Saturday, July 18, 2015


from Nagoya!

Now, you may be a little bit confused about why I am posting from Nagoya. Well, today marks my first day of many without internet access. So, I’m blogging from Nagoya in advance!


Here’s where I’ll be for the next several days – Kushiro! It will be so nice to have a break from city life.

Now, I’m still deep in the heart of cleaning, so I better go. But by the time you read this, I’ll be finished! Hmm, that’s a nice feeling!

Friday, July 17, 2015

A year ago and today

A year ago, I was saying goodbye to Rebun Island and getting ready for my last day of school as an ALT the following day (7/18). 
It was so hard to say goodbye!

I couldn't really imagine what my life would be like after 5 years in Soya. How do you say goodbye to this beauty?
I couldn't really imagine what my life would be like after JET. 

Still weird!
But with cities
And more power in my classroom!

Oh, and a rainy season. Yay for drought prevention, yuck for moving around in business clothes. 
In a way, I'm at a similar point now, because I don't know what Yokohama or my new university will be like. But it's also different. I know that it's OK for things to change! Last night I read a good blog post about our best days still being ahead, and I know that it's true. 

Having this chance to wander around Hokkaido like a nomad and then go see my family for three weeks is a treat! Of course, I'm not getting paid now, which is not so fun. I had to live a little monk-like during the term to try to save money. I'm not perfect, though! 
Anyway, I'm so excited to be back in Hokkaido, and it's fun to think about where I was a year ago. Sometimes, I ask myself if I want to live in Hokkaido again, and the answer is that I don't know! I truly love being here, but each place I go grows me in some way. So, who knows where my life will go? Well, God does! Human-wise, I'm just going to soak in all the wonder I can from Hokkaido, Mississippi, and Yokohama. Then we'll go from there!

Thursday, July 16, 2015


Day 1 of vacation? Day 2? I don't really know, and I'm OK with that. First, I have an announcement. 

Dear Everyone,
WHY ARE YOU NOT HERE?? The air is fresh, clean, and bracingly cool. The sky is blue and the sun is bright and warm. No rainy season! No stifling heat and humidity! When you look around, the colors are bright and clear. 

Seriously, get in a plane and come! Actually, it might be better to come in a time machine, as rain is coming. 

So, a little about today in Sapporo. First, I tried to walk to Nakajima Park, but I wound up hiking in a huge circle. So confusing. After walking for ages, I suddenly realized I was back where I started. Talk about discouraging! So, I headed for Odori Park and breakfast. 

Good morning, mountains. It's nice to see you!
I will not get lost again!
Aww, I've crossed this way before. 
Hello, park!
Hello, lunch!
There were some funny moments at the park. A group of tiny kids walked by. One decided to wave at me, and it caught on!

Then, a crow stole a lady's hotdog. I had just been contemplating the crow's shiny feathers and fluffy head when it attacked the lady's food and flew off with a hotdog. 

I spent ages in the park reading and thinking. It's so lovely to have no pressure! 

Tomorrow, I'll catch a bus to Kushiro. From about 9 tomorrow, I think I'll be without internet for quite some time! But who knows, I might find random wifi along the way!

Ah, Hokkaido

Nagoya Airport Version:
Hokkaido Airport Version:
It feels so refreshingly cool! Ahhhhhhh.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Hello from Centrair!

Well, it's over. I have officially left Nagoya and am at the Central Japan International Airport. It's basically in a suburb of Nagoya. 

This is the airport entrance:
Yes, you get to the airport by bridge! It's kind of fun. 

Today, I said goodbye to several people. 

Lauren (by my fridge for scale)

And, Hiraishi-san. I did not realize how short she is until we took this photo. To be fair, I'm also a bit in front of her. Lol. 

Also, I saw another friend this morning, but I forgot to get her picture!

I also ate luxuriously today. BUT NO MORE! Must be careful with money during this nomadic month. 

Well, next time we talk, I'll be in Hokkaido! And boarding is starting!

This is my gate:
And the ocean view:

See you soon!

P. S. The Internet at Centrair isn't working, so when this posts, I'll be in Sapporo!

Last day in Nagoya

Here are some moments from my last day in Nagoya (for who knows how long).

This morning, there were little things everywhere! 
Time for breakfast with 5 other leaving teachers! Don't have a breakfast picture, so here's a random pic. 
After breakfast, I went shopping for a laptop bag. I was hoping to spend less than $25. I spent less than $8! Yay!

When I got home, I was ready for lunch. I decided to go exploring. 
I found a cute little shop! It was 2:00, so there weren't other customers. I ordered a kishimen salad. 
Kishimen is Nagoya's famous noodle. 
Then, I went to Tiare for coffee. Imagine my delight when I was presented with a glistening bowl of watermelon!
I'm so spoiled. 

Then, I walked to Gokiso station to give away my chair. 
I really wanted to keep it, but shipping it costs as much as buying a new one. 

Then, I met a friend for coffee. I don't know why we didn't take our selfie in the coffee shop!
It was a packed day, but a good one. Tomorrow will be packed as well, but Thursday has nothing scheduled, and Friday is mostly a bus ride. 

I'll lose my internet soon, but I'll try to check in anytime I can!

Goodnight, Gracie!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015