Nearing departure

As I near departure, I’m enjoying the little things around me.

I spent the last five days with my boyfriend. It was so lovely to see him, but it was sad to say goodbye. We spent time shopping, (I’m all stocked up on work clothing now) playing D&D with friends, (twice) and finishing the last season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

My Japanese visa arrived in the mail today. I have my passport and Certificate of Eligibility back and I am set to fly out in about less than two weeks. I’m counting down the days.

I’m excited to go, but it’ll be bittersweet. There are many beautiful people and places I will miss from home in Wisconsin & Minnesota.

These photos are from a walk around our property today with dad and our dog, Cosmo.

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The budding photographer

I made the decision the other day to purchase a Nikon d3300. I’ve never owned a nice camera in my life, so this is exciting for me. The digital camera I own I received at Christmas 8 or 9 years ago, and I stopped using it around 2012 because the quality is too grainy. Since then, I have relied on my iPod touch 4th generation to take photos, which has actually worked out pretty well all things considered. However, my iPod is nearly out of storage space, even after deleting hundreds of photos. I also wanted to be able to take high quality photos, particularly while I am in Japan. I would like to have lasting memories of my experience living abroad that I can look back on. Hence, I purchased my first DSLR.

I have to read through the user manual more closely, though I’m glad to say I learned a thing or two just my testing out my camera today on a “fun run.” I’m a quick learner if I set my mind to learning something. 🙂

I hope to purchase my plane ticket to Japan tomorrow. I nearly bought one today, but I wasn’t quite ready. I expect to leave right around one month from today, or in about 28-29 days. If you have any tips on buying plane tickets, I’m all ears.

Here are some snapshots I took at my house today. Enjoy!055

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I’m going to Japan!

Last week, I had a Skype interview with WinBe English School in Japan. This is a fairly small company, with about 100 foreign employees and 400 Japanese employees, if I’m not mistaken. A few days ago, I had a dream that the company send me a congratulations email/acceptance email, followed by an email with the contract. Well, yesterday at 3:30 am, I woke up (I was too warm mostly) and had the distinct feeling that WinBe had emailed me. Sure enough, as I sat up in bed to check my phone, my inbox showed one new message from WinBe, offering me a teaching position in the Yokohama/Tokyo area. I couldn’t sleep, I was so excited! I emailed back quickly to accept the offer and asked about the next step. WinBe proceeded to tell me about a form I needed to fill out and files I would need to send to get the visa process going. I’ve already sent in most of the files I need to apply for my work visa. WinBe has been very helpful with the paperwork process this far.

Nine years after developing an interest in Japan, and four years after developing an interest in teaching, my dream of living in Japan is finally coming true!

 

Photo I sent to the hiring committee

 

East Coast trip

My most recent travels brought my boyfriend (Brandon) and I to the East Coast. We spent two weeks visiting friends and sightseeing, returning two days ago after an exhaustive 20+ hours driving.

The first we we spent with Brandon’s friends in upstate New York. We spent the majority of our time playing board games, namely The Red Dragon Inn and Settlers of Catan.

During the second week, we visited more of Brandon’s friends, who live in Maryland. Together, the four of us spent a day in D.C., where we walked approx. 10 miles to see several famous monuments in the National Mall area.12512610_10153297323847727_4831431629725679030_n

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Graduation!

It’s official: I’ve graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Wisconsin-Superior! At the ceremony, I wore a Mexico sash, (from studying abroad) a Sigma Tau Delta sash and cords, (black and red) and Magna Cum Laude honors cords (the yellow ones). I can now call myself a UWS alumni. Has reality kicked in yet that I’m no longer a student? Yes, I suppose so. I’ve begun to job hunt and think about student loans and other responsibilities that are coming my way.

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I wish I could say that I’m optimistic about what the future holds. I was very excited the night before the ceremony, and a bit excited the day of. However, I’ve also experienced a mix of emotions lately. I’ve moved back in with my parents and brother, who are in the process of renovation and moving into a new home a few miles away from the house we currently live in. Soon I’ll be helping them out with projects at the new house as well.

