One wild summer: Parts I-V.

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It’s not one where I’ll be hanging out at the pool, painting my fingernails to match the pool water.

It’s one wild summer, in a totally exciting and scary way.

I’m crossing my fingers for no delays because my schedule is TIGHT. Ready?

Part I – First week of July: OHIO

Road trip! My mom is flying up to Vermont the end of June and we’re driving to Ohio. I’m excited to visit with my family, who I haven’t seen since the holidays. So long! Andย I’m leaving my car and Merlin with them while I’m away.

Part II – July 5 – 8: VERMONT

Back to Vermont. I’ll be in Burlington to prep and do some budget stuff before the course to London.

Part III – July 8-August 2: LONDON

It’s the London Stage course! Plus Dickens’s 200th Birthday!! Plus the World Shakespeare Festival!!! PLUS THE OLYMPICS!!!!!!

It should be a fantastic time. Although,ย I will be having to keep an eye on 13 college students living in Camden, which is like an alternate universe where anything goes.

Part IV – August 2-3: BOSTON

I leave London on the afternoon of August 2, arriving to Boston at 11 p.m. that night

….PLEASE NO FLIGHT DELAYS, PASSPORT ISSUES, OR VISA DELAYS……

Because at 11 a.m. the next day, I have predarture orientation…..

Part V – August 4: JAPAN!

Yes, it’s real. I’m moving to Japan for the next year to teach English with the JET program. I’ve never been to Japan or Asia – and don’t know how to teach English, speak Japanese or even how to properly use chopsticks – but it’s been something I’ve thought about for the past decade. I’m thrilled for the opportunity. More details later.

Right now, I’m excited and happy, yet kind of freaked out. My head is spinning.

I’m trying to figure out pack for the next year (ONLY TWO SUITCASES), clear out my apartment (ugh, so much useless crap!), fit in a million errands and doctors appointments, prep work for the new person, prep for London, prep for JET, teach myself Japanese (tips????), spend quality time with friends, spend quality time with Merlin…..on it goes.

I thought about stopping blogging for a while because I’ve got A LOT on my mind, but so far it’s been a great outlet. I might have to post less as things pick-up though. Who knows? Whew. It just feels good that things are finally falling into place.

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Always thinking about my next meal.
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47 Responses to One wild summer: Parts I-V.

  1. Danielle says:

    Oh my gosh! What exciting news!!! First, I am very jealous that you’ll be in London during the Olympics. Second, Japan sounds like an amazing experience! Selfishly, I wish you would keep blogging so we can all hear about your time over there :)

    • Sarah says:

      Thanks Danielle! I got a leave of absence from work/school for this year, so I’m excited about that aspect. I feel like I’m taking a Gap Year at age 31……which is C.R.A.Z.Y. Still doing work at the high school in Montpelier? Will you be there next school year too?

      • danicakesvt says:

        A gap year is totally ok!! You are seeing the world, which is worth more than any time spent at school. Today is the last day of school for us, then I move down to DC to join my man. Hopefully there will be some teaching job down there.

      • Sarah says:

        Wow, D.C.?! Amazing. It’s a great city with soooo much to do. Are you getting sad to leave Vermont? I feel a bit sad…..but I’ll be back in a year. Yay!

  2. Jill says:

    SWEET!! That is so cool–what a wonderful adventure. Hey, we all only have one life–CARPE DIEM!!

  3. jejobe says:

    Hooray! I’m excited to hear about your adventures, so I hope you keep blogging! And, I am ridiculously jealous that you’ll be in London for the Olympics! Will you get to go to any events? How awesome!!

    • Sarah says:

      Hooray. Whoop. Whoop! I’m trying to get tickets as we speak. It’s more complicated than I thought. If you’re not a UK citizen, you have to go through this external company.

  4. Karis says:

    How exciting! My brother has been in Japan for the past year and loves it. He will return to Springfield, OH to finish up his final year of college before returning to Japan for the JET program in 2013. Like most 21 year-old boys he’s terrible at emailing, but if you have any questions, I could pass along his email address.

