Driving North to Fly to the East

I’m in the back seat of the car. We’re driving North to Edmonton. Mom is sleeping in the front seat while Dad chews beef jerky and occasionally coughs from its spices. I am trying not to think of the people I will be leaving behind and the pain I will cause some of them. Obviously, I am having difficulties averting my mind from these topics.

I am trying to be optimistic. Every one of my travel experiences has been an incredible blessing. With each new place I visit, I feel less afraid of death, because I feel I have fulfilled more of my life. There’s a line from The Big Lebowski where one character says he’s comfortable with dying because he’s seen Los Angeles – if he died now, he wouldn’t feel like God ripped him off.

I’m trying to focus on the opportunity at hand. I’ll be making decent money doing what shouldn’t be the most strenuous work imaginable while living in a foreign country. There, I will have the chance to develop my photographic skills while pointing my lenses at some fantastic subjects. With some determination, I will be able to begin building my future as a professional photographer. A few travel articles here, a new website there, a whole bunch of submissions to stock agencies and I can start to make it happen.

But still, I keep my expectations low. Just in case. My hopes can be high, but if my expectations follow suit, disappointment is often not far behind.

But once I arrive in Japan, these ruminations will hopefully cease and I will engage myself more thoroughly with the land, its people, its culture and its images. Then maybe I won’t have to try so hard to not think of things.

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