My flight leaves in eleven hours, but I'm not quite packed.
I gathered a bunch of stuff and have a selection of suitcases and backpacks, but I still don't know what I'm taking.
When I did gather all that stuff, I couldn't find my passport. I panicked, stressed out, cussed out almost everyone I care about, and - eventually - I wound up finding it.
I haven't printed out any itineraries, hotel reservations, flight e-tickets... I haven't called my banks to let them know I'll be out of the country, nor have I gotten any foreign currency.
I've only minimally studied the language, and studied the guide books and the web site even less so.
You know, all those things I normally take care of in advance? Non-existent. I've spent the last two months focused on my trip to Europe and my work week in Tennessee, with absolutely no time to think about the next trip. Since I punched out of work today, I've crossed the threshold from two months where my every move was planned and coordinated to fitting fairly strict itineraries, to a time where I don't even know where my airline tickets are, how I'm getting to the airport, or where the hell I'm staying.
In short, this is the least prepared this usually well-prepared traveler has ever been for a trip overseas.
And I'm overjoyed about it.
This is going to be totally different. It's going to be surreal. It's going to be a strange sort of trip as far as my trips go.
Because this time, for the first time since early childhood, I'm heading back to (one of) my motherland(s): Japan.
With my mother.