financially challenging for us, for sure; but it has to be done, so I'm going... and I'm trying to remind myself of the crazy privilege it is to be able to get on a plane at all.
And now that I'm off... I'm determined to make this trip awesome.
Here are some things I'm looking forward to doing in America:
Seeing friends, of course!
Going to a bookstore (better yet — going to a USED bookstore)
Drinking coffee at all my favorite spots
Shopping at Goodwill
Perusing the aisles at Target for hours and not getting anything (just like old times)
Eating brunch at The Waffle Shoppe
Breathing in the CLEAN AIR
Shivering under my winter coat
Catch you later, Kaohsiung.