I suppose my travels officially started when I boarded the green double-decker bus bound for Osaka. Leaving Izumi has been one of the most heart-wrenching, stressful, emotional events I have ever experienced in my entire life. I just didn't expect it to be so hard. For almost a month before my departure I was so busy I could hardly see straight. There were goodbye parties, leaving speeches, dinners, packing, packing and more packing to do. So many loose ends to tie up. I was even doing last minute paper work in the car on the way to the bus station. 6 of my fingers were bloody and in bandaids by the time I finished all the cleaning and packing to be done in my last few days in the village. In fact, leaving was so completely painstaking and stressful I'm not sure what stopped me from curling up into a ball, crying my eyes out and calling it quits. I know it crossed my mind several times.
My English teacher, Masae was kind enough to drive me an hour to the station. It took two trips from the car to get all of my luggage to the bus stop. I picked
at my bandaids and tried to ignore the tearing feeling in my stomach as we waited for the bus to come and take me away. Luckily my Izumi host sister, Tomoko, as well as my taekwondo coach, Makoto came to see me off. The three of them blinked back tears and made ridiculous gestures at me from the window of the bus after I took my seat. I, of course, was not so stoic. With trembling lips and tears streaming down my face the bus rolled away and I waved my final goodbye.
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