I’ve been looking for mental anchors to hold me in place in the midst of the storm that has engulfed my existence since returning to the workforce. Lately the dominant anchor has been the thought of where my next extended overseas journey could take me, assuming I’m able to go. I could easily do a third trip to Europe, seeing as how there’s always new things to find and there are lots of places over there I’d like to return to, but I think it’s now time that turn around and move in the other direction. Instead of flying east to reach the West, I will fly west to reach the East. Japan and South Korea have long been places I’ve been curious to visit, so it’s as good a time as any to commit myself to reaching them. I even have two contacts that I could meet up with while I’m out there: an old roommate of mine is on Okinawa and one of my cousins lives in the Tokyo area. Like my journeys across Europe, I would need to do an extensive amount of research and planning before going. Rick Steves unfortunately won’t be able to help me on this one, so new sources of travel advice will need to be procured. The moonshot goal at this point would be to make the journey some time around September of next year. It probably wouldn’t be as long of a journey as either of the trips to Europe, but I’d like to try to get two to four weeks out of it. Anything less than two weeks would be hard to justify, given the amount of money I’m gong to have to spend just on the airfare to get there. Good thing I’m skilled at living frugally and saving up money.

To be sure, whether or not this journey actually happens is all up in the air at this point. It simply might not be practicable to do this or maybe an unexpected personal or world event will make travel impossible. Even if it never happens, however, the thought of it has been helping me get through the days of wage slavery. Every now and then I stop whatever soul-crushing tedium I’m working on and I think to myself a single word: Asia. And yes, I do it in the voice from that time on SNL’s Celebrity Jeopardy where John Travolta is asked to name the continent of Asia. It’s a silly thought, and sometimes it cracks a faint smile on my face, which I suppose is a good thing considering the circumstances.


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