Friday, October 5, 2012

40 before 40 - My new macbook pro

Soooooo, I think I've mention here that my 4.5 year old macbook died on me back in mid-July. I was without a real laptop until the end of August when I bought this baby. Ugh, this was the most expensive thing I have ever purchased in my life!! Apple, seriously, this Pro better survive for more than five years or else I'm going back to PCs.... heh, I'm so kidding. I love Macbooks. I can't see myself using a PC again.

I'm such a gadget girl. I really would like to own an iPad, but I'm not in love with the weight; it's pretty heavy. Rumors say that a mini may come out sometime next year. If so, then I'll be on it! It would be nice to have a small tablet while traveling to surf the web or read a book/magazine. Even more useful for my commute to and from work!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Good Times




I was invited to my friend's home in Fukuoka City. There, I met her parents and aunt for the first time. She mentioned that her father loves to use the amount of random English that he knows. Her father really enjoyed talking with me though and I thought his English was rather good compared to the average Japanese person.

Anyway, we had a little BBQ, which had me completely filled up; it was sooooo good. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Hong Kong

Above photos are from Google image

My Japanese friend and I will spend our winter vacation in Hong Kong! I absolutely cannot wait for this trip! I am going to stuff my stomach with yummy food and empty my wallet from all the clothes and accessories that I'm going to purchase.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Fukuoka Tower

Inside the elevator going up!

I have visited Fukuoka City numerous times since I've been living in Japan, however, I never bothered to visit the 234 meter-tall tower until yesterday. My friend tagged along with me and we enjoyed the amazing 360 degree panoramic view of the city. I need to make my way back here for a night view!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

GOAL ---> Europe Summer 2013

Ok, I am super-duper serious about this.

Initially, I had planned on going to Europe this past summer, but I never made it happen. Never looked up information on a country I'd like to visit. Never looked up on airfare and hotel costs. Yup, laziness.

Now, I'm serious and my planning starts now!

Ideally, I would like to visit Europe in August 2013 and stay there for at least one month... not the cheapest time of the year, I know, but I have no choice. It's the only time I'm available from work for an entire month.

Geared towards college students and recent graduates, but still very useful to me.

This book was purchased to help me decide on which European country to visit. Even though I do have few countries that I'd like to see, this book has profiles on 28 countries that may help me make a final decision. It also contains information on budgeting, visas, air and rail, etc. Very useful!

My aim is to visit only one country... maybe two, but one country sounds good enough. I'm trying not to rush through visits of various cities for only a couple of days. I would like to spend at least five days in each city that I visit and not as a tourist, but as a traveler. I'm not going to try to see all the must see sites, get my picture taken in front of said sites and then run off to the next site. I'm going to focus more on doing things instead of seeing things: take a cooking class, go bike riding, ride on a hot air ballon, relax and just enjoy the scenery! 

Seeing that my trip will be next summer, I have ample time to save money! I'm going to need quite a bit since I'll be traveling during peak season and I don't plan on staying at hostels this time. B&Bs and apartment rentals will get the most love from me this time. So, I plan on saving money everyday and cutting down on my spending. My aim is to save between $1000-$2000 USD depending on which country I plan on visiting. Thankfully, the Japanese yen is strong (almost equal to the euro). I'm so grateful that I'm not paid in USD.

Getting my savings under way!


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Ghent, Belgium winter 2012




















Ghent, Belgium Jan. 4-6 2012

After visiting Brussels for two days, I took the train about 30 mins west to Ghent. I added this Belgian city on my visit list because I absolutely love the architecture and the fact that it's not a popular hot spot for tourists like Brussels or Bruges. Three days and two night were spent wondering in and out of the city center on foot, by bike and by bus. It was my first time biking around in Europe and it was so~ relaxing. I did get lost at one point and a lady was very kind to guide me in the right direction.

For my place of sleep, I stayed at a superb B&B (bed and breakfast.) First off, I absolutely love staying at B&Bs. They can be a bit expensive, but after staying in hostels in Amsterdam and Brussels, I needed a bit more privacy and comfort. I stayed at Suro Guesthouse and I enjoyed my stay immensely! I told the owner that he'll see me again when I eventually decide to visit Bruges.

And this ends my winter 2011-2012 trip to the Netherlands and Belgium. Europe will definitely see me again next summer. Currently saving as much as I possibly can since I'm looking at traveling for a whole month.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Fireworks in Kurume

Hello everyone!

I'm back!

Ok, so my 4.5 year old macbook died on me back in mid-July and I haven't been able to do anything in regards to blogging.

Well, now I have a spanking new macbook pro and I am soooo loving it! It's so fast, elegant, powerful and super light!! I was able to have all my data from my previous macbook transfered to this computer. I plan on going to the Apple Store once a month to take classes on how to use iMovie and the other useful applications that I never took advantage of.

