favorite things travel

40th Birthdays and 15th Anniversaries

On top of the world! Or at least Mt. Hakone

40th birthdays are kind of a big deal. Add in a 15th anniversary, and 2019 needed to be celebrated in a big way.

The husband turned 40 in February. Not time to celebrate.

And then April marked our 15th anniversary. Time to celebrate a book launch!! But … not yet time to celebrate the anniversary.

And then October came, my 40th birthday, and we hopped on a plane to Tokyo.

Now THAT’S how ya celebrate.

Before the trip, we did a little research, booked our plane tickets, booked a guided tour for part of the trip, and then did more research. Booked some hotels, more flights. Invited the in-laws who were living in that half of the world at the time. Did some more research, and filled in my infamous travel google sheet.

(Seriously, I make a google spreadsheet for all of our trips. They are pretty awesome, if I do say so myself.)

Now, we’ve done a fair bit of traveling, had some great trips, but this was our best one yet. I’m writing all this down 8 months late, so I won’t remember everything, but I’m sure gonna try.

We booked a guided tour for the first part of our trip, but arranged to arrive a day early in Tokyo, something we did with our last guided tour and I highly recommend. Gives you an extra day to deal with jetlag, and do a little sight-seeing before the rest of the adventurers arrive.

Our guided tour was with Gate 1 Travel, which I also highly recommend, especially for first-time world travelers. It’s a really good bang for your buck, and you don’t have to worry about a thing after you make it to the airport. Seriously, you don’t even know how much decision fatigue you suffer from until you take a guided tour.

And then after the guided tour, we met up with the in-laws in Okinawa for a few days, then back to Tokyo for a few days.

Tokyo, man. You could spend a lifetime there and not see it all. (We’ve been researching ‘how to move to Japan’ as an American … turns out there’s lots of hoops to jump through … so, uh, I guess we’ll have to just keep playing tourist!)

So that’s just the overview!! Don’t worry, there’s 20 more posts to go!

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