Summer Days: Sydney, Australia

Summer in Australia announces it’s presence as a warm breeze that wafts lazily into the family room while you’re enjoying Pavlova and a cold, Australian white. Unlike Florida summers, often overwhelming in nature, Australian summers are like a warm security blanket. With them come all the perks one would expect to find in the warmest part of the year; Lazing around on beaches, eating mangos, getting sunburns.

Continue reading

My Time in ‘Nam

So far you’ve heard about my ride on a train, our trip to the hospital, and a snake-eating experience. These are great stories and all, but I thought you might like some insight into my thoughts about Vietnam. If I’m wrong, then stop while you’re ahead!

When Becky and I were looking for somewhere to travel over the summer, many destinations came up. We talked about Malaysia, South Korea, China, and many more. South Korea is actually near the top of my list for countries to visit in Asia, so needless to say, I was pushing hard for that one. In the end, Vietnam won out because the flights were the cheapest and we knew that while in ‘Nam, things would be even cheaper. When Becky said you can get beer for 80yen ($1) I was instantly sold. Grab your aviators, we’re going to Vietnam, baby.  Continue reading

Climbing Mt. Fuji (富士山)

From the top of Fuji looking down

Before coming to Japan, I compiled a list aptly named “Top Things to do in Japan.” As you can imagine, this included mundane things (drink bubble tea), exciting things (visit Hokkaido), and adventurous things (climb Mt. Fuji). Someday, the plan is to show you the list in detail. Until then, just know that I am working checking off every last thing. Back in July, I knocked the ominous “climb Mt. Fuji” off the list.

Actually, in all honestly, since I knew so many people who’d climbed it, I figured it was an easy task. In fact, I imagined well paved roads and information signs every 10 feet. Needless to say, I wasn’t fully prepared for the 8 hour climb up a nearly vertical gravel slope in the middle of the night at near freezing temperatures.

Continue reading

7 Days in Osaka, Nara, and Kyoto for Cheap

A good friend of mine from America, Julie, was scheduled to visit me here in Japan at the start of my summer vacation. As much as I’m sure she would love hanging out with me here in Koga for 18 days, I decided to save that for another visit. So, in an effort to make the best of her time here and I decided to book a trip for her, Becky, Carolyn and I down to Kansai for 7 days. Mind you, we’re all poor, recent graduates/ current students, so we wanted to make sure we could maximize our visit for minimal funds. This is how we did the Kansai region cheaply and efficiently! Continue reading