Yesterday, they named my replacement at work and I moved the first load of things out of my apartment.

It’s really here, guys. I’m going to Japan. I’m leaving my lovely city behind, the city I love so much, abandoning my beloved apartment and my beautiful man and my job and journeying forth. Less than thirty days stand between me and departure.

But there’s still so much I want to do.

There’s so much that I want to do here. I realized this yesterday, about the same time I realized that, not including this weekend, I have only four weekends left between me and departure. I want to see all my friends, visit my family, and snuggle my boy for a week, no interruptions. But I can’t do any of that. There’s no time. I have to keep cleaning and packing and just doing things.

In less than a month I will be in Japan, which I have been waiting for so long, and right now I can only think about what I’m leaving.

So I am making a list, right here, of things that I want to do when I get back.

  • I want to see FoamHenge. Everyone I know has been to FoamHenge. They say it’s fabulous. I’m really just fascinated with the concept of a life-size replica of StoneHenge made out of foam. You know you want it, too.
  • I want to go to BobbiJo’s with my boy.Despite the name, Bobbi Jo’s is actually a pretty good Mediterranean restaurant. My friend KW swears by it. I’ve wanted to take him for a long time, because he loves Mediterranean food so much.
  • I want to visit my loves. Recently I got a letter from my best friend from college, in which she apologized for not keeping in touch. But you know what it made me realize? I haven’t really tried either. I want to plan to visit all of my favorite people who I haven’t seen for months, some of them for longer. I don’t know how I’ll do it, but I want to.
  • I want to publish something. This is not something localized to Roanoke necessarily. That said, my friend Gregory is an artist and graphic designer, and we have been talking about putting together a book, maybe even hand-binding it which would be amazing. I’m sure we could sell it on Etsy or Amazon or at Appalachian Press, but it’s not even really about that. It’s about the fact that the project would be just plain fun. In addition to that, I’m playing with self-publishing a novella or collection of short stories as an ebook.
  • I want to learn a dance with my lover. My boy has promised me that, in deference to my love of dance, he would learn one with me. Like waltz or swing or something. I’m so excited for it, but there just hasn’t been time yet.
  • I want to make a book about my travels.I made a photo album when I went to Spain, but it only has a few photographs in it and they aren’t organized well. Hopefully I can do better with Japan.

I’m sure the list is going to continue. I’m more than sure. But for now, it’s a start.

This journey is just starting, but it’s not forever. I’ll come home in July, when it’s green and hot, and swim in the rivers and soak up the sunshine and practice archery and wander the market and everything else that I love about the mountains.