Monday, June 8, 2015

The Aspie Traveler: Journey to the Land of the Rising Sun Day One - The Green Flag

At Indianapolis International Airport about to leave.
Day 1 The Green Flag

I have to begin this adventure with what I asked on my first Aspie Traveler trip with, "What am I doing?" No, seriously, what am I doing? Am I up for the impossible challenge? Am I trying to find myself? Did the adventure but bite? Am I trying to prove something to myself? The answer may be yes to all of the above.

This is being written on the plane from Indianapolis to LA where there I will board a plane to Seattle and from there I will be on my plane that takes me to my destination of Tokyo.

But why go? The past three months have been a trying experience for me. For one, I've never written more words in such a short amount of time as I have in the past three months. I am a writer but writing does take a lot out of me. However, I enjoyed the ability to write and Amsterdam allowed me to write many stories. Secondly, my emotions have been in flux since my breakup. Thoughts of self-doubt and bewilderment about the future have been overpowering. How overpowering? Two days ago from when I write this (a reminder about this series: it is postdated meaning I write as it happens but it won't go live on my blog until I'm back in the States) was the 99th Indianapolis 500 and for the first time in well over a decade I didn't tear up during the pre-race ceremonies. To most this would be a non-issue, but the moments before the race are my favorite moments of the year as I think about races past, the current race, and the races to come and the changes that will occur in my life. This year though there was numbness.

In another fitting twist, at my sister's yesterday, my sister's corgi got a hold of my wallet and decided it would make an awesome chew toy. He destroyed my wallet, one debit card, as well as $42. The money can be replaced, I'll be getting a new card within a month, but that wallet was a gift from my girlfriend I broke up with that inspired me to go on my first trip. It was an emotional experience and maybe one that had to happen, but for it to happen just 14 hours before my flight was a bit too symbolic, but a reminder that things change, people come and go, and the world is in a constant state of flux.

The plane is rolling now. In a few minutes I'll be in the air and it doesn't seem real. When I went to Amsterdam there was this sense of excitement but here's the thing; I had been to Amsterdam before, or at least to the airport, so it seemed real. I've never been to Asia, don't know all that much about Tokyo or Japan, and never thought I'd be going there so I'm going to a place that I can't even conceive exists. That may seem like an extreme statement, but I have no film to go by; this is a true adventure into the unknown and it'll be a long day, but in 24 hours I'll be on the ground in the land of the rising sun.

Yes, this Aspie Traveler series will take me to Tokyo which is a stark contrast to Amsterdam. If anything, Amsterdam wasn't that big of a challenge because everyone spoke English and outside of getting lost after the soccer game there wasn't that big of a challenge. The food was what I was used to, and English was understood, but this go round food will be different, and English won't be common. As I've thought about various locations, and I had six in mind, Tokyo was the ultimate goal. I see this as the ultimate challenge, but I've never been one to avoid a challenge.

1 comment:

  1. I am soooo looking forward to reading about your trip. Aaron, I want you to know that I am proud of you. So proud. I don't like going to places I can't speak the language because I feel so stupid. My fear of appearing stupid kept me from traveling anywhere other than the US and Canada. I admire your spirit of adventure.