Moving Abroad, Part 1

In January, I posted that sometime this spring I was moving to Japan. Thirteen days ago, I finally started the logistical process of moving and six days ago I arrived in Okinawa, Japan.

a nice welcome from my co-workers

Let me say upfront that I do not recommend moving during a pandemic. Wearing a mask on an airplane was not my idea of fun, especially when that flight was 18+ hours. Because of the pandemic and the various travel restrictions, I had to take a government-specific flight that had three stops. And of course, Okinawa was the last stop. The first stop required an approximately hour-long wait off the plane (but in a waiting room with no amenities). But I did arrive safely with all my luggage in tact. So I am thankful for that.

Also thanks to the pandemic, I’m in restriction of movement status (otherwise known as quarantine) for 14 days. (Only 7 days to go!) So right now all I can tell you about Okinawa is I like the weather.

this was a new box when I shipped it

For the duration, I’ve been provided minimally furnished housing on one of the bases. So I only have the things I packed in my suitcases and a box that I shipped to myself (which arrived yesterday. YAY!).

And yes, the box did include a few books.

Needless to say, the last few days have been challenging. After a couple days recovering from jet lag, well, it’s one thing to be in one’s own home with all your creature comforts. It’s another one to be in a minimally furnished house with only a few things.

What I have enjoyed, at least in the mornings and evenings, is the sunshine, heat, humidity. After living in the Pacific Northwest for the last 18 months and wearing sweatshirts and pants nearly all year round, I’m enjoying wearing flip-flops, shorts, and tank tops.

In addition to my books, I also packed a little puzzle. The puzzle box is only 5″ x 5″ x 2″ so it was easy to cram it in a corner of my suitcase. And as you can see, the pieces are also teeny. The finished puzzle, the Luncheon of the Boating Party by Renoir, will be approximately 11.5″ x 16.5″.

So for the next week, no fun posts of beautiful beaches, turquoise waters, amazing food, or Japanese culture. Until I can take my own photos and have some adventures to write about, all I can suggest is to check out the official Okinawa travel guide.

I’ve been reading it and the Marine Corps Community Services Guide on Okinawa. So I’m making my list. (It’s not like I don’t have a bit of time to do so. HA!) So far, my list includes learning to scuba dive (Okinawa is a diving paradise), snorkeling, visiting Shuri Castle, hiking up to Hiji Falls, experiencing a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, visiting the Nago Pineapple winery and glass factory, and the Yanbaru kayaking tour. And that’s just all on Okinawa. I also have a list of off-island places to visit starting with Thailand, mainland Japan, and Vietnam.

JetpackToolsBlock M

So only one week to go. Then stay tuned for future Okinawa adventures!

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