Well it’s been a couple of weeks since our first post, now time for the tough second post and to find out whether our venture into the world of blogging is still looking promising!
So big news first, we have finally booked our first flight! We leave on 13th April and the first stop on our trip is Japan. But you went to Japan last summer, I hear you saying. Yes we did, we were both part of the UK contingent for the 23rd World Scout Jamboree, which was held in Japan. It was an amazing trip but we didn’t get much chance to explore Japan, especially Mike as he was in charge of the 36 Scouts from Oxfordshire. The plan so far is to stay in Japan for a month, we fly to Fukuoka on the southern island of Kyushu and hope to meet up with some of the local scouts Mike met and stayed with last summer. We are looking forward to exploring Japan at a more leisurely pace, spending the first 2 weeks on Kyushu and then heading up to the Japanese Alps for the rest of the time.
So what have we learnt in the last month? Here’s three tips from us on planning a trip, whatever the length.
- To-do lists are your friend, especially when preparing for a big trip. I was already a big fan of them but they are a great way for keeping track of all the things big and small to do before we go. Not forgetting the satisfaction of being able to cross off items once completed.
- Talk to people; don’t just read a guide book or tripadvisor. When talking to friends about our trip and the plan so far, quite a few have recommended countries to visit that we hadn’t even thought of that are now on ‘the list’ to visit.
- It’s worth spending a bit of time looking at credit cards and bank accounts for use while travelling and their charges, or even just to confirm that yours is still good enough. Banks seem reasonably happy if you’re about quit your job and going away for 12 months. Although as Mike found out, anything over 12 months and they’re not so keen. In typical Mike style he wrote on an application form that we’re going away for 12 months maybe more… that application funnily enough didn’t go any further.
Wow, the post so far makes it look like we’ve been spending all our spare time planning and researching the trip. We’ve not, unsurprisingly, it’s been life as normal – Scouting, running and doing bits to the house.
This winter we’ve both been participating in our local cross country league with the running club and this weekend was the last one. It’s the first full cross country season for me, Mike is a stalwart cross country runner and would rank it as his favourite running event. It’s been hilly, muddy, at times ridiculously muddy and there have been ‘water features’. The mud and cold are after all only temporary and the sense of achievement (and the cake) after make it thoroughly enjoyable and I would recommend every runner who runs with a local club to give it a go at least once.