279 6

To Beach: Beach, Beached, To Have Beached

Japan, Travel

Dear Friends, I promised myself when I returned from Shimoda’s Shirahama Beach that no day off, from then until the end of summer, would catch me not wearing a swimsuit. I have two days off, and I vowed to myself that at least one…

373 12

Getting Happy: Staycationing and Appreciating


Get happy, in any way you can. If you have to run away from home, do it. If you have to go to the beach everyday, do it. – Abraham Hicks Dear Friends, 1) It’s incredible how memories wash over us like…

245 0

Shizuoka: Everything is Good and God

Japan, Travel

Everything is good and brown. I’m here again with a sunshine smile upon my face. – Jamiroquai (Space Cowboy) Dear Friends, Years ago, VP and I saw Jamiroquai perform at a music festival in Finsbury Park. For more than an hour, under a…

285 8

The Creation: Hakone

Japan, Travel

Praise for the rain that waters our fields, and blesses our crops so all the earth yields; from death unto life her mystery revealed springs forth in joy! – The Heavens are Telling the Glory of God When you arrive…

371 6

Getting Away Part 1: Then and Now


Hop on the bus, Gus; you don’t need to discuss much; just drop off the key, Lee, and get yourself free. – Paul Simon (50 Ways to Leave Your Lover) Then: In April 2004, I was teaching English at a language school…

412 12

“The World’s Alright With Me”

life, Travel

Simplicity is beauty. Choose a day as your day of simplicity. Speak little, and listen with attention. Eat simple and natural food. Create time periods for not doing anything – just walk, look around, live the moment. – Brahma Kumaris…

274 2

Jamaica: Not Just Sun, Sand, Sea

Jamaica, Travel

Two days, I spoke to my mother on Skype, and after hearing about her trip to The Blue Mountains, I begged her to write it down and send it to me. My mother’s voice is soothing and warm like ovaltine, but her words…

254 4

A Letter to My Future Expats

life, Travel

Konnichiwa Friends, You don’t know how much it excites me that quite a few of you have sent me emails requesting more information regarding living and teaching in Tokyo. It would be so great to have my own little expat community here…

204 0

Letter from Tokyo: Shinjuku

Japan, Travel

Dear Friends, Yesterday was my first day of teaching at the school, and I absolutely loved it. My two students, in individual, back to back eighty minute sessions, were so sweet and eager to learn English that it made me come home on…

233 6

Letter from Tokyo: The Honeymoon Stage

Japan, Travel

Dear Friends, In Jeff Mohamed’s Teaching English Overseas: A Job Guide for Americans and Canadians, he writes of the four stages of culture shock: The Honeymoon Stage, The Hostility Stage, The Depression Stage, and The Adaptation/Acceptance Stage. In Tokyo, I’m…