October 22, 2012

Where Am I Going? Prologue.

It's 6:13pm on Sunday and I've found myself in Olympic Park watching what appears to be a high school futbol game; it seems like the whole community has come out to watch and cheer on the players. At around 6:10pm, I decided to take the Shinkansen tomorrow. To where? I did not know. 
In the last three minutes I've checked online to see how far North I can ride with my rail pass. I'll be headed South in November, first to Osaka to spend time with Kurumi and then further south for a sumo tournament and then hopefully to Okinawa. Now is my time to head North.
The end of the line is Sapporo, which is located


on the Northern-most island, Hakkaido. It is also, I just found out, Portland's sister city. The first Winter Olympics ever held in Asia were in Sapporo, and every February they have a snow festival; sounds like a great place to go riding once the season begins.
But that's not my destination. Or it may be. I do not know where I'm going, but I know I can get as far as Sapporo by bullet train in just over 10 hours.
I'm anxious. I have already become comfortable in Tokyo. When I arrived I had a friend (Kelly) and a futon to sleep on. I did not arrive in Japan with only my luggage, I had a network of one and knowledge that I wouldn't be sleeping on a bench in some park. If my goal was to get outside of my comfort zone then the move to Tokyo was me with all but one foot out; I was still planted in some form of familiarity.
But the lack of plans is not what has made me anxious, it's the actual act of going. Sometimes it is hard to do something new, not for fear of what will happen, but because of the uncomfortability of leaving what is familiar. But I know that if I do not take this trip, I will end up hanging out with friends or exploring a different part of Tokyo or the surrounding area. That has now become my comfort zone, which is a big step in only 2 weeks, but I want to continue pushing myself to leave that zone.
I trust that things will work out and that I'll find a place to stay and have an enjoyable time. Or I wont. The worst that can happen is I have a miserable time, blow money on a hotel, and come back to Tokyo with a story of how I just hopped on the rail without a plan and it bit me in the ass. Sounds like a good story though.
It'll be good for the blog.

Goal 57, here I come.