Our house is littered with things that either need to be packed in our panniers or packed into boxes for storage. Clothes that need sorting, electronics that need sorting. A harddisk full of e-books that needs sorting. And most of all, a racing mind that needs sorting and chill the fuck down, but the excitement about this trip combined with the stress of arranging everything before departure make that hard.
I don’t want to complain though, because I barely did any of the planning for this trip (who am I kidding, I did none of the planning). Antonio is the one who has maps of free onsen (Japanese bath houses), graphs with expected temperatures, spreadsheets with budgets and a mental encyclopedia of tips and tricks from other travellers. And he is the one who, in fact, made an effort to learn some Japanese so that we (him) won’t be completely useless.
This has always been a fun dynamic in our relationship. Despite me being more of a control freak, I know it is impossible to control much at all during a bike trip, so out of self-preservation I just don’t bother much with planning. And also…I just don’t really…care? Like, I just want to ride my bike around, sleep in our tent, summit mountain passes and see forests and snow and volcanoes and stuff my face with ramen and bathe in hot springs but there is plenty of all of that in Japan so it doesn’t really matter where you go. I want to laugh about awkward social interactions and be amazed in supermarkets and buy weird things from vending machines and try at least fifty unknown kinds of candy but those seem like only mildly ambitious goals at best, and I’m okay with that.
The thought of soon (twelve nights of sleep!) doing all of this makes me positively giddy but the thought of all the things that need to be done before that are mildy panic-inducing but I repeat my mantra of “It will be fine. We have everything we need. Everything will be fine. We’re fine” before going to bed and yes, we will be fine. Because why wouldn’t we?