Konnichiwa from Tokyo and Kyoto

Shuffling Freckles

“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.”
— Mark Jenkins

Full disclosure: I am in love.  With Japan.  Therefore, this is an extremely long post.  I couldn’t bear to leave any details out, mostly because I want others to share in the experience, but also because I want to make sure never to forget any of them myself.  I hope you’ll take the time to journey through Japan with me.

If there’s one…

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The Grass is Always Greener

Life in the Middle Kingdom


I left Beijing this summer needing a breath of fresh air. By the end of HBA, I had begun to feel a bit disenchanted with the place: the constant pollution, traffic jams, impatience with foreigners etc. Dealing with the suicide of one of my closest friends threw me into a state of dejection. I was lucky enough to have friends near and far offer their condolences through emails, letters and hugs. It drew me closer to people I didn’t even know before. Yet, it was hard for me to find importance in anything around me after losing someone who taught me how meaningful life could be. I was drained and I needed to get out.

Luckily, my month away from Beijing refreshed me. I was able to teach in rural China for a week, see Shanghai and explore Suzhou. I traveled Japan on an unlimited rail pass for a week…

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Konichiwa, Tokyo!

What Gives

I guess I was waiting to get Lost in Translation (since it’s one of my favorite movies) but I found I just loved Tokyo.

It’s such a beautiful, tidy, clean and gorgeously designed city … and also a city where the littlest things matter.
And there’s always an aesthetic around beauty – wherever you find it.

Tokyo is a mind-boggling marriage between the beauty of the natural world and a design aesthetic that infuses everything from architecture to fashion to food.

What a beautiful place to turn 59. With my darling husband…..….who will turn 59 tomorrow. Aging misery/denial/bargaining/acceptance loves company!

So here’s to you, honey — happy last year of our 50s. I am so glad we’re going through it together!!!

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Categories: japan, Konichiwa, tokyo | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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