It was the hardest for me to pick. When should I leave Japan and When CAN I leave are two different things.
First, I got my visa 21st of November. I went with my Mom because she wanted to know how to go to the Belgium Embassy and I kind of taught her. (Although, I’m sure she didn’t get a thing). We rushed through the busy stations to be there before 5pm and rushed back home to reach our house in time for her work. Tiring was such an understatement.
But, I got it. My visa. On my hand.
The next step was crucial: When do I leave?
Well, there were a lot of things to consider. I would love to do it same as someone I know who flew 3 days after the visa came out but, sadly, I can’t. There are a LOT of things I have to do before flying like:
- Resign from my job
- Train the new teacher replacement
- Withdraw my residency from the city office to cut my residence tax
- Cut my phone, iPad and internet bills
- Pack my things and send some to Belgium
- And some more I can’t remember but I really have to.
I listed all these things in my notebook and then I realized I needed time. So, we decided to leave late December. Finally, it was decided and approved by my parents. After Christmas because my mom wants me to be here on that special day and before New Year so I can spend New Year with my Schatje.
Next step: What airline?
Well… as we all know, Christmas season also means peak season for air ticket. And, yes, it was all expensive.
I always pick the cheapest ticket because I can sleep anywhere anyway. Haha However, I’m more frequent with Emirates (Great service, nice plane and cheap most times) so I checked their rates and it was so high this season. My second bet, as always, was Qatar Airways (I love their service, too!). The price was, as I expected really high as well. My next and last option was Turkish Airlines. I flew with them once and it was okay. But then, they also have high rates this season.
So, Red and I looked for other options. After looking at ANA, JAL, Aeroflot, and others, we were down to Etihad and Swiss Airlines. Still a bit expensive than usual ticket I buy but, the cheapest we can find. I haven’t flew with the same flight ever. UAE and Switzerland are both nice countries to transit as well. But, it went down to one thing: TIME.
With Etihad, it will take me 24 hours to reach Brussels. Wow! I’m used to flying 18~22 hours but I have never experienced 24 hours. It’s 12 hours from Tokyo to UAE, 5 hours stop there and 7 more hours to Belgium. In contrast, Swiss gave me a total of 15 hours fly time! Topped the fastest I will have to date! Really! 12 Hours from Tokyo to Switzerland ; 1.5 hour transit and 1.5 hour flight to Brussels! And so, we decided to fly with Swiss Air.
But, of course… there’s a TWIST.
Red’s dad said we have to hope there won’t be any snow storm when I land in Switzerland. My nerves, I didn’t even thought of that.
Oh well, we will see!