travelling

I Miss You Everyday

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And what is the sweetness of
red bean paste
or the tang of wasabi?
What is the fun in slurping ramen
or over the top karaoke?
Why dress as a princess
walking ancient streets,
climbing castles,
sampling exotic eats?
What is the fun in shopping
in trying this and that
when you’re not here
to comment on my new hat?
To take good pictures
the ones that look pretty
trying over and over
until I don’t look like me.

I miss you here
I miss you everyday.

But you can come back anytime,
is what I know you’d say.

But it’s not that easy,
I’m trying to find my way…
And it might be up Mt. Fuji
or down a Spanish bay.

LOL! This Is Gold.

My feelings (by that I mean pure jealousy) towards hot-shot bloggers who “travel”. Yeah yeah, they worked hard for it, too. Whatever.

WHY I QUIT MY JOB TO TRAVEL THE WORLD

On paper, my life seemed great. I had a dream job, a swanky apartment, and a loving girlfriend. But something was off. I couldn’t bear being chained to my desk in a stuffy office any longer. So I decided to quit and travel the world, bringing only my passport, a small backpack, and my enormous trust fund.

My co-workers were shocked. How could I so casually throw away everything I fought so hard to achieve? But I don’t expect everyone to “get” me. I’m a free spirit, whose father owns a South American rubber empire.

I set to work packing my bag and throwing out most of my possessions. Whatever didn’t bring me joy went straight in the trash. You don’t need to own a lot of “stuff” to be happy, especially when you can buy whatever you later realize that you need with your massive inheritance.

Then I reserved a business-class seat, sent a quick text message to my girlfriend telling her that I was leaving the country forever, and was off.

My first few months roaming the world were life-changing. Every day, I updated my Instagram with photos of my favorite sights: cones filled with scoops of glistening gelato; my hand lightly resting on a café table, near an early edition of “On the Road”; selfies of me hugging depressed tigers too stoned on sedatives to drown themselves. Still, I needed to see more. My wanderlust had turned me into a wanderslut.

As a citizen of the world, I rarely get lonely. Everywhere I go, I meet such diverse groups of people. In hostels, I’ve shared beers with friendly British and Australian twenty-somethings. In hotels, I’ve sipped wine with friendly British and Australian forty-somethings. We all became lifelong friends, despite the language barriers.

Once, outside the train station of a small fishing village, I met a humble man named Greebo who sold flowers and various cheap trinkets for a living. Unburdened by the trappings of modern life, his hospitality was unlike anything I’ve ever encountered in the States. Greebo was happy to open up to me about his life, as long as I kept buying roses. Intrigued by our easy chatter, some of his friends wandered over to join the conversation. All of our superficial differences soon melted away. Inside, we are just human beings, after all, exchanging a powerful global currency.

As I left town, I cast one final glance back at Greebo. One of his friends playfully tossed him to the ground and thumbed his eyes as the others snatched all the money I had given him. I couldn’t help but smile. It felt good to make a difference in the lives of these simple people.

Of course, this “no reservations” life style isn’t for everyone. In many ways, it’s harder than the old corporate grind. Many stores don’t accept my Centurion card. Sometimes it’s difficult to get even one bar of cell service, which makes Instagramming more gelato a real struggle.

But don’t worry about me! Whenever I start to get homesick, I remember the old rat race and shudder. All those bleary-eyed suckers packed into the subway, going to their lousy jobs, wasting their whole lives to afford useless things like “rent” and “health insurance” and “student-loan payments.”

That life style isn’t for me. Maybe I’m just a crazy dreamer who also gets a monthly no-strings-attached sixty thousand dollars deposited into my checking account, but I won’t be tied down so easily.

Weekend Vibes

I started looking at what other foodies were tagging their Instagram photos with and this one, #weekendvibes seemed especially popular. So, I started using it and voila! 20+ followers! Hehe. Are YOU following my Instagram yet? The following are pictures from my weekend or vibes of my weekend or the weekend of my vibes?

And, I’ve started utilizing Instagram in other ways. Maybe you hardcore foodies already do this but I began searching particular places (as opposed to specific tags), like “Tottori City” and that way, came across many a delicious foodie pictures taken at quirky restaurants and cafes that I would have otherwise never have known existed. That’s how Yasuko and I ended up at Moco Lifestyle – so stylish!

The salad is simply a cup of cooked wholewheat couscous, mixed with a can of mixed beans (drained and rinsed), cooked asparagus, raw cucumber, juicy green sultanas, a splash of olive oil, juice of half a lemon, sea salt and ground pepper. Delishas.
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Four Top Tips For Travelling Healthy

Eating healthy when travelling is hard, right? Wrong. You can travel healthy just like you can be healthy in any situation if you really want to. Here are my top four tips or my four top tips.

