I’m trying to stay in real-time with these roundups, so I better get this out before May is over!
Let’s see what was on the agenda in April 2017…
What I’ve Been Doing Since the Last Roundup
Since March 2017, I honestly haven’t done very much!
I came back from my Philippines trip (if I ever get done editing the photos, I’ll tell ya about it) at the beginning of April and then luckily had a few more days off at home to recharge before school started again. I really enjoyed seeing my students “graduate” from elementary school and show up in my junior high classrooms as nervous first year students! I love that my schools are set up so that I work at the elementary schools that are the feeder schools for my junior high.
The start of the new school year was busy but not much in the way of English classes so I did a lot of desk warming and helping with administrative stuff. No complaints here.
I also got back just in time for the cherry blossoms to bloom! Being in Japan for cherry blossom season has been a dream of mine for a very long time, and I’m happy to report it was just as fluffy and pink as I had imagined! I’ll have a post on hanami (cherry blossom viewing) soon.
My Most-Liked Instagram Photo
All my photos from the Philippines were very popular! I like them too. The one that was far and away above the rest was of this one, which I’ve titled “The Sunburned Snorkeling Ninja”:
What do you think? It’s from my new camera, though this version is a little low-res because I took it straight from Instagram.
My regular Instagram side note: my personal policy is that Instagram is a give and take platform. My profile is private and if you don’t have any photos on yours or you’re selling crap, I won’t accept your request! There’s just too many scam/spam profiles out there, so I don’t accept anyone who doesn’t look like a legit user.
In Case You Missed It
I was hoping to have a few more posts this month with the free time I had, but I was genuinely just lazy.
Here’s what’s been posted since the last roundup:
Last but not least, I can finally share with you that I am the author of the 2016 update to Fodor’s guide to Roatan & the Bay Islands! I actually finished this writing assignment almost a year ago, but it has now been published (online, with a print version to follow sometime in late 2017) so I can share! This was a monumental task for me, as the last update was in 2011. Things in the Bay Islands change every six months or so – all the cruise ship people who move down there after visiting once, open a business, and then quickly realize they can’t just lay on the beach all day – so nearly every single entry required an update. All the travel info to and from the islands needed updating as well as there are new ways to get there by plane and ferry. The last update was done by someone not familiar with the scuba industry, so there’s much better recommendations and info in that area now!
It was a HUGE job but I’m really proud to be able to say I’m a Fodor’s author, and that someday in the future someone will be flipping through a guidebook and reading my words to help plan their trip. If you get the updated print version of this book, please take a pic and share it on my Facebook page! I would love to see my words traveling around the world 🙂
1 Second Every Day
I use the 1 Second Everyday app to quickly chronicle my time here in Japan by taking a one second video every day. At the end of each month the app puts it together, and you end up with a 30-second video each month. It’s cool because it shows what I’m actually doing/seeing each day, not just all the highlights of super fun stuff once in a while that end up on social media. (Not sponsored! I just like this app!)
- all the cherry blossoms! I loved living in a pink dreamland for a few weeks.
- having a little time off was nice. I don’t think my job is particularly hard, but it is mentally exhausting sometimes. It was great to just lounge around at home for a few days after my vacation.
- I was introduced to the local beach, and I am a regular visitor now! It’s so pretty and only 20 minutes from my house.
- I got to go back to the strawberry picking greenhouse in my neighborhood, and spend another afternoon gorging on strawberries. I love that place.
- One of my co-workers was a really great adventure buddy this month. We did tons of stuff! Went to the beach, checked out the brand new mall in the big city near us, went out for lots of good food. I usually spend most of my time solo but this was a nice change.
- my car broke down, which I was not happy about. I paid over $2000 for this car less than a year ago, and $2000 is pretty expensive for a kei car (these are the little mini cars in Japan with the smaller engines and cheaper insurance). I had to pay almost $400 to replace three spark plugs. It better be good to go from now on, because that was not in my budget this month! I had to borrow money to pay for it, which is not my favorite thing to do.
- I’m really struggling with getting reasonable flights for a big trip I’m planning this summer. Bopping around Asia is quite cheap from here, but everything else is expensive! I’m also scared to take a 15 hour flight – I think I’ll die if I’m trapped in a plane that long.
- It’s getting warmer and warmer…. *Jon Snow voice* SUMMER IS COMING. NOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
Well, I really hope some posts about my Philippines trip are coming. I started editing the photos and videos and it went well and then I just sort of gave up on it. I guess the 900 photos are overwhelming me a bit. Fellow bloggers, how do you deal with this?? I guess I’m also hoping some posts about the South Korea trip I took back in January are coming too 🙂
My Golden Week staycation probably should get a recap as well. I was hoping that I would be able to take a trip as I had a whole week off, but as I mentioned in the lowlights, I was stuck with a huge car repair bill this month as well as trying to save for a summer trip. So I just stayed home! I actually had a great time.
I’m also planning to write about Hanamiyama, which is a cherry blossom viewing site in my town which was spectacular. The photo at the top of this post is from Hanamiyama!
So, that’s it for this roundup! You can see all my monthly roundups here.
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