Keith Cousins's Blog

March 3, 2011

A Tokyo Affair

Narita Airport.  Photo by Don StefanovichArrival in Narita Airport near Tokyo, Japan. Photo by Don Stefanovich

It’s quite surreal being on a plane traveling over the Pacific Ocean. Sometime during my viewing of The Chronicles of Narnia III, we crossed the international date line, but sadly there was no noticeable change in my age. The nerves are building, coming at a steady rhythm. Even the 10 a.m. beer at the LAX Chili’s restaurant has done little to alleviate the feeling in my gut.

Time has caught me. It seems like only days ago I was sitting on a train reading Hunter S. Thompson, thinking I could do this journalism thing. But that was three years ago and somewhere along the line I decided my ultimate goal.

International correspondent. How cool does that sound?

Getting paid (not much I am sure, but still getting paid!) to travel the world and write. It’s adventure. It’s a thrill. It’s happening. Right now.

Tokyo looms. In about four hours the plane will touch down in Japan this journey will begin. A quick bite to eat, a pit-stop at the restroom to freshen up. Then back on a plane.

Hanoi, Vietnam. The dream is here. Almost two weeks in Vietnam working as a reporter. Just thinking about it, sitting here in a sardine can traveling 543 mph, is enough to get the nerves working overtime.

What if I fail? What if I don’t get the stories? What if I freeze?

Then again, what if I rise to the occasion. What if I succeed?

This metallic bird will ensure that I make it to my destination, but only I can will myself, push myself, to do what I set out to do – tell stories using my words. Back to the in-flight entertainment – Burlesque can’t be that bad right?

Random bits:

  • Lots of surgical masks on the flight. I understand the purpose, but that doesn’t make it any less unsettling.
  • Brody wants us to walk – a lot – on the plane. He himself is quite the social butterfly throughout the flight.
  • I really dig this group. If we can’t do this job right journalism might, in fact, be dead.
  • I wish she was here sitting next to me – that gorgeous smile would calm these nerves.