5 reasons I’m crazy-excited about returning to Japan

Have you ever spent time in a country, and then daydreamed for years and years about returning? That's me and Japan. Japan is easily one of my most favourite places in the world. I lived in Osaka and Nara for two years, teaching English in a tiny language school next to the train station in … [Read more...]

What I miss most about Japan

I moved house this week, which caused me to look through a whole lot of boxes of journals, souvenirs and photo albums. (I'm a little bit of a hoarder.) Being homesick for Japan A huge proportion of these things were from the two years I spent living in Japan. Japanese things are just so … [Read more...]

Four different homes abroad and what I’ve learnt from them

I'm not a massive fan of moving house. (I mean, really, who is? It's a lot of work!) However, I have moved plenty of times in my life and in particular, I have had four different homes abroad - two different flats in Japan, one in Slovakia and one in Germany. When I read a recent Kiki and Tea post … [Read more...]

Travel for the anxious and anxiety prone: How travel changed my life

I regularly get emails from people who are worried about travelling, but many of these people are just nervous because of their lack of experience. But travel for the anxious - the more clinically anxious, I mean - can be a battle of nerves in a whole different way. And I've got a story to tell … [Read more...]

Sentimental memories of Japan, and Halfway Home by Christine Mari Inzer

A book about Japan? A really cute book with drawings and comics about Japan, drawn by a teenager? I am totally in! As soon as I heard about Halfway Home: Drawing My Way Through Japan by Christine Mari Inzer, I knew I'd love it and would be reminiscing about my own time in Japan - two of the most … [Read more...]

Do you really like green tea? Lessons from Japan and meeting the locals

Everyone who knows me well in person knows that I like green tea. Some of my best friends (and yes, this is probably a criteria you need to satisfy to become one of my best friends) buy green tea especially so that they can offer it to me when I visit them. (Love you guys.) But the other day someone … [Read more...]

Five destinations I’d like to revisit

Some travellers like to check places off a list and never return. I actually love returning to places that I've been before: it's interesting to see what has changed, to compare it to my memories, to catch up with people I met there. I also love visiting brand new places, of course - that's how … [Read more...]

Saying goodbye to a country is hard – I know, I’ve done it three times

I am NOT a good goodbye person. I'm way overly sentimental, I'm all too acutely aware that once you say goodbye to a place you've lived in that even visiting will never be the same again, and I miss both people and things long and badly. I blogged just recently about the sadness of leaving … [Read more...]

The sadness of leaving new homes abroad – the perils of expat life

It was a week or two before I would leave Japan, and I was teaching a one-to-one lesson with Ami, a little girl who'd been coming to individual English lessons at our school for a year or so; she was three by now. At two she had absolutely hated coming to our lessons and we had spent many lessons … [Read more...]

Sending postcards with Lettr and keeping in touch with travel friends

One of my absolute favourite things about travelling (and especially living in a foreign country for a while) is the people you meet, locals and ex-pats alike. It's not surprising that the fellow ex-pats I've met while living abroad are some of my closest friends, because we obviously have a love of … [Read more...]