Ryujin Bungee Jump: Taking the Plunge!

Ryujin Suspension Bridge
Ryujin Suspension Bridge

Few things scare me as much as needles. The very idea of a shot makes me woozy! My mom literally had to pull me out of the car screaming and tear away the seat belt I had in a death grip to get me into a doctors office when I was younger. Nurses pinned me down as they poked me with that horrible thing of my nightmares until they could find a vein. No joke.

The only thing that may compare is the idea of falling from a high, well… height! I’m all fine and dandy when my feet are on solid ground but put me on a rope or swaying bridge and I’m down for the count! How then, did I find myself in a metal cage underneath the longest suspension bridge in Japan, hobbled with a long rubber rope and about to jump off into oblivion? Continue reading

About Me, Ibaraki-ken, Japan, Places in Japan, Travel in Japan, With Videobungee japan, challenge, facing fears, Ibaraki, Ibaraki bungee, , living in japan, ryujin bungee jump

A Day in the Life of an ALT in Japan!

Hey all!

My Japan Junior High School!
My Japan Junior High School!

Now that you’ve all seen my average monthly expenses as an ALT, I thought I’d give you a look into my average day as an English teacher in Japan. So many people move abroad with the expectation that their life will automatically change for the better with adventure waiting to pounce like a cat on a laser pointer (don’t worry, I was totally one of them)! I think when you’re changing so much about your lifestyle it’s unavoidable to build up your expectations. Continue reading

About Me, Hokota-shi, Ibaraki-ken, Interac, Japan, Places in Japan, With Videoday in the life, eating natto, , Japanese school day, teaching English in Japan, working in Japan

Beginning Certificate of Eligibility and Visa Info (VIDEO)

Hey all!

So this is a recent video I made about my placement (which I already talked a bit about in this post), my departure date and flight (which I already told all of you in this post)– feel special, you’re all remarkably well-informed in a timely manner!– and info about my visa application which is  moving right along! Enjoy and let me know if you have ANY questions!

Have a remarkable day!

American Culture: Super Bowl Sunday

Hey everyone!

American Football

Today I wanted to talk about a very important day in many Americans lives: Super Bowl Sunday! American Football has one of the largest fan bases of any sport here in the U.S. and the entire pro-football season all leads up to this one moment. Today is a day when people gather together at the house with the biggest T.V. they can find (and usually bring all of theirs as well to hook up into one huge screen!) and eat chips, dip, salsa, and hot chicken wings with as much beer as can be stuffed into the fridge and coolers. Everyone knows about the Super Bowl and everyone picks a side. Denver is my personal choice but as they are losing rather badly right now (halftime) I decided to write this post!

It is common to walk around residential areas and hear the shouts of enraged or excited fans and if anyone dares turn off the television or change the channel…. Well, it was nice knowing them. Right now, a large southern California cable provider has failed and the channels aren’t working so they’ve stopped answering their customer service phone about five minutes after the drop! Too many very very angry people!

While this sport and this game is taken seriously by some, for others the commercials that companies spend millions on and all year planning are the highlights! The Super Bowl commercials are used all year round after the game because they are well known to be the best of the best in entertainment. Popular sites such as YouTube even hold contests to rank them after the fact.

So whether you are watching for the teams (go Denver!), the food, or the commercials Super Bowl Sunday is basically an American excuse to host a party, get competitive and excited with a bunch of friends, and spend the day having a good time in an all-American, crazy kind of way!

Check out what it looks like when you mess with the TV during the game here! (2012 Super Bowl!)

American Culture, Holidays, With VideoAmerica, American Football, broncos, commercials, culture, Denver, football, Seattle, Super Bowl Sunday

Interac Placement: Life is So Good!

Hey all!!!

It’s a very exciting time in the life of me! Why? I’m SO glad you asked! Finally, a captive audience!

As the world I am directly connected to via facebook and real life already knows, I received my placement call from Interac on Monday night (the 20th my time)!!!! Ahhhhhh!!!!!! It’s so completely unreal to me still, even the thought that I am actually moving to Japan for a year seems like a dream that could never really happen to me. Like it’s something you always think about and really want to do, but happens to someone else.

