Here we are, the end of another year and I’ve barely written anything on this poor little blog!
Can I blame it on my seat at school moving? I used to do a lot of writing at work (sorry, JET Programme) but this year they moved my desk at my main school to directly in front of the principal and vice-principal. So I have those two looking directly over my shoulder every time I’m at my desk. It kinda sucks but there’s nothing I can do about it.
Can I blame it on my number of classes increasing 150% since the new school year started in April? Not really, I know it’s my job. But as I said, I used to write a lot at work and now I can’t.
Can I blame it on my piece of shit laptop that’s about to bite the dust? (Please, please, please make it until next summer little laptop!) The last thing I want to do when I get home is open my laptop and wait for it to get started up again. It also can’t hold a charge anymore, so I have to be somewhere near an outlet to use it. Annoying level = 100.
Can I blame it on me just being lazy? Yeah. It’s mostly that.
The fall of 2018 has been, in a word, wonderful.
After the craziness of the summer, which was 24/7 Awa Odori dance and then right to 10 days in Thailand and then straight back to work, I relished in all the free time I had during these months.
I slept in, I watched Netflix after work, I cooked alllllll the food. I made hotpot and snuggled in my kotatsu (coffee table with a heater on the underside and a blanket skirt around it). I traveled a LOT. My dad came to visit me. The ginko tree leaves went neon yellow and then the maple leaves finally turned red in my town in December. It’s been a glorious fall.
What I’ve Been Doing Since the Last Roundup
Mostly what I just said above!
Work, and getting the hell out of my town as much as possible.
I have officially said NO to re-contracting for another year, so I am leaving Japan next summer. I’ve been busy trying to start preparing for that, and not waiting till the last second for everything.
Where I’ve Been
Other than lazing around at home, I have been traveling a lot! Now that I know this is my last year in Japan, I’m trying to do all the things before I leave. I’ve already hit my goal of 24 (out of 47) prefectures in Japan, so I can now officially say I’ve been to more than half of Japan.
From September – December I’ve spent:
- a weekend in Wakayama and Mie prefectures
- a weekend in Nara and Shiga prefectures
- a weekend in Shimabara City, Nagasaki prefecture
- a weekend in Ehime and Kochi prefectures
- two weekends (plus a few assorted random other days) in Osaka
- three days in Hiroshima City
Big on Instagram
Lots of love on my Instagram lately, but here’s a few of my most popular photos from the September through December (I guess despite everything people really do like photos of food…):
In Case You Missed It
Nothing from my blog, but I did contribute to a scuba diving packing list article over on Mighty Goods with some other bloggers I love!
1 Second Every Day
Here are my 1 Second Every Day videos from September, October, and November. (December isn’t finished yet!)
I use the 1 Second Every Day app to chronicle my time in Japan! Not sponsored, I just like this app.
(SURPRISE) I’m about to leave to spend my winter vacation in….
I’m spending 8 days over Christmas and New Years in Da Nang and Hoi An on a solo trip. I’m considering it for a possible next move after Japan and it seems to get rave reviews from digital nomads and location independent entrepreneurs. I want to go check it out for myself!
Even if it’s not the right spot for a move, I’m still looking forward to spending the holidays in a beautiful apartment two minutes from the beach… and eating allllll the pho, bun cha, and mi quang I can get my hands on.
Have you been to Da Nang or Hoi An? Feel free to leave any recommendations in the comments below!
There are already a few trips on the horizon in 2019 for me and I couldn’t be more excited. So far things that are already booked are:
- January: a weekend in Fukushima prefecture with my friend
- March: 4 days in Hong Kong solo
- April: a week in Hawaii with my mom!
On the “before I leave” list: Hokkaido prefecture, one of the Okinawan islands, and Taiwan. If I get to all those before I leave, I’ll have checked off all 9 major regions of Japan, plus all the close by Asian travel I wanted to do here (I’ve already been to the Philippines, Thailand, and South Korea in the last couple years).
Japan is celebrating the ascension of a new emperor at the end of April/beginning of May 2019, which means we get an unheard-of 10 CONSECUTIVE PUBLIC HOLIDAYS and I can’t wait. Sadly, the prices to go anywhere in or out of Japan are about 3-4x the normal price, so it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to go anywhere for it. But I’m looking forward to spending 10 days at home relaxing!
That’s it for 2018! You can see all my roundups here.
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Emily Hopper says
This is a good post, I have earn new ideas here. Thanks for sharing!