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I’m hanging out in PDX at 8:07 AM. My flight from RDM left this morning at 6:00 AM and I’ve been up since 4:15 AM. I have a flight to San Fransisco, then will hop on the flight to Japan. I will arrive at Narita around 1 AM my time. What a long day.

This day is surreal. Saying goodbye to my family, Emily, and Nathan was very hard. Dad jumped along the security checkpoint waving and grinning – I know everyone is excited and supportive of this adventure, but I wish I could take them all along with me! Thanks to the magic of the internet, I can in a way. I’m grateful for that much!

So now it’s me, a caramel macchiato, and a cream cheese danish just hanging out together for the next 2 hours.


I’m all checked in through to Tokyo. I felt all special when I was asked for my passport. But I’m sure that’s a pretty regular thing to ask for here. I’m such a noob at this.


I just got a shock when a Japanese announcement came over the PDX intercom to announce the arrival of a flight from Narita. It’s an omen! I don’t know if it’s good or bad, but it’s crazy to hear something other than English or Spanish being spoken. Soon I’ll be rushing around Tokyo and that’s all I will hear, so I guess I’d better get used to it.

I also successfully exchanged a little under $500 into yen. It’s all so bizarre – all these little tiny changes keep adding up and I’m slowly starting to believe that in a few hours I will actually be in Tokyo, Japan, starting a new experience. I have 38,000 yen on me now and a few dollars to get myself some new sunglasses. As family and friends can attest to, my current sunglasses don’t function quite as well as one might hope.

My parents gave me the generous, useful gift of a video camera for my journey! I’ve been testing it out a little bit here and there and am learning the functions. Airport commentary is less-than-riveting, but once I get to Japan I’m positive I’ll put it to good use.

9:45 AM UPDATE: Internet where I was sitting before (baggage claim) sucked. I’ve moved up to my gate and will board the plane in about 15 minutes. Much better connectivity up here. I couldn’t bring myself to choke down the rest of that danish and macchiato – my appetite is non-existent. I bet by tonight I’ll be starving, though. Here’s hoping for a smooth journey the rest of the way!


I probably won’t have anything remotely interesting to say in San Francisco, so it’s likely my next update will be from TOKYO! See you there!


  1. Betsy and Richard Betsy and Richard July 18, 2009

    Hi honey,

    We love you and can’t wait to hear all about your Japanese experience! I emailed the link Kelly sent to Chloe, so she can follow along too! Love the header on your blog, it’s quite a beautiful contrast. Stay well! xoxo

  2. Ryan S Ryan S July 20, 2009

    Hey Arisha!

    Very cool haps. I dig the extensive picture taking and verbiage 🙂 Anywho, hope ya have a blast, and keep us all updated state-side!

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