Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A Change of Plans

Bricoleur (n.): a person who builds from whatever is available, scrambling to gather the pieces as it all comes together. (French, English)

Hello hello! I know that there are some posts on Spain that are overdue, but I need to get this short post out first.

As most of you know, I designed my project to be spent in quarters; a year divided between Spain, Turkey, Japan and India. I spent three fantastic months traveling in Spain, and I then headed to Bulgaria (where I'm writing from) for a week as I prepared to head to Turkey. I planned and prepped and had housing and contacts all lined up, my flight to Istanbul was booked--

And now Turkey's not happening.

Don't panic! I promise, I did that already. And I have a plan. But to explain: one of the conditions of the Watson Fellowship is that Fellows are not permitted to travel in countries that have Travel Warnings issued by the U.S. Department of State. And, as I discovered last Wednesday, Turkey is on the list. Until the Travel Warning is lifted, I'm not permitted to visit Turkey and I have to restructure my year accordingly.

So, tomorrow I fly to Japan. This is all rather sudden, and I'm still a bit tense. However, I'm incredibly thankful to have the resources to turn on a dime and head off in a completely new direction, and I'm very excited to have Japan lined up. As of today the plan is to live in Kyoto for the next three months, and I can't wait to dig in!

This also means that I'll be returning to research and revisiting my previously rock-solid country list, just in case Turkey retains its Travel Warning. My plans for my travel are a bit more written in the sand from here on out than I had hoped for, but I'm told that's all part and parcel of the Watson deal. Who knows, maybe this will be a blessing in disguise. Fingers crossed! Next time I write, I'll be in Kyoto.

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