Text conversation between me and my daughter, B.
This after she drove and dropped me at the Seabus station, heading to the airport.
B: "Feels kinda weird to be sending my mother off alone on a backpacking trip."
Me: "Ha! Just like the old days when my mom sent me off to Japan in 1986.
Gosh that's 30 years ago. One big, cosmic circle."
And I could just not stop smiling…..
You see, my youngest graduated from high school and is firmly launched at university. My eldest has finished her course and found a great job on the Island. So I have been given my parenting pink slip. I say that in the best possible way.
I and we, as a family, have had many fine adventures since my mom sent me off into the blue yonder all of those years ago. But this trip to Japan, with my backpack, somehow felt symbolic and frankly, great. There is something exhilarating about heading off solo with the prospects of unknown adventures. The other thing is that my kids are capable and independent. That makes leaving them behind really easy. And let's be honest. I was going for 2 and a half weeks. And, I was heading to Japan, my home away from home, to meet up with my husband and our two friends. It was a holiday... with a backpack. There were youthful resonances but also an itinerary, friends and kin, accommodation booked and way more Japanese language at my disposal this time around. In 1986, I arrived in Tokyo at 7 pm on a Friday night, with some money in my pocket, accommodation that had fallen through, the phone number of the cousin of an acquaintance, negligible Japanese language ability, no job and only a half baked plan. It all worked out then. And it was a splendid experience. I figured this time around would be also be splendid. And so it was.
What follows will be a few sketches and stories about a trip to Japan.
It all started with a sketch of Bill Reid's Haida Gwaii at YVR.