  5. gretchenrae says:

    congrats on japan and JET! that is an awesome program. i’ve had friends who have really enjoyed their experience with the program and their time in japan. i’ve been to japan twice and speak it fluently. i hope you have so much fun. please continue to blog if you can. would love to see more updates on this new adventure.

    sending you lots of great energy for london, japan, and all of your fun future adventures!

    hugs,
    grae

  6. Ahhhhh that’s so exciting! Congrats! I hope you keep blogging–I would love to hear all about Japan (and London!)

    • Sarah says:

      Thank you! Yes, I’m thinking it will be fun to blog about the upcoming travels. I just get sucked into the computer with it. Or I feel like people don’t want to read scattered/random posts. But, I think I’ll just go with it for a year!

  7. Kendall says:

    I never comment, but I always read! I had to come out of the shadows for this post, though. So excited for you and your amazing adventures this summer. Please keep on posting…I will love hearing about your travels.

  8. Elizabeth says:

    Congratulations!! You are so amazing. What is going to happen to Merlin? Does he need a foster family?

    • Sarah says:

      Liz! Too bad we missed each other at the marathon. Sort of a crazy plan, right? I’ll miss Vermont AND MERLIN. My parents are going to watch him. I’m already telling them that I need weekly photos of him.

  9. Amber Stott says:

    Holy smokes! What a grand adventure!! Best of luck. Eat lots of ramen. And keep us in the loop of all your food. :)

  10. lara says:

    OH, wow!!! I am so excited for you – I love when people follow their wild, crazy dreams :) You’ll do great and I can’t wait to hopefully hear some of your travel posts!

    • Sarah says:

      Thanks Lara! Oh, I’ve been reading some Simone Elkeles books for fun. Have you read her before? Interested to know what you think!

  11. Megan says:

    Wow! What an adventure! I’m so excited you’re going to Japan – you will LOVE it!!! My husband and I have traveled there three times (Kyoto + Tokyo), and I would be so happy to share any tips that might be helpful. Shooting you an email!

  12. karolinka27 says:

    Great news. I’d love to come and visit!!

  13. Congratulations, lady! I am so excited for you. Good for you for taking the plunge. You know what they say about regrets….only the things you don’t do! Have you read Haruki Murakami? He is my favorite author and is Japanese. You will LOVE LOVE LOVE him. The Windup Bird Chronicle is the best, but Norwegian Wood (and anything else he’s written) rocks. I am so so happy for you!

    • Sarah says:

      Thanks Sarah! And I never got back to you about book suggestions for your juniors. I haven’t read anything that I feel like RAVING about lately. And I need to read more Haruki Murakami. I actually checked out IQ84 from the library a while back, but didn’t even get to it. I’m definitely interested in reading more Japanese literature – once things calm down – so thanks for the suggestions!

      Also, SO JEALOUS that you’ll be in Santa Fe this summer. It’s one of my all-time favorite places. I want to live there. Definitely hit up the flea market. I’ve gotten some amazing turquoise in the past. If you get out to Taos, immediately go to Taos Pizza Outback. Sounds weird that I’m recommending a pizza place in New Mexico, but this is some of the best pizza I’ve EVER had in my life.

  14. Linda says:

    What a wonderful opportunity for you!! That is fantastic. I wish you the very best on this new branch of your journey.

  15. Lauren says:

    Such awesome news! Please keep blogging so I can live (and learn!) vicariously through you!

    • Sarah says:

      Thanks Lauren. It was a TOUGH decision….especially around leaving Merlin for the year. SO SAD!

      I love your blog as well, so keep it up!

  16. realfunfood says:

    I just found your blog, and my name is also Sara, I’m from Ohio, and I live in London :) I’m also training for my first marathon. I keep reading more and more of your posts to see what else we randomly have in common. Hope you enjoy London during the Olympics – it’s going to be so crazy, but really fun I’m sure!

    • Sarah says:

      I adore your blog! It’s so charming.

      We also like The Hunger Games and cats:)

      Did you get tickets for any Olympic events? I’m trying to figure out the ticket system. I also read where Hyde and Victoria park will have large screens airing the games for free. I’M SO EXCITED!

