I’m writing this post from a hotel room in Tokyo at 4am. How I got to this point in my life I’m still not entirely sure, but it goes something like this.
Sonos Handbell Ensemble has had a long history of traveling to Japan, Ever since I joined the ensemble 6 years ago, I’ve heard all of their crazy tales of adventures in Japan performing and sight seeing. 4 years ago the group did a performance tour in Japan, but I was still too new to go. 2 years ago there was talk of a tour, but those plans never materialized. So somehow this year all the stars aligned and I have been shipped off to Japan. Well, after months of rehearsal and a 12 hour plane flight I’ve ended up in Japan at least.
While this is not my first time touring with Sonos, this is my first time overseas. The 787-900 Dream Liner that we flew in was the largest airplane I have ever seen in my life. The flight took 12 ..long…hours. Luckily the guy sitting next to me was a 15 year old kid from Malaysia. He had been traveling all over the globe, so he showed me pictures and told me stories about his travels to Dubai and Spain and Portugal and Los Angles and Las Vegas and Canada. (At least I had been to New York, which impressed him). Chatting with him made the time go a bit faster, and it also reminded me that the world is a huge place.
The moment this whole tour became real though was stepping out of customs and seeing a lady holding a sign for Sonos Handbell Ensemble. From the airport we were whisked onto a bus with our name on it off to a hotel in Tokyo. I had heard stories of how wonderfully the logistics of the tour were set up in Japan, but is was surreal to see it in action.
I have no idea what adventures await me over the next 18 days. When I started this blog, my goal was to show ringers that there are no boundaries to handbell ringing; no standard conventions that are written in stone. The sky is the limit for the future of this art form, and having spend so many hours in the sky today, I can tell you that the future looks bright.