The Calm Before the Storm

After the barrage of paperwork, countless passport photos, multiple trips, and general preparation required of the JET Programme over the last ten months, this last week has been oddly… calm.

XpressPost tracking shows that my Visa Application Form was received in Montreal – yay! – and I have yet to hear from the JET Desk about it, so I’m hoping that no news is good news. Besides that, the only paperwork I have left to do is to get my International Driver’s Permit, which seems incredibly simple and something that I should be able to start and finish tomorrow. Excluding my IDP, the only thing I really have left to do before departure is shop… oh, and pack.

Right. Packing.

Since returning from the Halifax Weekend Orientation, I haven’t done much of anything to prepare for Japan – instead, I’ve been living through what I’ve been calling “the calm before the storm.” I’ve spent a lot of time with family, I’ve hung out with several friends, and I’ve made a shopping list, but I definitely haven’t packed anything! Which is scary, considering I start this crazy adventure in only 17 days.

Wait. 17 days?!?!

This past week is the first time that I’ve started to feel really nervous about my move to Japan. Halifax Orientation, while incredibly informative and helpful, really brought home the fact that I’m leaving really soon. Up until last weekend, I don’t think it had sunk in that I was actually moving away. Now, with my departure date of August 1 looming ever closer, moving is a reality and the nerves are kicking in. I feel sad about leaving home – my mom, my dad, my nan… Even my brother! And, of course, leaving my friends, my dance school, my hometown… a.k.a., everything that’s familiar. The trade-off is obviously in my favour (1. a well-paying job, 2. in Japan, 3. teaching, 4. under only a one year contract, 5. while fulfilling a life-long dream of mine), but that doesn’t stop the butterflies from wrecking havoc in my stomach. Sometimes I wonder what exactly I’ve gotten myself into…

After all, I’ll be in Tokyo in 20 days – ahhhh!


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