• Sunday, October 18, 2015

    My Road to Japan

    I'm trying to catch up on my pre-work escapades, so these posts are going to be a bit behind where I actually am. I'm hoping that that problem will be fixed soon enough, though! So, anyway, I thought I'd cover my trip from America to Japan!

    Driving...? To Japan...?

    So, I applied when I was living in Virginia, so I interviewed in Washington, DC. But I didn't fly out of DC. Because I grew up in Hawaii, I wanted to fly out of Honolulu. But, because Marcus's family is from New Mexico, we were going to stop there first for a few days.
    We decided to drive from DC to Albuquerque, and we wanted to do it in one day. When we drove from Albuquerque to DC, we did the trip in 3 days. On the return trip, we had a bunch more stuff and a cat with us, so we wanted to minimize the amount of times we wanted to stop. We drove all night, and that was the first time I had done something like that... It was fun, but I don't know if I'd do it again. Towards midnight and on, we had to switch from 4 hour shifts to 2 hours shifts so we wouldn't fall asleep.

    Anyway, we made it to New Mexico safely, and it only took about 17 hours! I stayed in New Mexico for a few days and flew to Hawaii from there. Marcus followed a few days afterwards, because he wanted to spend more time with his family. We spent a week in Hawaii where we took care of a few last minute things... Namely, trying to get Marcus's visa in time.
    Interac didn't send the required documents until a week before our flight, so we rushed straight from the consulate to start the process as soon as possible. Thankfully, we got it the day before we left (because they don't process on the weekends) and we could finally relax!

    Our flight from HNL to KIX was pretty smooth! We had the choice of flying either JAL, ANA, or China Air. I think China Air was the cheapest, followed by JAL, then ANA. Both Marcus and I had good experiences with ANA, but I had never flown JAL before and had always wanted to, so we went with that. I have to say that my favorite airline will always be Korean Air, though.
    We got our seats upgraded to bulkhead seats as we were checking in, and we were pretty pumped about that. But we had some issues... we didn't realize the TV screens were inside the armrests of the seats, so we thought we didn't have personal TVs at first! But then we asked and they pulled them out for us. The only other issue we had was with the food. Neither of us eat red meat and all the dishes had red meat in them. :(

    Immigration took over two hours, but we got our residence cards printed right then and there! (Not good for me, though, as I just got off a flight and I don't wear makeup on my flights, etc...) When I landed in Akita for study abroad, I had to wait nearly three weeks for my residence card to come in from the Akita International Airport. We caught the limousine bus to our AirBnB, but the taxi driver dropped us off at the wrong spot, so we ended up having to find another taxi (mind you we both had our 2 big suitcases and one carry on each) at like 11 pm... But we did it and got dropped off at the room!
    We rested for a few days before heading to training! Check out a (very) brief recap of my flight to Japan here:

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