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  • Writer's pictureMary

The March List: JAPAN BABY!!

Updated: Sep 2, 2019

We’re going to Japan! We’ll be flying across the world at the end of this month for two weeks, just in time to see cherry blossom season. 

Kevin and I are going along with my in-laws, my SIL and her boyfriend. To me, Japan is a perfect destination for a larger party like this because it’s a little less intimidating to navigate a foreign language, the biggest metropolis in the world, and a completely new culture when you have strength in numbers. 


I’ve previously posted about my approach to packing. In short, I’m neurotic about it. I also enjoy it immensely, something my past self would have a hard time believing. I feel proud of my process because it works for me: I don’t waste time thinking about what to wear during the vacation, I feel prepared and secure that I have what I need, and I save room in my suitcase. 

My packing spreadsheet for this trip shows a lot of navy and black. I’m kind of into it. 

The other side

Before I depart on a vacation I try to look at what will be on the other side of it when we come home. While this trip is longer at 13 days, every vacation comes to an end and I want to return to real life happily. 

I’m looking forward to April because of two big entertainment releases: the next Avengers movie and the last season of Game of Thrones. I’m also looking forward to coming home to spring. Local fairs will restart and this year I’d really like to make it to one on a Saturday here and there. 

Spring clean 

Another thing that helps fend off post-vacation blues is returning to sparkling clean home. A deep spring clean and a purging of unneeded items will feel good and make room for any items we bring back. 

A few specific buys

I don’t typically go crazy shopping when I’m on vacation. Dining is far and away the biggest expense when I’m traveling (after airfare and lodging). On this trip however I would like to bring back some special things. A knife, for example, to add to our magnetic knife block. Some textiles, perhaps showcasing shibori dye techniques. A paintbrush for my dad. A pottery tool for myself and my sister. Sushi erasers because they are sushi erasers. Clothing for Kevin. Beauty products for my mom and sister. Japanese salt for our kitchen. 

Plane to-dos

There’s something about the taxiing of a plane that rocks me into a deep sleep as soon as we push back from the gate. Truly deep sleep where my head is flying wildly around and my neck looks like it’s about to snap. It’s frightening to sit next to me if you don’t know me. 

I inevitably wake up. One can only sleep so long sitting upright. And when I do, I likely still have hours ahead of me on the flight. I can watch two movies back to back no problem, maybe even three. But I want to have a backup list of to-dos that I can tackle in-flight with all that found time. 

So far, I’m thinking a pen and notebook for list making and pottery sketching, a small knitting project, and a bunch of podcasts. 

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