My mood has been all over the board for a few reasons. I love my family to death, but I’ve become so used to living on my own, I need to readjust to family dynamics, sharing space and resources, etc. My main issue though: I’ve called Superior, WI my home for the past four and a half years. I’m leaving behind friends, I won’t see my boyfriend as often, (he lives in Duluth) and job hunting in a small community during the off-season is no easy task. A part of me wants to return to the Superior/Duluth area already since job prospects are higher there than in my hometown. Another part of me feels as though I should drop everything and travel abroad now. Wisconsin doesn’t always cut it, and as I age, I wonder why I put up with winter (hello, seasonal affective disorder). I envy people who aren’t afraid to drop their 9-5 job and travel the world, making money doing odd jobs and meeting interesting people from across the globe.

On a side note, my blog is one year old today. A year ago, I was preparing to study abroad in Oaxaca, Mexico. That was a journey that only sparked my wanderlust further. I am here today, just as eager to travel, and to learn about the world.

 

What happened to the fall?

Well, it’s been far too long since I’ve posted. If there’s anyone out there still following me, I salute you, dear friend. I simply don’t have the time to update regularly, and while I’m in school, my life doesn’t seem interesting enough to post about.

What have I been up to for the past two months? I’ll make this as brief as I can.

I’ve fallen out of love. And into love again. I’m in a new relationship, and I’m happier than I could have imagined. My boyfriend’s name is Brandon, and we are very compatible together in terms of interests, personality, humor, etc. We were coworkers this past spring/summer, which is how we met.

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Brandon and I, October 2015

I am halfway through my last semester of college. My grades have been excellent thus far, so I am rather pleased. Classes consume much of my time, but they’re fairly enjoyable overall. Shakespeare online is my least favorite class, simply because I find old English to be a bit dull and difficult to understand. I’m also Vice-President of the World Student Association, and we’re in the process of planning Cultural Night, the largest event on campus, which is coming up in two weeks time.

I am having some car troubles. I have to replace my front brake pads very soon. The oxygen sensor is also not working, but I will wait on repairing that for a while yet (it’s not a dire fix, while brakes on the other hand are very important).

I am beginning to think about life after graduation now. To be quite honest, I’m a bit afraid for life after graduation. Student loans will be looming over my head in the near future; I have mountains of debt to pay. I will likely be living with my parents as free room and board can’t be beat. However, job prospects in my hometown are slim as I am from a town of 2000 people. I will likely move back to the Twin Ports area after a few months, or perhaps head somewhere like Minneapolis for a job, next summer or fall at the soonest I’d imagine.

I want to teach abroad next fall, but the deadlines for applications are coming up too quickly, and focusing on school now takes up too much of my time. I wanted to apply for the JET program for 2016, but the deadline is so soon, and I didn’t have the time to collect all the needed forms and to complete the paperwork. Perhaps next time. I’m still thinking South Korea could be a viable option for next fall.

To be continued, friends.

Let’s try and finish out the semester strong.

25 Struggles Only INFJs Will Understand

I feel this on a deep level. Any other INFJs out there?

Thought Catalog

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1. Being able to predict with eerie accuracy how a situation is going to play out, but being too polite to tell people that they’re making a mistake… so just keeping quiet and having to watch exactly what you thought would happen, happen.

2. Having zero interest in casual dating in a world that’s obsessed with flings and one-night stands.

3. The consistent, nagging voice in the back of your mind telling you that you’re not living up to your full potential.

4. Having much never met another person like yourself, since INFJs are (a) Only 1% of the population and (b) Usually inside reading a book.

5. The constant struggle of wanting alone time but feeling the uncontrollable compulsion to go make your loved ones happy.

6. Fooling everyone into thinking you’re an extrovert while you’re in public and then confusing the heck out of them when you…

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A Woman’s Guide to Staying Safe in Oaxaca, Mexico

Hello! I apologize I haven’t written on my blog this summer like I thought I would. Pink Pangea articles have been keeping me busy, along with my barista/sales job. Below is my most recent article:

http://www.pinkpangea.com/2015/08/a-womans-guide-to-staying-safe-in-oaxaca-mexico/

I expect to be writing more this fall and keeping you updated as I venture through my final semester of college. Adventures await!

Living the Pura Vida

Hi, folks! I’ve been busy preparing to move out of my apartment. My lease is up at the end of the month. Also, my brother is coming back to town tonight. I’m picking him up, and we’ll be heading home for a week. In the meantime, check out my most recent travel writing article on how to incorporate the “pura vida” of Costa Rica into your daily life. http://www.pinkpangea.com/2015/07/5-ways-to-incorporate-pura-vida-into-our-daily-lives/