After a few naps, couple episodes of Boardwalk Empire and some unexciting United meals, I am en route to Shibuya Station. The Narita Express (NEX) train is pretty comfy after the airplane tight quarters. Whoa even more comfortable than I thought – the guy next to me just turned the seat around, took off his shoes and put his feet up! Nice!
I didn’t get a chance to write a post about the few weeks leading up to my departure, so here we go.
Thank you very much my amazing SF roomies Adrienne & Julia for my Bon Voyage Cheese & Beer tasting party (yes the theme was my idea J). So grateful that many of my friends in the area where able to make it; You all rock! & so did all the fancy pants beers. I think that these photographs can speak louder than my words:
Thanks for my B balloon Jules!!!
Surprisingly the biggest question of my Bon Voyage party night was How??...How did I make this happen…How much did I save …& to have a job at the end of it all?! I’m so glad that questions were asked instead of jealously lurking. The first step I took was to start asking questions as well – that was at least 2 years ago.
I know this sounds cliché, but I truly hope that I can inspire others to TRY to make it happen as well. If a long term trip is something you’ve always wanted to do, make it happen! Usually the two biggest difficulties are money and time. Here are a couple tips:
Put yourself on a budget.
a. I was able to budget and save up enough to cover my student loans & other bills for this 5 month experience in less than 2 years. I have no doubt you can do the same. It’s all the little things that add up – one less beer or cup of coffee. Do you really need that new shirt??
a. Anybody I came across who had spent some time abroad was getting questioned up and down from me. Once I had some idea of the length of the trip and how much to save, I went for it. Keep in my mind I really had no clue where I wanted to go, but that the end goal was to speak Spanish.
b. The biggest fear. JOB. Fortunately for me Deloitte has a Personal Leave of Absence for up to 6 months. I did have to apply and get approval, but it was definitely worth it. I would have never known about it if I didn’t ask questions though. ASK! It doesn’t hurt to ask does it? If you’re an asset to your company and they want you around, you may be surprised how willingly they will work with you. A month would be better than nothing right? Research your company benefits & policies. Or come up with a plan and pitch it.
I hope more Americans will get out of their comfort zone and experience the World. Anybody reading this that has additional tips or advice for potential travelers, please comment away below.
I also thought I’d share some of my favorite memories in the 30 days leading up to my departure.
And best of all Day 1 is being spent with my amazing friend Yu. We are off to Dinner!!