      • realfunfood says:

        I’m not sure how the general population gets tickets. For Londoners (I still get excited calling myself a Londoner!), we had a different ticket system where everyone who wanted one had to sign up on a certain day, and then it was some kind of weird ballot. So some people got all the tickets they wanted, and others got nothing. Then there was a separate re-sale day if you decided you didn’t want the tickets. It was confusing, but no, I didn’t get tickets because I thought I wouldn’t be here :( If you do get tickets that would be awesome! But you’re right, there will be big screens I think, and I think it’s going to be tons of fun whether you go to an event or not. Can’t wait to read about your time in London. If you have any questions let me know! :)

      • Sarah says:

        I might just have to watch at the free screens, which sounds just as fun!

        Read more of your blog last night. Love it!

        We also like THE BOROUGH MARKET (so amazing) and solo trips. I went to Paris alone last year, but have always wanted to visit Copenhagen. (And Sweden…actually, anywhere in Scandinavia.)

        If you have any London to do/to eat/to see suggestions, I’m all ears.

      • realfunfood says:

        Definitely – my favorite pizza place in the whole world ever is in London. Go to Pizza Metro Pizza in Battersea, near Clapham Junction train station.

  17. Japan!?!?! Wow! Please keep up your blog, however intermittently, because I have a deep and necessary longing to hear your stories and see your photos from this awesome adventure. I’m so excited for you!

  18. Cassie says:

    I’m so happy for you! Ive been working since my sophmore year in high school. Now Im starting to realize that I have a fear of reaching 39 and realizing I never took a gap year. So good for you! Now I need to work up the courage to take the leap like you! =D
    p.s. I hope you’ll keep blogging.

  19. Karen says:

    Wow! So awesome of you to take the leap! Please keep blogging:) I would visit you in a heartbeat! Japan has some amazing skiing. You’ll have to give it a try.

  20. Hi there. I found your blog through freshly pressed. I lived in Japan for almost 8 years. I’m sure you’ll enjoy traveling around Japan :)

  21. Fun summer! I can’t wait to hear about it all on your blog as you travel through these places!

    Cheers,
    Courtney Hosny
    http://www.oneweektocrazy.com

  22. lapetitelea says:

    Hi! New to this blog but had to comment about Japan.
    I’m going too this year (just for a trip). I’m teaching myself the basics and it’s going pretty well!
    What has helped me: an iPhone and Android app. called Learn Japanese, a simple Japanese phrasebook by Codegent. You get about a quarter for free and if you like it, the full version for around 5$.
    It’s nice because you have pretty much everything you need to start. You read the phrase out loud (written in latin alphabet), then a voice says it. If ever you can bring an iPhone, iPod touch or Android with you, you could always use it to cover for you when you forget how to say something!

    Another thing I have found helpful: These youtube videos:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xE88rMSr_xs&feature=relmfu

    Finally, I think it’s good to watch Japanese movies with English subtitles, just so you get used to hearing the language and how the sentences flow. Once you recognize a few words, you can have a certain understanding of what is being said without looking at the subtitles all the time. Here are a few suggestions:
    - Movies by Hayao Miyazako, which are animation movies that please adults and kids alike (Ponyo, Spirited away, Howl’s moving castle)
    - Tokyo Sonata by Kiyoshi Kurosawa
    - Adrift in Tokyo by Satoshi Miki
    - Nobody knows by Daremo Shinarai

    There you go! Hope this helps a little!

    Have fun in Japan, can’t wait to read about it!

    • Sarah says:

      Thank you SO MUCH! I’m definitely getting that app and will look into the movies. A Japanese professor where I work also said it’s good to watch Japanese movies with English subtitles. Where are you traveling to in Japan? I’ll be in Takaoka, on the western side.

      • lapetitelea says:

        I’ll be traveling to Tokyo, Kyoto and Sapporo mostly. We decided to split the trip in 3, that way we don’t have to carry our big bags all the time. We’ll be staying at least one week in each city, doing day trips to interesting places that are close by (Kamakura, Nara, mountains to climb, lakes)…. We got a JR railpass so we’ll be free to decide last minute what we feel like doing.
        Definitely gonna be an interesting adventure!

  23. Congratulations on teaching on the JET program! I’ve had a few friends go and it’s been a great experience for them. It would be cool to hear about your experiences in Japan teaching!

    Jamie
    greyskysaturday.wordpress.com

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