Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Redesigning My Life
This is part of a series responding to Christine at Almost Fearless' series 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World.
I don't have a date set to leave.
I haven't even really decided where I want to go first.
I want to go back to Japan and get my fluency certificate by passing the highest level of the JLPT. I want to take a round the world trip, travelling slowly and doing odd jobs along the way. I want to go to China and become fluent in Mandarin. Each of those are big long term trips that would take at least a year. I suspect that passing the JLPT would take me between a year and a half and two years to accomplish, and I may be overly optimistic in thinking that I would be able to achieve a high functioning level of Mandarin in a similar or slightly shorter time frame.
If I want to set a date I have to pick a project. Going to China would probably be about half as expensive as the other two, but I really feel a strong pull to finish my Japanese education. I liked the school I went to before, and I know their intense program will help me achieve my goal in a shorter period of time than some other schools I have looked into. The tuition prices aren't bad, either. I suppose influencing my preference for going back to Japan first is the fact that socializing with the other students really helped to improve my language skills when I was there the first time around. I imagine it's going to take some time for me to save up enough money to go, which means that I will be right on the upper edge of the student body's age range when I go. I'd rather go at a time when I would be invited to socialize, which means I would improve faster.
I want to go back to Japan first.
So what's stopping me?
1. My mortgage.
2. My horses.
3. My cats (and ferret).
4. My outstanding debt.
5. My lack of money.
None of these make going to Japan impossible.
I can rent out my house, probably for enough to break even.
My old trainer in Louisiana has reasonable board rates and loves my horse - she would care for Avalon while I was gone. Pete could be returned to my vet.
My parents have had two of their pets die of age related issues in the last three years, they would probably take a cat (or two). I know my brother would take one. And so long as we have the paperwork done, we can bring the other two, and maybe the ferret. I have heard some conflicting information on whether ferrets are allowed in so I have to check with the consulate. I'm sure my roommate would take her if we can't bring her. Actually, I probably have to worry about my roommate ferretnapping her when she moves out.
My debt is something I have been working on since the beginning of 2011, and I have made some great progress. If I continue to pay it down at this rate I should be debt free (not counting student loans and mortgage) by 2012.
The last one - lack of money - is going to be the hardest to fix. Even if a get a raise fairly regularly, chances are it will not be a big jump. I need to find a way to earn extra money outside of my 9 to 5 job.