It’s Been a While

In about two weeks I head back to London, Ontario to go back to school.

I can’t believe that my internship is almost over and that 16 months can go by so quickly. I did a lot over these months and grew quite a bit. I can definitely say that my life is different today compared to how it was a year ago, and I’m happy about that.

Expect more blog posts from me once I return to school. I’m living alone this year and will be focusing on so many different things, I’m sure I’ll be sharing my random thoughts.

But in the not-so-distant future, expect a blog about my cruise experience. I’m heading on a Carnival cruise from Miami to the Bahamas soon and I can’t wait :)

Massive Shift

I’m back from Japan and really out of it.

I traveled for 24 hours and didn’t sleep for 30+. I spent my time on the plane talking to a fast-talking, unable-to-sleep, 9-year-old-girl while everyone else could sleep. Then when I got home, my parents rushed me out the door to go to my cousin’s wedding reception.

And thus, I am really out of it right now.

I just found out that I just barely missed a massive earthquake in Japan that measured in at 7.1 (read the article here). That’s scary because I actually woke up in Kanazawa, which is in the Ishikawa prefecture, and it’s from there that we traveled to Tokyo for our flight home.

It’s also troubling to see all the pictures of destruction because I was just there and it’s such a great place.

It’s also scary to think that I could have been there at that time too…

I’m Still Alive

I’m sitting in a tiny hotel room in Hiroshima, stealing borrowing wi-fi from some other building because the hotel’s is acting up.

I have so many stories to tell you all but I can’t get into them now. I’m just amazed because I still have a week to go.

Last night we were in Koyasan (or Mt. Koya, if you’re not Japanese). Atop Koyasan is a village full of temples and shrines. It was a very quiet and beautiful place. We stayed in a temple overnight and got up early to attend the prayers.

It was a wonderful experience and the only downside was that it was freezing and us Canadians (who, as we were told by some Australians we ran into, should be used to the cold) did not have any warm clothes with us, so we spent a lot of time shivering. Haha, but every experience is one to remember.

Today, we were in Hiroshima and we visited the Peace Memorial Park and the Museum. The museum talks about Hiroshima before the bomb, during the bomb and after. I was struggling with my emotions the entire time. I decided that instead of being angry I should probably think of some way of putting my energy into more positive things. More on that later.

Anyway, that’s all I have to say for now. I’ll blog more about my adventures (including Tokyo, the contest, Mt. Takao, etc) soon.

Hurrah for Free Wi-Fi!

I’m currently sitting outside my gate with a few minutes to go until boarding.

A few of you will be excited to hear that I finally picked up the first three Harry Potter books to read during my 13 hour flight. Considering the fact that I really enjoy adventure books, I’ll admit that it’s a little bit strange that I haven’t read them yet. Everyone’s told me that I’m crazy for having not read them yet, and so I figured this flight would be a good time to start.

However, as my dad was driving me to the airport this morning, I realized that I’d forgotten them all on my desk.

So…. yeah. A visit to the airport bookstore was mandatory.

I now have a book full of travel writing pieces (to feed my current obsession) and a copy of Eragon (to sooth my upset soul that was previously very excited about reading a children’s adventure book).

Hopefully I’ll be able to read slow enough for the books to last me the majority of the flight. I doubt it, but hopefully…

That’s all for now. I’ll write from Japan next :)

Taste of Japan

This weekend I got three doses of Japan:

1) I’m almost done reading “Around the World in 80 Dates” by Jennifer Cox. The book is about travel journalist and author Cox, who realizes that while her work life is great, her love life is horrible. So in an attempt to fix this, she asks friends and friends of friends to help her set up dates all around the world. The book – part travel, part memoir – follows her thoughts as she goes through 80 dates around the world, all in the hopes of finding her Soul Mate.

Anyway, she just dated a few people in Japan and I enjoyed reading about some of the sights to see and things to do in Tokyo. I think I was more interested in reading the details about the area than what her dates were like. Just kinda =)

2) As many people had mentioned that I should watch it before leaving, I watched “Lost in Translation” last night. The movie is about two people in Tokyo who are just lost in their lives and desperately need to be found. I enjoyed the movie for its story, the acting, and also all of the hints as to what to see and do in Japan. As much as I see all these images, I still can’t imagine what it’s going to feel like to be in a car driving through Tokyo and seeing all the bright lights and people.

3) Today I watched all three hours of the mini-series “Kelly Osbourne: Turning Japanese” on Much Music (it originally aired on the UK’s ITV2). Kelly Osbourne is quite the character but I was really pleased with her in this series. I couldn’t help but laugh along with her and be impressed by her determination not to disrespect people and to try and understand. After all of her complaining or uncomfortable moments, she learned to understand. I enjoyed watching her go to different places in Tokyo, work various jobs, and take part in certain activities. Ha, I will never forget the Love Hotel segment. The best part was when she went to Kyoto and entered a Tea House to train with the Maiko for a week. It was great.

Anyway, as a result, I’m really itching to go to Japan and see everything that’s there. I think the biggest thing I’m worried about is being polite enough and not offending anyone. I’m just going to keep saying “sumimasan” (sorry) often to play it safe.

The time leading up to this trip has been very interesting for me so far because as part of the projects I’m working on at work, I’ve been reading and writing a lot about Japan, Tokyo, and Japanese history, customs, and traditions. I’ve been reading about things to see and do, talking to people about it, and also going through pictures to get a better idea. After watching both “Lost in Translation” and “Turning Japanese”, I’ve realized that I will definitely be overwhelmed by all that there is to see and do and how different things are in Japan from how they are at home.

It will be an interesting experience for sure. And I’m already beginning to think I’ll have to go back to Japan again in the future to see and do all the things I won’t be able to do this time around.