So I’ve been quiet for a few days, but it wasn’t by choice. Three nights in a row I tried to sit down and post a blog entry. Three nights in a row, my computer refused to accommodate me. Two separate browsers, and only a few tabs open, and things just weren’t going well. I was ready to reset my laptop to factory settings, when I noticed it was a couple of my Japanese research tabs that were causing the entire lag. Either they were loaded down with ads, or were trying to spy or slap adware onto my computer. Once I closed those tabs (waiting 10 minutes between each mouse click GRR!), everything was miraculously better.
So now I’m able to blogblogblog! I’m happy, because I have progressed in my plans and research. Recently, I had been thinking my departure date from Canada might be November 24th. This was the only date I was offered by the agency handling my freight ship booking. I thought it odd that there were no other options in 2015, and asked to investigate further.
November 10th, they told me.
The details were a bit unclear, and it appeared that my sail would be about 5 days longer than I’d been planning for. This also means more $$$, as a freight vessel charges per day instead of per trek. But I kept this option as a definite possibility. The only issue with the earlier departure date, is that I’d be very tight for time between my last doctor’s appointment and getting to Vancouver.
Oh. Did I mention Vancouver has now become part of my itinerary? There is no way around it, so I’ve decided to make the forced pit-stop into full-fledged mini tour.
Not only has Vancouver latched itself onto my itinerary, but so has Prince Rupert, BC. This is the port the ship offers me if I want to embark in Shanghai on my way home from Japan. To arrive in Vancouver directly would require me taking a train from Shanghai to Ningbo, China. That’s more expense, 2 1/2 extra hours in China wasted traveling instead of taking in the sights, and longer time out at sea. So hello, Prince Rupert. Land of the unknown. Pretty, apparently but quite unfamiliar to me.
They say when one decides to take a freighter, we should be prepared for the unexpected. We should not overplan anything, because with one skipped port, all could be for naught. So too, I’ve been adapting to each change in my future itinerary. There will be many surprises along the way, and my tendency to want to be very organized before embarking on any sort of adventure – whether it be taking on a new job, moving to a new apartment, or of course planning a vacation or other travel – wants me to have this all sorted out in neat, parallel columns on lined notebook paper.
Instead, my desk is full of loose leaf and post-it notes, some with conflicting information. I have lists of ‘possible’ itineraries and how each would affect my time and cost to achieve it. Nowhere do I see a definitive itinerary, a list of each hotel I’ll check into, or contact info of people I’ll want to visit along the way (since I can’t say ahead of time where I’ll end up – thus making it harder to meet friends too far in advance).
Ah, lots of unknowns still. But I’m making a mental note of Nov. 10th as my most logical departure date. If it doesn’t work out, I can fall back on the Nov. 24th plan.
I’ve split this blog post in two, because it got rather long and ranty. This is what happens when I’m unable to reach my WordPress tab because the other naughty Japan research tabs are intercepting me!