Anyway, I'll leave you all with photos taken in early August at the annual fireworks In Kurume City. This is one the biggest and most popular fireworks display on Kyushu island.








Saturday, July 21, 2012

Summer Vacation!!!!!!!

YAY!! Summer break is finally here!! I will be on break away from work until late August. Until then, I will be living it up in southern Japan and Osaka!! I'm heading out to Osaka next Tuesday and I'll be there for about a week. Mainly going there to see these lovely gentlemen...

It has been awhile since I last visited Osaka, which is the second largest city in Japan after Tokyo. To be honest, I don't really like Osaka that much. It is a very ugly city, but the people are much friendlier than Tokyo inhabitants... in my opinion at least. I will be with friends touring the city. I've never been to the aquarium, which is considered to be one of the best in the world, so I can't wait to check it out!

Anyway, I am so looking forward to these concerts!!! I'm just hoping that it won't rain. Please, PLEASE don't rain!!! 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

40 before 40

On July 1st, I celebrated my 30th birthday. So, it got me thinking about making a special list of goals I would like to achieve before I hit my 40's. I'm pretty excited and look forward to tackling this list! So here it is!

Before I turn 40, I want to...

  1.  Learn to snowboard
  2.  Learn to ski
  3.  Become fluent in another language 
  4.  Take cooking classes
  5.  Learn how to swim
  6.  Become a dog owner
  7.  Take a ride on a hot air balloon
  8.  Go bungee jumping in New Zealand
  9.  Wear a bikini
  10. Ride on the Shinkansen from Fukuoka to Tokyo
  11. Meet the members of the Japanese group GLAY 
  12. Experience seeing GLAY from the first row
  13. Attend 100 concerts anywhere in the world 
  14. Get married to that special someone and have kids
  15. Find a place to settle in whether it be in Japan, the USA or anywhere else in the world
  16. Attend a concert at Zepp Tokyo
  17. Chat up with a random stranger in a party setting
  18. Visit Nigeria at least twice
  19. Go on a cruise
  20. Work and/or study in Europe for at least one year
  21. Earn a Masters degree
  22. Visit five continents (have been to three not including my own)
  23. Travel around Scandinavia
  24. Go for a bike ride on an island in Okinawa
  25 Buy a new MacBook
   26. Go to a spa and get pampered from head to toe
  27. Learn to scuba dive
  28. Visit 20 countries (for at least 5 days per visit)
  29. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge
  30. Listen to reggae in Jamaica
  31. Learn to play the bass guitar
  32. Attend an outdoor music festival
  33. Own a Neverfull MM or GM LV bag
  34. Skydive
  35. Spend one night in a sleeper train 
  36. View the aurora borealis in Northern Norway
  37. Go fishing
  38. See the Great Barrier Reef in Australia
  39. Fly first class just once
  40. Grow my hair out to waist length

And there you have it; my 40 before 40!! I'm definitely going to work hard at fulfilling the above goals. Once a goal has been achieved, I will write an entry about it on this blog.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

still kicking!

Taken by me a couple months ago. Chikugo River is the longest river in the island of Kyushu (143km/80mi)
It runs right through my city.

Hey folks!! Sorry for not updating in a loooooong time. To be honest, it's because of simple laziness. 

Summer vacation is coming in a couple weeks and I can't wait to get a much needed break from work. I simply plan on traveling around Japan hitting up the following prefectures: Osaka, Nagasaki, Kumamoto and Miyazaki, all of which I've visited before. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

new friends who look just like me.

Seeing a black person in Japan is rare; seeing a black female is even rarer. For the two plus years that I have been living in Japan, I haven't made a single friend with skin my shade or darker. I've made quite a few Caucasian and Japanese friends; more Japanese than the former.

Luckily, when I moved up to my new location last month, I was told by one of my superiors that a female Jamaican was living in the same city. I quickly asked her to give that person my contact and here we are now.

Taken earlier this month at a friend's of a friend's friend BBQ. 

My new buddy introduced me to two other female Jamaican friends of hers that live in neighboring cities. Wow, my friendship circle is growing!

(Ok, so I've been absent for a bit on here. Like I've mentioned before, work has been really draining!! I'll try my best to post more often though.)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

you say what?

Never in my life have I ever had to pay to use a public bathroom... that is, until my trip to the Netherlands and Belgium last winter. "What the heck is this?" -  Is what I told myself when I saw the sign below. I shouldn't have to pay to use a public restroom. In Japan, it's free to use the public restrooms, but they are also spotless! Some restrooms in Japan don't even supply toilet paper!! (Bring your own.) It's been awhile since I've been in an American public restroom, but I don't ever remember entering one that was just too filthy for me to use.

They got about 1.50 euros out of me during my 12-day stay. I really tried to avoid using the restrooms in public areas.

Monday, April 30, 2012