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.