If there is one thing I have beat myself up for in the past, it’s for making plans and then failing to carry them out. These plans are usually grandiose and well beyond my mental health abilities to make into reality. To be fair, they are also very good ideas and deserved to be thunk of by a more capable (ie, mentally healthier) person than me.
So you’d think announcing to people that I was planning to spend three months next year bicycle camping in Japan wasn’t the smartest thing. Talk about a grandiose plan. But a few things that make this different than my past “failures”:
1, I am different. I’ve had professional mental health care thanks to the VA. I have an on-going mindfulness practice. I am aware of why I would make such grand plans and why I couldn’t fulfill them. The things I plan now, the challenges I take on, are ones I know I have the ability to make happen. Are they tough? Do they push old buttons of fear and self-loathing? Yes. But I also know not to listen to the stuff my brain tells me that contradicts the way I want to live my life.
In other words, if I say I’m going to spend three months bicycle camping in Japan next year, it’s because I know that this is something within my abilities.
2, I’m not planning to go until mid-summer. That gives me nearly a year-and-a-half to plan, to get fit, to do a lot of local bicycle camping, to do research, and all the rest. (Which includes learn sufficient Japanese to get by off the beaten paths.)
3, Money isn’t an issue. Amazing, that. My current cost-of-living is low, and I’m working full-time. And I am also officially retired (yay, America: retire and work full-time in retail) so I get Social Security. I will get Social Security while I am gone, so whatever savings I have when I leave (which should be substantial, at least in the context of my life) should remain intact.
When I got out of high school, in June 1975, I joined the Air Force and lived in England from late 1976 until 1981. I loved it; I’d hoped to stay there, but, as they say, shit happened. I have yet to leave the country since, not even to Canada. I have had almost no vacation in all these years. I damn sure deserve something like this.
So I am going to blog this. I’ll vlog it, too. I’ll make a lot of lists, doing a lot of research, get a bunch of apps and learn to use them, and I’ll try to put in a lot of miles on the bike. I’ll but the stuff I need, knowing that I have to schlep it all myself onto an airplane, probably a few trains over there, not to mention up and down those very serious mountains that is the majority of Japan.
Aiming at leaving in mid-July 2024.