1. Scroggin.
Make a bag of scroggin or trail mix for snacking. To be honest, I always do this anyway not just for travelling. There’s always a bag of mixed raw nuts, seeds and natural dried fruit in my handbag for in case I get hungry.. or have a sweet craving. This way, there’s always something else for me to have in place of that naughty/unhealthy/excessively sugary thing. The important thing here is to make your own. Already mixed nuts, unless otherwise stated, usually have preservatives and additives like excess oil salt and/or sugar.

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2. Request a special meal. 
You can do this when booking your ticket. Even if you’re a meat lover, just for this one trip, request a vegetarian or vegan meal. Why? Because special meals are ALWAYS ALWAYS better than what everyone else gets. They’re not mass produced and guaranteed to be fresh. Special, just for you! So I had this delicious stir-fry with broccoli, shiitake mushroom, corn, capsicum, peas, green beans and celery and a wholemeal seeded bun when the dude next to me had a gross looking “beef” curry with 2 pieces of carrot and a white bun. I also had “fancy” fruit when everyone else had “boring” apple and mandarin. And, I got my special meal first. For breakfast, I was given porridge, fancy fruit again and HOT wholemeal bread from a picnic basket (the same as the people in first class) whilst the lady next to me ate a watery looking pale yellow omelette, processed sausage and a white bun wrapped in plastic.

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3. Request an isle seat
Yikes, you’re being such a difficult customer! Ha, but it’s ok. You can do this. It’s free to request! Worst-case, you don’t get it. Again, you can do this when you buy your ticket or else, at the check-in counter. So why an isle seat? Yes, you miss out on taking that iconic instagram shot of the airplane wing and watching the clouds turn romantic orange but you are free, FREE I say, to walk up and down and down and up and up and wherever. Especially after eating. You know t’s not good to eat and sit.

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4. Hydrate like a mothetrucker. 
We all know the benefits of drinking water. Or if we don’t know, just take my word for it.There are a billion toilets in an airport and in an airplane. So take advantage, dink up, Hydrate.

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Not Tokyo

Life in Ohara featuring a chocolate and banana danish from Nutty Plant, a healthy blackcurrant and cacao smoothie bowl recipe found HERE and a box full of paper cranes. Now, about the latter. Let me tell you, it is not a mere stereotype. EVERYONE in Japan knows how to make a paper crane. Today my Japanese co-worker gave the new first-graders 60 seconds to make a paper crane to use in introducing themselves and guess what? They did. Everyone did. Each and every student. It was so Japanese and so awesome.

Move Move Move

With all the dreadful earthquakes hitting Japan, I’ve been thinking about how important it is to MOVE NOW. I’ve come to realize that if we wait for the “right” time we will be waiting forever. There is no right time. There will always be a better time; when you’re in a better place, more financially stable, healthier, fitter, stronger, with a clearer state of mind etc etc and that is an endless chase. So wear your nice suit and your best skirt, tell your crush/partner/spouse and loved-ones just how much they mean to you or your colleagues, local baker and next-door neighbor, how much you appreciate them. Use your expensive crockery yourself, don’t save them for a special occasion. Today is the special occasion. And if there’s something you’ve always wanted to do, do it. Life is short. So cliche or not, make the most of your life and move NOW. Though your move(s) doesn’t have to be huge nor melodramatic, it doesn’t have to be migrating to a new country or changing your career (though it can be). Movement can also happen in small steps. For each of us these are different. They can be baking a pie, a quiet walk in nature or building a chair. In the words of Miranda July, “don’t wait to be sure. Move, move, move.” To which I want to add: love love love and create create create.

Pictures from top to bottom: morning walks before work in my very rural and very pretty village, Mexican night at Kaori’s with brown rice and slow-cooked boar meat, Persian bento game on point with mayo-free Persian salad olivieh (recipe HERE) and last, a Kiwiana delivery by Anisa sensei for the other senseis.
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Japan Survival Tip No463

A while back, I asked my insanely talented artist friend Dean Scott, to do an illustration for the following poem for me. Yesterday, he sent me this. I was/I am/I will probably always be, stunned by it’s originality! So cool. Do you like it, too? I know you do! So go ahead and check out the rest of his gems HERE. Also, Dean makes GREAT curry which is an important statement both in general and for the purpose of iaccidentlyatethewholething.

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When travelling,
one need adopt
new skills
in order to pull
through
foreign territory.
Japan survival tip no463:
persistently check
teeth
for seaweed.

this is why i love to travel

A moment of applause for yours truly for having brought Mexican food to rural japan. My colleagues tried tacos, burritos, corn chips, guacamole, salsa and more for the very first time last night and of course, they loved it. This is why I love travelling (insert inspirational quote here). Nah, what I really mean is, wherever you go whoever you meet, deep down in their very souls they all love TACOS! OLAY!
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