Minor update time.
So, I leave for japan in 10 days. Not all that far away :P My last day at work is this Wednesday, so I'll have plenty of time to pack and repack my stuff multiple times before I go up to KC. I'll be meeting some family there and staying the night at a hotel before my trip--Mostly so that I don't have to be awake quite as early to get to the airport on time on the 6th. I think I've got my stuff together for the most part; I'll be taking a really awesome duffel bag (that totally holds a shit-ton of stuff. I didn't expect it to be that big overall when it doesn't seem that way) and a smaller suitcase. Plus my carry-on backpack with one Japanese textbook, a change of clothes, and some other sundries. My bags are full, but not stuffed tight, and I've got some consumables in them (COFFEE and a small french press [coffee is stupidly expensive in Japan: A small house/drip coffee at a starbucks in Japan is like $4 or 5] because I intend to get my coffee fix by making it myself in the morning) so space will open up for my return trip and I can stuff them to the brim with souvenirs (I just misspelled that word like 4 times trying to figure out how to spell it. That's a weird word!) if my finances permit :D
I've got some small local things to bring as gifts too, should I need them. Social customs dictate that if you visit someone's house then it's proper to bring some small thing as appreciation for the invite. Typically they are foodstuffs or trinkets. So, I went to a place called Grandma Hoerner's which is out here near Manhattan. It sells all sorts of locally made things like jams, BBQ sauces, spice rubs and other nifty "Made in Kansas" things that will make perfect gifts. From what I've heard, BBQ sauce is something of a novelty/rarity in Japan overall, so that'll be a kinda cool thing to bring.
I've been alternating between freaking out and being insanely excited. Then I think about the people I'll be leaving behind (especially my boyfriend) and then I add "sad" to the list of things I'm feeling. It's definitely going to be bittersweet, but it's an experience I really want to have. Most people who know me know that I've always really wanted to study abroad in college. I can't turn down this opportunity when I'll never likely have another chance at it. It's weird: I've been through this process a bit before. I've planned and cancelled study abroad stuff a few times already for various reasons, but I've never been this far in the process. Hell, I'd never gotten far past the initial application phases before. Cool!