Full Circle

Home Sweet Hotel

It’s hard to believe that the end is in sight. Our belongings are being loaded onto a Seattle-bound boat and we’re in the much-maligned state of expat limbo: living in a hotel. I’m sure the maid wonders about our odd assortment of luggage, which is mostly souvenirs and fishing poles at this point. We’re in the same hotel that we started this whole adventure in back in December, so it’s a rather fitting way to neatly tie up this whole experience. I’ve had a lot of time for reflection this past week as I took up the role of professional appointment-sitter, waiting for movers and couriers and inspectors to make the rounds through our apartment. It’s fun to look back and see how far we’ve come in such a short time.
Continue reading

It’s the little things

I never leave home without a camera, since I never know when I’m going to run across something that makes me smile. As a result, I’ve built quite a collection of candid photos that capture tiny aspects of our experience here. I thought I’d share some with you from the past few weeks to give you a glimpse into the little things that make life here such a unique experience. No common theme here, just a bunch of random observations to share. Without further ado…
Continue reading

My Favorite Things

The other day Joe asked me if there was any food from home that I was really craving. The first thing that popped into my mind was pizza. Specifically, cheap and simple pizza without seafood or raw egg toppings (I’m looking at you, $5 Hot and Ready!). You can find pizza here, but it’s expensive and really doesn’t resemble the Americanized pizza that we all know and love.

While I was chasing these thoughts about things that I miss, I thought I would make a list of my new favorite [food-related] things. Cue the Sound of Music soundtrack:
Continue reading

Becoming a local and getting humbled (plus bonus photos from the park)

I picked up our alien registration cards from our ward office yesterday, which means that yes, we are officially aliens (I can hear my little brother’s snarky comment all the way across the ocean). More importantly, we are now legal residents and no longer tourists.

I’ve been working on becoming familiar with my immediate surroundings, which for me is a big step towards feeling at-home. My method of doing this involves walking, walking, and more walking. I’ve pounded out a lot of kilometers while exploring my neighborhood, always making a point to take a different route each time I go somewhere. It’s not uncommon for my walks to take unexpected detours where I often find hidden gems such as parks, ponds, shrines, or fun stores.
Continue reading