University of Wisconsin–Madison

Stress Eating and Pre-Departure Feels

Days race by as I procrastinate to pack. There is so much I am going to miss from home that I am trying to see and eat everything I can before I leave. I have been playing Catan as much as a possibly can with my family and making as many trips to get cream cheese wontons (NOT crab rangoons) before I go. It is going to be much warmer in Japan than it is in the Twin Cities so I have been taking advantage of all the winter activities possible including hot cocoa, sledding and ice skating.

The day before leaving for Japan and my family has decided to bring me to the Japanese Gardens in Saint Paul, MN, because, of course, I will not be seeing enough of Japanese gardens in Japan. It will be interesting to compare how the United States perceives Japanese gardens compared to how they are actually in Japan. While I visited the Japanese gardens, I visited the adjoining gardens and conservatory at Como Zoo.

It was so warm inside these gardens; I hope Japan will be this warm!

I am so nervous to leave but am trying not to think about it so I don’t let my nerves spoil the last few days with my family and friends. I think somewhere deep in my subconscious I believe that by putting off packing another day then it is another day that I am not actually leaving to Japan. Once I begin packing I will have to answer so many questions about what I am bringing, what to take out if the bags are too heavy, and what keepsakes from home are worth bringing to Japan to remember my friends and family from home. I have never been away from home for such a long period of time, five months, but I am hoping I will be able to acclimate quickly. Every time I feel nervous for leaving, I try to push those thoughts aside by thinking where I can next go for food that I won’t be able to get in Japan. This means there have been a lot of late night pizza runs and early brunch expeditions, but I have also been able to learn a lot more about the food side of the Twin Cities. Hopefully eating so much western food will help me appreciate Japanese food more when I am there!

Now it’s time for me to really begin packing. WIsh me luck!