Japan: Sapporo Snow

Tokyo, Kyoto, and Hiroshima are some of the “must see destinations”  for those traveling in Japan both domestically and internationally because of their shopping, history, and culture. For most international travelers planning a trip to Japan, visiting Hokkaido can be seen as a bit out of the way or cumbersome, because unlike  the other cities listed above, Hokkaido is not accessible by the shinkansen (bullet train). The most practical way to get to Hokkaido is by air, although there is also the “twilight express” a night train that makes trips to Hokkaido from some of the larger stations throughout Honshu.

One of my biggest regrets after having lived in Japan for 2 years was that I didn’t make it to Hokkaido for one of the most popular events held annually in Sapporo, Hokkaido’s Yuki Matsuri, or Snow Festival. Continue reading Japan: Sapporo Snow


Art & Travel: Art Aquarium

One of my favorite things about traveling is that when you’re in another city or country you have the opportunity to discover different cultures, take in the sights, and enjoy the local cuisine. One of my travel traditions is to to visit an art exhibit or museum that exhibits local talent, because it provides me a glimpse into the values and mindset of the place I’m visiting. I’m hoping to continue an ‘Art and Travel’  segment that highlights either exhibits I’ve seen personally, or ones that are upcoming around the globe that I’d love to see. Here’s a glimpse into an exhibit I visited last summer that perfectly blended art, culture, and history.  Continue reading Art & Travel: Art Aquarium

The World is Your Oyster

Exploring the shoreline of Hawaii’s Northshore

“The World is Your Oyster”, while slightly cliche, seems an apt first post for this renewed foray into travel blogging.

Every time I’m home my grandmother encourages me to  travel, travel, travel, and when I think I can’t bear it, travel even more. She shares these pearls of wisdom with me, because like many others of her age, she regrets not having taken the opportunity to travel while she was young. In part, my grandmother avoided travel because of fear. She was afraid to leave home. She was afraid of how finances would be sorted. She was afraid that being in a foreign country would mean to be isolated and alone.

Like my grandmother, many travelers and would be travelers are also held back by our fears. Fears that we can’t put our career on hold, fears of not meeting societal expectations of what a “20/30/40/50/60 something” should be doing, and of course, financial fears. This is where I think it is important to remind ourselves that, “The World is Your Oyster”, not hers, not his, not theres, but yours. Don’t let your career, friends, family, or society dictate your life. If you want to travel, and you have the financial means, then take the plunge/drive/flight into a new adventure.
Of course, not all of us have a cash reserve in excess, then look into travel opportunities such as: voluntouring, wwoof, teaching abroad, or peace corps. While not always paid, these programs provide people with international experience with lower costs than traditional travel itineraries.

Don’t keep pushing off travel, the future can certainly wait but the world cannot. Everyday our world is changing; development is on the upswing while conservancy is flailing, don’t miss your opportunity to get out into the great outdoors!