Preparation for 6 months abroad
I was still in Japan when I started planning my next journey. I didn’t do that before, but I had a regular job and it meant I could decide in advance without worrying about money.
How I started my project :
1) Finding a goal. My goal was to visit Japan entirely. Once this was done, I could start visiting Asia.
2) Thinking about when I would leave. End of June, 2010, sounded good.
3) Asking for 6 months off. I wouldn’t plan anything certain until I knew the answer.
How did it go then ?
I remember asking in September 2009 when the territory manager visited. Usually, I just had to ask my manager and nobody else when I left, so I was really stressed. I waited for his reply. My manager then told me he was worried about one thing : that I would not come back. I wrote a letter to him, explaining why I couldn’t possibly stay longer. I gave him links to the immigration website, so he could see I was simply not eligible for any visa. Unless I got married there, but it was another problem and was not happening anyway.
In November, on my birthday even, he visited again. I asked him about it and he just smiled, then told me he was granting me my time off. I was very happy, but refused to plan anything yet : I needed a written proof that I would get my job back when I returned.
Things got complicated : apparently, the territory manager was not able to grant me something like this so he asked the general manager who then asked someone even more important.
I got my letter in February.
Immediatly, I planned, bought my plane tickets… For the first month, I would visit the South. One of my American penpals, Ally, said she would join me. For the second month, I would visit the North. A childhood friend, Nadia, told me she’d come with me for this part. For the first half of the third month, my plan was to see the “middle” region, between Nagoya and Okayama. Nadia still wanted to stay.
The second half of the third month and the first half of the fourth, I’d be in Taiwan and South Korea. Then, my goal was to come back to Japan and this time, to go to a Japanese language school again. I’d finish my stay in Tokyo.
It sounded great ! And everything went well, according to my plans, until a certain point.
I had made a mistake : I was not living with my parents anymore. I had to leave my apartment, but this apartment ate a lot of my savings, and it would later be a problem.
But I was not thinking about what could go wrong : I had calculated everything, I had a credit card this time so I would always have a “back-up” plan.
Months passed, I got more and more excited. Concerts and events that I really wanted to attend, were announced and fit in my schedule perfectly.
The date was June 29th, 2010. I left Switzerland for my first big adventure.
Stay tuned !