Monthly Archives: July 2014

Gypsy Soul and a Pioneer Heart

Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures]I have never wanted a life that is quiet and safe. I and my little pioneer heart seem quite fond of starting over in new places, time and time again (much to the dismay of my friends and family). And the thrill of adventures lying out there in the world, just waiting to be had, calls to my soul. I’m nowhere near ready to settle down because I’m too curious about the world and, as far as I’m concerned, the adventures of my life have only just started!

I think it’s important to remind myself, as the sorrowful reality that my time in Japan is coming to a close begins to truly seep in, that this isn’t the end of my adventures. Rather, it is the end of just one adventure, and that there are many more waiting for me in the future! As the ever-so-cliché saying goes: it’s not the end of the book, merely the end of a chaper.

My book has many chapters already written:

  • A wonderful childhood full of love, laughter, and happiness growing up in Calgary, Canada.
  • Discovering who I was and finding my independence away at univeristy in Vancouver, Canada.
  • Leaving behind everything I had ever know for a 6-month study abroad in New Zealand.
  • Incredible adventures in Japan while working abroad teaching Ennglish that pushed me out of my comfort zone and encouraged me to challenge my conceptions of the world.

The next chapter of my life hasn’t been written yet, but I’m trying to be positive and assure myself that it will be equally as exciting as this one!

I don’t regret any of my decisions and I’m proud to be the kind of woman who isn’t afraid to pursue her dreams. To be fearless pursuing one’s dreams is a pretty good goal in life, don’t you agree? Fate Loves The FearlessI taught my final class here in Japan on Friday. I nearly cried, if truth be told. A tiny piece of my self-indentity was lost and no one would know that, or mourn for it, other than me. I am a teacher no more! This week I merely have tests and grading to do. The week after that I pack up and move out!

It’s all happening so fast, and my list of things to do keeps my  head permanently spinning, so time has lost all sense and meaning. Chances are I’m going to arrive home in Canada and feel more than a little lost and wonder where my final 15 days in Japan dissappeared to. At times it’s easy to feel that everything special is ending. So, it’s handy keeping a blog at times like these; it really helps ground me emotionally and allows me to put everything back into perspective.for today I'll just breathe

I realize I’m so lucky to be surrounded by people who love me and will be sad to see me leave. It is living proof that my efforts here in Japan had impact on the world I lived in. So, even though it’s sad to hear so many people say “I’ll miss you!” and my throat tightens painfully every time I say goodbye, I try to keep in mind that it would be worse to not hear that outpouring of kind words.  Luckily for me, there is always Skype and I’ll be able to keep in touch with everyone as we head back to our respective places around the world!

For today my goal is just to breathe, remind myself that everything is going to be ok, and try to be optimistic about the future. Can you hear the siren call of London? I can…

Advertisements
Categories: Life in Japan, Lifestyle | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Whirlwind Of A Day In Kanazawa – Matt’s Trip To Japan

If I did decide to settle permanently in Japan, there is only one city that I could happily live in forever: Kanazawa. Kanazawa City is about 2 hours away from Fukui, and it’s been my little version of paradise these past three years. It’s somewhere I could escape for some quality alone time, and enjoy both modern and traditional Japanese culture.  In my opinion it’s a hidden tourist gem of Japan.

I was over the moon to get to bring my brother here to explore for a day. I took a day off work (so worth it!) and we once again hopped into my tiny car, nicknamed The Snickerdoodle, and headed out on Road Trip #2! I had downloaded the soundtrack from the movie ‘How To Train Your Dragon’ and we really enjoyed cruising down the highway listening to that.

The first thing we did when we got to Kanazawa was meander through the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art.

Screen Shot 2014-07-02 at 2.59.46 PM

It’s my all-time favourite museum in the world, and if you ever visit Kanazawa you MUST go there! I never really “got” modern art, and I’m nearly certain I rolled my eyes the first time someone suggested we go. But trust me, this museum really changed my opinion of what modern art can be. It’s very interactive and will make you feel like a little kid at times. It’s full of permanent exhibits (like the awesome Leonardo’s Pool) and also has numerous rooms with rotating shows to spice things up, so every time I’ve gone it’s been different.

This new exhibit was cool! Peek-a-boo Matt!Kanazawa 21st museum2Kanazawa 21st museum

I also really loved this metal capsule you could climb inside, and it felt like you were the the heart of a silver geode! The light shone in through the cones and reflected off everything! Pretty neat, eh?!Kanazawa 21st museum3 Kanazawa 21st museum4

This new elevator exhibit was pretty trippy too!

Kanazawa Modern artMatt, of course, loved my favourite exhibit “Leandro’s Pool” which is a permanent exhibit at the museum and by far THE coolest modern art I’ve ever seen. First you look down on the pool from outside…Leandro's pool exhibit

Then you go down a flight of stairs, and enter the pool from below. Matt’s just a smidgeon taller than the national height average in Japan…poor guy!

Leandro's

Lucky there’s lots of room inside! Enough he could jump around for joy! Leandro's Pool2 Leandro's Pool3

And when you look up you can see the other museum explorers through the water and glass ceiling. Such an amazing concept in my opinion, a full kudos to Leandro Erlich (the artist) for this idea!leandro's poolAfter the museum we went to the second best thing to do in Kanazawa: Kenrokuen Garden!

Kenrokuen Garden is the 3rd most beautiful garden in Japan and definitely worth walking through. Matt wasn’t the keenest on this but I insisted because I love it so much and the weather was beautiful. Lucky us, the iris flowers were in full bloom and quite spectacular to behold! Ummm, gorgeous much!?!?! kenrokuen garden kenrokeun Kenrokuen Garden Iris 3Kenrokuen is beautiful regardless which season you go. It’s even beautiful in winter! So add it to your list of things to do if you ever visit there.

We also nipped through the Higashi Cha-ya District, which is an old preserved area Kanazawa’s past.  It used to be a street of tea houses and shops, and when you walk there, it’s like you’ve been transported back in time. I love strolling through this scenic neighbourhood with its cute shops and cafes, but unfortunately most shops were closed the day we went.  Having been open for the weekend, I guess they take Mondays and Tuesdays off. Matt still enjoyed our stroll though. Higashichaya Tea District KanazawaAfter that we did a little shopping at the Kanazawa train station and spent our time choosing a nice cake for dessert.  We were headed back to Fukui for dinner at my friend Tomomi’s house and didn’t want to show up empty handed. Tomomi had invited Matt to dinner so she could teach him how to make Sauce Katsudon, another very famous Fukui food. Sauce Katsudon is a thin breaded pork cutlet which is then fried, covered in delicious sauce and plopped on top of a bowl of Fukui rice. Did you know Fukui’s rice is supposedly the best rice in Japan?

After dinner Tomomi’s very kind father-in-law taught Matt a little Japanese calligraphy. It was my first time to try calligraphy too, so I had a blast with him. I learned how to write the kanji 茶, read “cha” which means “tea” (my favourite thing in the world), and Matt learned how to write 山, read “yama” which means “mountain” (his favourite thing in the world).

It was a wonderful whirlwind of a day! Matt’s enormous smile as we drove home from Tomomi’s house made me feel like singing “Happy” by Pharrel Williams. (Because I’m happy! Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof. Because I’m happy! Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth. Because I’m happy! Clap along if you know what happiness is to you…)

Screen Shot 2014-07-02 at 3.18.21 PM

Categories: Life in Japan, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.