100 Life Goals- Why You Need Goals in Your Life

The Great Wall of China

So you’ve finally made it! You’ve saved and worked and sweat and worked some more, done all the research, and you’re there. Your dream-turned-goal has been realized! Congratulations!

But what happens next? This has been plaquing me in those quiet moments before you fall asleep and those stolen minutes you take a step back to breathe during your day.

What do you do once you’ve reached your goal? Continue reading

About Me, Random Thoughts, Uncategorizedbucket list, goal setting, life goals, self improvement

How to Teach a Speech- Going to the Ibaraki Prefecture English Speech Competition!

Ibaraki English Speech Contest!
Ibaraki English Speech Contest!

Every year in Kasama City, Jr. High students from all over Ibaraki come together with their teachers and their ALT’s to present their own unique 5-minute speech. This year 78 students participated, split into 2 groups. Continue reading

Kairaku-en, Ume Matsuri and the Return of the Volunteer Tour Guides!

Candles in the Park's field. Yoru Ume= Night Plums!
Candles in the Park’s field. Yoru Ume= Night Plums!

Located in Mito City in Ibaraki Prefecture, Kairakuen (偕楽園) has been designated as one of the three most beautiful parks in Japan. And lucky me, I only live about 40 minutes drive south! In general, Kairakuen is a pretty park, Continue reading

Ibaraki-ken, Japan, Places in Japan, Travel in JapanIbaraki, Japan festivals, Kairakuen, Mito, plum blossom festival, umematsuri

School Life in Japan: Sports Day!

The whole school marches out behind their flags!
The whole school marches out behind their flags!

Summer break is over, the homework is turned in and 2nd term has started. You know what this means?

You got it! Sports Day!

The late summer air filled with students cheering and laughing, teachers screaming encouragement (because no one here is competitive at all, no, absolutely not!) and parents scrambling to get the best photo spot to practice their action shots (it’s a nation of photographers after all). Continue reading

Hokota-shi, Interac, Japan, Teaching EnglishALT, , Japan school life, Sports Day, teaching in japan

Taking the JLPT in Japan- How I’m Learning Japanese!

And so much more...
And so much more…

I’ve now been living in Japan for a year and a half and I have yet to write anything about learning Japanese! Shameful!

The truth is, my Japanese ability is pretty embarrassing. When I thought I was leaving last March I stopped studying over the winter, thinking it wouldn’t matter, and ever since it’s been hard to pick it back up. But many of my friends are starting to take the JLPT and I’ve decided to challenge myself and join in the weekly study parties to attempt either the N4 or N5. Continue reading

About Me, Japan, Q&Abest Japanese language resources, Japanese resources, JLPT, learning Japanese, studying for the JLPT

Stories From China: May I Take Your Picture?!

Feeling famous!
Feeling famous!

Being one of two Westerners in a rural Japanese town leads to some staring. They still stare into my shopping basket and they still watch me walk into the bank. I thought I was used to it. I thought China couldn’t possibly stare any more than i was already accustomed to.

… Silly Kendra!

I was in Beijing, strolling down a winding hutong alley in the early morning on my way to my subway station Continue reading

China, StoriesChina, Chinese people, culture shock, famous, photographs, pictures, travel in China

A SoCal Girl’s Guide to Surviving the Seasons- Part 2: Fall and Winter!

Mt. Tsukuba
Mt. Tsukuba

Here we go! The year is moving fast and it’s time for a new survival guide! Hope it helps and let me know if you have any more questions!


Ah, the fall. My #1 most favorite season, especially in Japan! Summers humidity is gone, it’s not too cold yet and the colours! My gosh the colours! I’ve never seen trees so vibrant and reds, golds and oranges so breathtakingly vivid. I love summer but the fall totally wins as my favorite season. Continue reading

Japanautumn, fall, fall in Japan, , living in japan, seasons in Japan, survinving the seasons, winter, winter in Japan