In 2008, I had just graduated and had started my state agency job. Around the same time, my grandfather died. Being that he was on the opposite side of the world with a rather large ocean and a prohibitively expensive planet ticket away, I didn’t have the time or the means to visit. I missed seeing him after he had been diagnosed with cancer and before he died; the last time I’d been in Japan was late 2005/early 2006.
It is what it is.
Next month, my mother, sister, and I will be going on a trip to visit our Japanese family. We will be out of the country for about two weeks, which is relatively short for a visit but all the time we can afford to spend now. I have weddings bookending the trip and my sister just started a new business and can’t take too much time from it. My mother will be staying on a little longer and will fly back separately. It was a real bear trying to align our schedules so that we could make this happen. For the longest time, Chieko and I talked about going to Japan to have our husbands meet our families, and we kept putting it off: “We’ll do it in 2014,” we promised each other, and now our grandmother’s health has provided a pretty great fire under our butts to get it done — even though our husbands actually can’t join us.
Things I’m excited about:
- Seeing family after 8 years of being away. Eight?! Can you believe that 2006 was eight years ago?!
- Immersing myself in the language. I don’t practice talking in Japanese enough and my vocabulary has sadly waned to a third-grader’s level.
- Eating, eating, eating.
I just wanted to say, I’m really grateful for this job. My hours at the state agency were such that I would have been forced to work 2 years consecutively without taking a vacation day in order to take these 2 weeks off. With working for myself, I just had to check the calendar and find a chunk of time where I could fit the trip. Thank you to my clients and the continued support from friends, family, and past couples who keep spreading the word about me; I couldn’t have done this without you. Honestly.
2014 looks like the year of travel for me. In a few short weeks, I’ll be taking the long drive to Marfa for a wedding. With April comes Japan; I’ll be flying to California three times this year for weddings (two as a guest; one as a photographer), and there are a few teensy trips as well: Fort Worth, Houston, who knows where else. My schedule is still being decided.
Here are a few photos from my 2005/06 trip.