It has been a difficult year for me, physically, emotionally and mentally. By year, I mean academic year, because I am a teacher.
Somehow, for various reasons, I find the job challenging - it's partly the workload, it's partly the cohort's emotional and social needs, it's partly their innate abilities, attitudes and backgrounds and it's partly to do with how much support I've received over the year from people around me at work.
One thing that HAS kept me going though is the glorious thought that in August, which is now just 16 weeks and a couple of days away, I and Him Indoors are going to be staying in Japan for a month!
We booked it around September or August just gone, so we've got cheap flights that go via Moscow (we're also covered by his work's Travel Insurance, so that is awesome) and after a gruelling 14 hour flight (I find the 8hour flight to Kenya bad enough!) we will be travelling for about an hour on bullet train to our AirBnB apartment, which is also relatively cheap but well reviewed.
The apartment is fairly basic and the owner comes and works in the office on the ground floor during the day, but it's to be our base for 28 days.
Just for the flights and this 28 day stay in someone's flat, we've only spent around £500 each! :D
In Tokyo we will of course be doing lots of things - soon we'll be getting our JR Passes sorted out (around June, because of how far ahead you can book that) and we will also be trying to book tickets to the Studio Ghibli museum/park place. We'll spend a day at Disney Japan, we'll be visiting the Pokemon Health Center, we'll be visiting various cafes and Him Indoors wants to go to the Gundam museum and everything. There's lots to keep us busy in Tokyo itself.
For Him Indoors' Birthday on the 10th August we'll travel to Mount Fuji which we'll start to climb, rest at a half-way hut and then over night climb the rest so that we see the sunrise on Him Indoor's Birthday on the 11th August. Hoping the weather will be relatively clear then.
Then we'll spend the day in the parks around there and then we'll catch a train to Yumedono where we splashed out a bit on a onsenji hotel. :D Got an executive suite discounted with a private outdoor onsen. Can not wait!!!!!
We then touch base back at our flat in Tokyo for a couple of days and travel out to Osaka where we've booked another small flat via Air BnB so that we can visit areas around there for a couple of days.
We've a small to do list in our house on this big old whiteboard Him Indoors managed to get cheap (without thinking about where to put it), and we're slowly ticking things off so that's exciting.
Yeah. I'll be keeping a mini blog and taking a looooooot of photos on this trip!
In fact, I'm going on a short one-day photography course today just to get to grips with the manual settings of my new camera, so that I can get the best out of it when we're there.