Anyways, the dream has gotten several steps more real this week as at 9:07PM (PST) my phone started ringing. As there was no area code and the number looked unfamiliar I let it go to voicemail (only the creepiest sales dudes call after 8!) only to see that they actually left a message. Curiouser and curiouser. So I listen in and… WHAT?!?! It’s the Tokyo office saying they would like to talk to me about a placement option! They said they’d email me asking for a good time to call and I email them back saying… now. Basically just call me back, like, five minutes ago! I was so nervous and so excited and so, just, almost scared I guess. This made the whole trip real in a brand new way and that sets off a whole host of conflicting crazy emotions. Soooo naturally I start to physically shake. I’m sitting with my cell on my lap shaking so hard my teeth are chattering so that others can hear. Sad but true.

When, Eureka! At 9:35PM, just 28 minutes (or a lifetime) later my phone rings again. Tokyo! I’m talking to someone in Tokyo! Silently freaking out inside like a crazy fan girl while he does all the talking and I gush my yes’s and thank you’s and sounds great’s. And then it’s over.

The place:




Oh dear Lord. It happened.

They didn’t dump me on my face. They didn’t say “sorry, we changed our minds.” No. They gave me a placement and allowed me to Google like my life depended on it! I’m headed to a rural agricultural town on the eastern shore in the northern Kanto region. The melon and strawberry capital of Japan (yum!). Home to about 50,000 people and closer than I ever expected to be to Tokyo and other tourist destinations. Bam.

I had a dream. And it’s happening. Right now.


American Culture: Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Today is the 3rd Monday in January and every kid in America knows what that means. No school! Today is the federal holiday Martin Luther King Jr day. Martin Luther King Jr held a key role in the Civil Right Movement in the 1950’s and 60’s. Every kid in school learns that he was a Baptist minister in the South and that he made a speech about dreams.  But I don’t think people really appreciate the fact that he was arrested over 30 times despite his message of non-violence and was eventually assassinated. The many boycotts he led and the number of people he inspired are a testament to the bravery of this man, who spoke out for his belief in racial equality when most of the nation was against him.

There aren’t too many special celebrations that go on today in America, most people still work and most students use the time to catch up on sleep or homework. But in school I always remember watching MLK’s speech “I Have A Dream” and having to write about my own dreams. I also remember learning about the bus boycott where all the African Americans sat in the front and the diner sit-ins where they would sit peacefully on the “White’s Only” side. I remember thinking that I probably couldn’t do half of what these people did for rights that most Americans now take for granted. I remember admiring them.

So today is a day for dreaming. For bravely stepping up and deciding what you can do to improve your life and the lives of those around you. Basically, I see today as that mid-January reinforcement of the resolutions we all made on the 1st. So go and volunteer in your community, join that gym, and do your homework. Because every small step we take to better ourselves and the world is a step in the right direction.

American Culture, Holidays, With VideoAmerica, bravery, dreams, equality, freedom, holidays, Martin Luther King Jr

Interac Offer of Employment!!!! (+ Video!)

Hey all!!

I GOT THE JOB!!!! On December 18th, 2013 I was offered employment by Interac Co., Ltd. It was so exciting!!! I was nervous all last week because my recruiter had said I would hear back from Tokyo before their break on the 23rd. And as my packet was sent off to them on the 13th it HAD to be that week! So I refused to check my email after 10pm because if I actually got the job I wanted to be able to share it with someone without waking them up… Therefore, every morning I woke up and checked my email. Religiously. And on Wednesday it paid off when I saw the wonderfully joyous email that I could read far enough ahead in the preview line to see that it said “our pleasure”! That means only one thing: I AM GOING TO JAPAN!!!!! Going to JAPAN!!

Nothing is containing my excitement anymore and yet it doesn’t seem as if it could POSSIBLY be real! I mean, living in Japan for a year? That’s something you dream about but never actually DO, right? I honestly don’t think I will believe it’s happening until I step off the plane in Tokyo and realize I have no idea what anyone around me is saying! As I’ve never left the country before I am SO STOKED for this brand new adventure and all the wonderful and even awful experiences I am sure to have! Stay tuned cuz this dream just got really real!

Have a beautiful holiday season and I’ll see you in the new year! JAPAN!!!! YAAAY!!!

Ja ne!