Sitting on the plane (business class thank you very much! gotta love those miles!), headed to Osaka, Japan. I have a 16 hour layover! Unfortunately I have not been provided with a hotel so I am left with the choice of trying to make it out to the city (1 hour away), and stay at a hotel OR sleep at the airport...I am SO tempted to sleep at the airport. Not only would I save time commuting but I'd also save about $70 for just 8 hours at my hotel, only enough time to sleep. My mom wanted to give me money so that I could stay at a proper hotel but honestly, I just think it's a waste ofn time and money! We'll see...my flight is scheduled to land a little early so if I get in a decent time I suppose I'll call around to see if there are rooms available.
Tomorrow, I'll be taking a 10:00AM flight to fly to Hong Kong. I'll be staying with Lorraine and James who just recently tied the knot in Hawaii. Bless their hearts! Everyone actually thinks I'm a friend of James (which I am now) because he's a local boy from Hawaii but I actually know the couple through Lorraine and my friends in Malaysia. It's a long story on how I met (Gemma (in Nepal) > Lavinia(Gemma's younger sister)> Juliana (Lavinia's best friend) > Lorraine (school friend) but through the couple, I have met a great deal of great people! I am so grateful to them! We were also fortunate enough to have the opportunity to provide the Hawaiian food for their wedding reception. I'll be in Hong Kong for a few days and have quite a bit of business to take care of in the 3 days that I am there.
And the moment that we've all been waiting for (drum roll please)...I will be commencing my round-the-world trip! This has been something that I have wanted to do for some time and the time has finally come. I have chosen 16 segments on my trip which will take me to at least 10 countries but I do plan to take trips to neighboring countries.
What does this trip mean for me? My passion is to travel. Mainly to see the rest of the world beyond what can be gathered from just a book or nowadays from the internet and google maps! It's the people that you meet along the way, the smells that you take in and the sights you see are what makes traveling so exciting for me. And if I meet someone along the wa who appreciates the world like I do = BONUS!
With 16 segments and a bunch of countries in between, I expect to spend at least 7 months or so n the road. Of course, I can change my dates, leave earlier or stay longer depending on my mood. I have a year to figure this out so I have some time to play with. I think the only thing that will hold me back are the funds. So I will continue to think of ways to generate income.
At my (second) farewell party last night, I shared with Jody (one of James' good friends who was in the wedding party and one of the good people I met that I spoke of earlier) that I wanted to bring a part of Hawaii along with me to the world. Jody, the owner of Ukulele Hale, one of the leading Ukulele studios in Hawaii, suggested that I play songs in each city that I visit. Although I enjoy karaoke, I am nowhere near performing material! The other problem was that I didn't have the ukuele to realize this! So, this morning about an hour before I would head down to the airport, Jody came to meet me and deliver me a brand new ukulele! I am counting on Jody to create the melody for me and I am praying that song writing abilities will suprise me and that I will unlock a talent that I never knew existed. We can only hope for the best! So with my travel back pack, day pack, extra box of presents and my ukulele, I am ready to see the world! Who knows but hopefully this will be the answer to my income problem! Hopefully I won't be charged for disturbing the peace otherwise, I'll really go broke!
Other highlights of my trip to look forward to: I'll be going to the 2010 FIFA World Cup! I only have a ticket to one game (Japan vs. Cameroon in Bloemfontein) but hopefully there will be more opportunities to see others! I'm also planning to stay with a family; the sister to the owner** of a very famous sushi restaurant in Hawaii http://mitchsushi.com/. If you want quality, you need to check out Mitch's near the Honolulu International Airport! It serves only the freshest fish! Lobster sashimi is also a very popular item that they're known for which is served in the form of miso soup at the end of the meal for any unconsumed portions. I also plan to possibly do a shark feeding tour - it is what it's called. Feeding sharks! They also offer this in Hawaii but I hear that its better to do this in Cape Town! I also plan to meet up with an old colleague, Peter, who I met when I worked in Japan (8 years since we last saw each other!). I am also uber excited about all the wild animals that I may possibly see! After Africa, I'll also go to Namibia where one of my best friends, Stephanie, from college met her husband...I'll also possibly travel to Botswana where my good friend Blake's girlriend, Sophia's, brother is now serving as a Peace Corps volunteer. I will also visit a ton of friends in Europe...and when I head down to South America, I hope to go to the "End of the World" and possibly even go to Anarctica since it'll be RIGHT there! So 5 continents, maybe 6! It will be a fun-filled trip, I'm sure!
If you don't me, you may have already gathered that I am a bit shameless and take advantage of whatever opportunity is presented to me. So far I have been extremely fortunate to have met so many great people and through them, have so many unforgettable memories. I look forward to continue on this path and share about it all here!
Stay tuned for what's next!
**Meeting the owner of Mitch's is also another long story! Through a long time family friend, Gary, all of this was possible. Gary is a long time family friend but I didn't even know about him until a couple of weeks ago when I met him when I was working at the restaurant. What a blessing to have been working that day to meet him who in turn introduced me to Mitch's who then introduced me to his sister who will host me for a week!