Arigatou

Yesterday was an emotionally draining day for me.

Right before bed, I received an email from the German company helping me book my freight travel. It was all the official paperwork to make this REAL. I freaked a little because I need a doctor’s receipt saying I’m healthy enough to travel by ship (this is standard procedure, even for cruises, though the paperwork is a little more lax), and I will only see that doctor on November 3rd. Still assuming I will board the Hanjin (now more likely the Copenhagen than the Geneva, by the way) in Vancouver on November 10th, that’s very tight.

I feel guilty for only giving the company 7 days to officialize everything, when they normally require 2-3 months’ advance booking. But *cough* the Canadian medical system. For those of you who know it, you’ll nod your head or roll your eyes in sympathy. For those of you who do not understand our beautiful ‘free health care system’, well…let’s just say there is a 2-year waiting list to obtain access to a family doctor. Once you have this doctor, good luck actually getting an appointment. Especially if they keep going on maternity leave :/ How to explain to this nice German correspondent of mine that Canadians have a putrid medical system and therefore November 3rd was the soonest I could get an appointment, in order to provide the paperwork they need cleared before booking my trip.

 

I went to sleep that night feeling brain-muddled, but also excited that this was all falling into place. I’ve been doing most of my planning alone, but I’ve slowly felt a growing warmth in my gut seeing how many people are rooting for me, even if they can’t ‘help’ help. The next morning, the warmth turned to tears and I became overwhelmed by the well wishes and happiness of other people. For me. It was all for me! They know how hard I’ve been working at this. Those emotions mixed with the clash of WTF I’m really going. Quite an explosion of emotions all at once. Fear, excitement, and a dream being realized.

Would I have been able to achieve this 10 years ago? Had I not found out about freight vessels allowing passengers on board, I would still be sitting at home this winter waiting for the Canadian weather to invade my life as its done every year since the day I was born. Boring. Cold. Wet. Depressing. Watching more able-bodied or ‘travel privileged’ friends and acquaintances travel south because they can board a plane in the blink of an eye, and also have the budget to do so.

So what does it all mean?

I’m leaving on that ship on November 10th, that’s what! I figured out my return date as well. January 12th made more sense than staying an extra month in Japan on a shoestring budget, to return on the 28th instead.

That’s the roundup of what’s going on right now with my “Japan Plan”. This weekend is dedicated to final research, booking accommodations in every country I’ll set foot in, filling in paperwork, and though it may sound funny, doing laundry. Being away from home for 3 months will require a heap of clothes, even if I plan to launder them throughout the trip.

I will try to keep my blog up to date, but I may be a little slower. In the meantime, thank you to everyone following my adventure and reading these posts. I have support, and it counts. The more I get, the more confident I’ll feel about this crazy idea to see Japan using slow travel! Don’t let people think you can’t do something just because you have a disability!

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