Here I am again, writing a mega-roundup instead of the monthly installment. I guess I figured better late than never, especially once I realized 2018 is already more than half over! Let’s see what I’ve been up to for the past seven months…
What I’ve Been Doing Since the Last Roundup
I wrote a long post in April about the chronic health issues I have been dealing with since late 2017 (and probably much farther back, but particularly since then). I received a ton of messages and support from my readers around the world! Thank you so much for your concern and lovely messages. I’m happy to report that since January, I’ve kept up with the diet and lifestyle changes and had a very positive 6-month checkup with my endocrinologist. He said what I’m doing is working, so to keep on trucking! I’ve lost 8.5kg so far (about 19lbs) and am feeling much, much better. So in the health department, things are going well.
Since I’m feeling better, things are better at work as well. I have a lot more energy, which is good, because since April (the new school year) we have a new elementary school curriculum and I have a lot more classes than last year.
I’ve also been dancing like crazy! Two of my co-workers and I joined an Awa Odori team, which is the traditional dance my area of Japan is famous for. By March, we had improved enough to start performing with the group in a local seaside resort where they do nightly dance performances for one week each month. We’ve been ramping up practice over the last few months to just about every single day. I’m pretty tired, but the huge Awa Odori festival starts in a week and then it’s going to be a non-stop dance party for a week!
Where I’ve Been
I haven’t done much traveling this year, mostly due to my health and also our only break at work during this time is two weeks in late March/early April between the school years.
In early January, I headed to Kagoshima prefecture for a long weekend to visit some friends. I had a great time exploring the southern tip of Kyushu! We visited Sakurajima (the volcano island) and the sand onsen in Ibusuki. It was nice to visit this area during the off season – it was even snowing there when we went (a highly irregular occurrence that far south) but we enjoyed having cooler weather for all the outdoor sightseeing.
It was a fun weekend away with friends, but I was run down at the time and was too tired to do a lot of stuff. I still enjoyed getting to check a couple new prefectures off my list (I managed to sneak in a little side trip to Kumamoto prefecture, too!).
March / April: Canada
I went to Canada for our “spring break” (which is actually the end of the school year and the beginning of the new one). I still wasn’t feeling 100%, and I spent most of my time at my parents’ house. It was nice to get back and visit, and to see my family.
It was freezing though! When I arrived it wasn’t too bad, but by the time I left in the first week of April it was -25C and I was ready to get out of there.
It was good to get back to Canada for a short visit. I’m not planning on going again until I finish my time in Japan, so I’m glad it worked out for me to go.
Big on Instagram
I don’t really want to comb through my Insta from the last 7 months to find the most popular photo for each month like I usually do. So here’s a few that my followers enjoyed:
In Case You Missed It
Here’s the grand total of my posts from the last 7 months:
- Diving in Roatan: Tobri Divers
- Diving in Roatan: Roatan Divers
- Diving in Roatan: West Bay Divers
- Disappearing and Reappearing
- Tokyo Treat Unboxing
- Soul State of Mind: Gypsy Jewellery
1 Second Every Day
I use the 1 Second Every Day app to chronicle my time in Japan! Not sponsored, I just like this app.
If you want to watch the last seven months of my life in under 4 minutes, here ya go:
Quite a few exciting things are on the way for me!
In a week, the huge Awa Odori dance festival will be held in my area and I’m looking forward to dancing in it and having a couple nights off to watch.
As soon as the festival is over, I’m off to Koh Tao, Thailand for a 10-day vacation! I’m gonna visit my girl Alex and live the mermaid life on her very first Wander Women retreat! This one features scuba diving, yoga, and tons of other adventures. I can’t wait to see everyone there, and to get underwater again. Stoked to have the lovely Katie as my roommate and dive buddy for the retreat!
After Thailand, it’s right back to school. Our school district is starting school a week earlier this year due to extra elementary school English classes being added to the curriculum. I’m not thrilled about that, so hopefully I’ll be able to recharge in Koh Tao before starting the next semester.
In somewhat longer-term news, I’ve made the decision that this year in Japan will be my last. That means that as of August 2019, I’m leaving Japan! Although it’s a year away, I need to start thinking now of where I want to go next and what I want to do. Any suggestions?
That’s it for this mega-roundup! You can see all my roundups here.
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