Running on the Go: Picking a Route

You’ve just landed in a foreign land. You don’t speak the language and everyone is driving on a completely different side of the road. You think “Aw, hell with it, how am I supposed to figure out where to run?”

STOP! You can do this! You even packed your bright purple and pink Brooks shoes! No going back now.

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Welcome Back; Tidal Waves and Rainbows

My try-hard, ganbaru face

My try-hard, ganbaru face

You may have noticed an absence over the last year. Or maybe you didn’t (I won’t be offended). Well, I have good news for you: I’m back.

The last year has been quite the roller coaster for me. My previous post marked the final turn in my father’s health, and subsequent rapid decline. The prior November, in a last-ditch effort, he underwent a difficult procedure to “replace” his immune system to beat the Lymphoma. Remember my “Thankful for Superheroes” post? Well, that post was made just after he completed that treatment. He was such a trooper, the true image of strength and a positive attitude. I’m still learning these lessons from him, and will continue to do so for a long time.

It’s been nearly one year to the day since his passing.

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Ellipsis

EllipsisI’m sure you’ve noticed a certain lack of post. An absence, if you will. Funny how life sometimes swoops in and takes you off your feet– not always in a feel-good sort of way either. It’s been a long, trying 4 months that I’m surprised I came out of without embracing some horrible vice.

There are a few things no one warns you about when you return home from a stint like mine. First and foremost, reverse culture shock. Ok, so people do warn you about this, but reading about something and experiencing something is entirely different.  Continue reading

Color Me Rad 5K

552971_2449976965043_1368790045_nRecently, I joined team Pokemanz to “run” in the Color Me Rad 5K! Basically, as I said before, you start the race white, and end colorful! I mean, I did wear colorful socks to start, but they only got better as the race went on! For anyone thinking about doing this as a first 5K, I highly recommend it. It’s a very laid back event. No pressure what-so-ever. And who doesn’t like blindingly-bright chalk thrown at them while doing physical activities? No one. That’s who. Continue reading

Seoul, South Korea

East GateLast weekend, Becky and I took a little 4-day holiday to Seoul, South Korea. Like a delicious appetizer, it really wet our appetites for the summer traveling plans. The perfect weekend-getaway before the real-deal.

Seoul is the closest city I’ve every seen to what I would call a “city of the future.” Flat screen TVs can be found around every corner, most of them interactive touch screens. Many of the stations also had interactives designed for the last-minute shoppers. Need a new dress for that date tonight? Just scan your phone and it gets delivered to your house. Forgot to grab water at the store? No worries, it’s sold here too.  Continue reading

Sapporo’s Famous Snow Festival (雪祭)

Side viewEvery February, Sapporo holds it’s biggest event: the Snow Festival. Hokkaido is Japan’s northernmost prefecture, and is famous for two things: snow and open space. It’s no wonder artists from around the world spend a whole month working on these massive masterpieces of snow. The main stretch of the park had huge snow carvings, one of them was even a life-size replication of a Thai building. Every year the festival attracts millions from around the world to see the amazing creations, then go skiing and enjoy famous Hokkaido food.  Continue reading

More Notes on Translation

An endless ocean of change

An endless ocean of change

Tomorrow marks 5 weeks until I return home to visit friends for nearly 1 month. 5 weeks. That’s just over a month. That’s 3 weeks at First school and 2 weeks at Second school. That’s 5 more Wednesday classes. That’s almost a year from leaving Florida.

5 weeks.

And where am I now?

People like to ask me “Has living in Japan changed you?” My answer is a distinct “Yes.” The natural follow up question is “In what ways?” To which I never have a response. I know I’ve changed. I can feel it in the way I look at others, in the way that others look at me. I can feel it in my body language, my responses, my decisions. I’ve definitely changed. But in what way, I don’t know.  Continue reading

Very Inspiring

Blogger AwardMy life has been hectic as of late, and keeping up with my blog has been something I squeeze in when I can. Recently, the lovely Mary Sarudzayi of the blog For Zimbabwe nominated me for a Blogger Award and I’m completely honored. It made my day and inspired me to always keep writing, at least someone is finding my crazy life interesting!

Please drop by her blog and check it out, it too is a fantastic one, focused on the development of politics in Zimbabwe. Whether or not politics are your thing, it’s a big world we live in and exploring it virtually (or physically) is part of the human existence. Understanding other places with an open-mind and an adventurous spirit can only bring us closer together.

After the jump, check out the blogs I nominated and 7 interesting facts about me!

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The Foreseeable Plan

With a six day work week and a slew of “big girl” documents that need to be taken care of, I’ve been nothing shy of busy. To add to the pile, it’s 8 weeks left here in Ibaraki meaning it’s time to take a look at that Life Plan. So far, I’m still not 100% sure what is going on, but I’ve bought a few plane tickets so I know at least that much. So here it is, my current, temporary, tentative, foreseeable plan.
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Jess, the Mountaineer

From the top, 360 view

From the top, 360 view

Having grown up in Florida, I’ve never in my life climbed as frequently as I do here. For obvious reasons. I’ve come to realize how much I really love it! Since coming here, I go hiking at least once a month, if not more. Who knew Japan would make a mountaineer out of this beach bum.  Continue reading