I started writing a post a few days ago about how I had been procrastinating and dragging my feet about finalizing my flights. It had been five days since I had signed off on the itinerary my travel agent worked out for me and there was no reason for the delay other than I was standing in my own way. The act of writing the check and mailing it made the whole thing seem more real than I was willing to deal with at the time.
Despite my attempts to have others join me abroad, no one was able to make my plans work with their budgets and/or schedules and I had resigned myself to traveling alone. While I'm not opposed to solo travel, there was something scary about making it official. I had known going into the whole planning process that the chances were excellent that I would be unaccompanied on the bulk of the journey. There aren't too many people I know who are capable of uprooting themselves on short notice and taking off for an extended trip around the world. And that's okay--I realize that my migratory patterns fall well beyond the realities of most people. If I only had two weeks off for the year, I doubt I'd blow it all on a trip to Asia either.
But about the time I lost all hope of seeing a familiar face abroad (outside of Japan, of course), I crossed paths with one of those people. Over dinner I managed to talk David into joining me on my adventure. It wasn't a difficult decision for him and I found it completely refreshing because the decision to join me overseas for more than 6 weeks was as casual to him as would be the decision to see a movie or meet up with friends at a local bar that night. His commitment has reinvigorated me and given this trip a dimension that I hadn't dared hope for--a shared life-altering experience and the companionship of someone I truly respect and enjoy.
Its a done deal now! The check is in the mail, my visa applications are printed, filled out and ready to go and I'm researching the immunizations needed to keep myself from contracting some really nasty illnesses. Here we go!!