Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Boats (and a sorta secret message too)

I live in Funabashi. It's a beautiful place. Literally translated it means "boat bridge," which makes about as much sense as Springfield. Anyways, back when I hadn't given up about blogging about China in a reasonable amount of time, I realized that the sky was very washed out in a lot of my pictures. At the time, I blamed it on over exposure. Now I blame it on not having an expensive and beautiful circular polarizing filter.

But anyway, I set out one day in my neighborhood, determined not to over expose the sky.

This is what I did:

I love my camera.

so here's the big news:
in January I'm heading on a big big crazy trip. well, crazy is all relative right? I mean, I could put my money in one of these banks... or I could get my CELTA (a one month English teaching certificate) and brush up on my Spanish.
So I will be back in The States on Dec 11th. Now, hopefully, one student who I gave this blog address to won't actually read this part. It's still a secret. But I can't contain myself any longer.

In January, preferably on January 16th--for purely sentimental reasons-- but probably sooner, I will head south by bus or ride share or something. I'll head all the way down to Mexico City over a few weeks. All things not going terribly wrong, I will fly to Buenos Aires and spend a month getting my CELTA and staying in a dormitory.
The CELTA degree plus my experience in Japan will qualify me to teach in Latin America, Eastern Europe (non EU countries) and pretty much all of Asia. To teach in America, Canada, Australia, ect or the UAE you usually need an MA in TESOL. I'm thinking of getting me one of them in the near future too. But then again, I've been having doubts...
To think about THE FUTURE is awfully much. So I'm focusing on the right now--working, fixing things up, passing this Japanese test, birthday parties, etc and the next big leap --this next big trip.
I think I have some lingering... doubt isn't right, more like misplaced guilt or something about it all. I mean, shouldn't I be scrimping and saving and suffering? Many loved ones, mostly friends more than family are working as hard as I but don't have this opprotunity. I wish I could take you with me. I feel sorry to come back to the states only to leave again, but I feel it's what I have to do, too.
This is something I've been thinking about a long time.
So from the beginning of March to ...say... end of May (not decided completely) I'll move slowly around Argentina and up to Peru--probably through Chile and Bolivia.

I'll fly by from Lima, probably to LA and then get up to Oregon. I'll spend the summer in Oregon and after that... I'm undecided. Many things are bouncing around in my head. I think they'll become clear as time passes.
So I'm both very excited and scared about the trip ahead. I don't know what being on the road for so long will be like. I imagine, something like my cycling adventure this summer that I will find a pace. I plan on using couchsurfing and WWOOF a lot, both as a cheap way to travel and as a way to not travel alone, despite traveling alone.

I will travel very light, bringing only a backpack and day pack. I will bring my camera (of course!) but not my computer. I will bring both walking shoes/sandals and dance shoes. I'll seek to be both quick footed and witted.

...so, which picture did you like best?!?

the adventures certainly do continue in vivid color.

Monday, October 13, 2008


This has nothing to do with cycling. Well, mostly.

Somedays I feel like my whole life is on the road. I pause longer and longer every time someone asks me where I'm from. Where I call home gets a smile before anything else. What a hard question. I start by saying where I've lived and then saying where I go back for Christmas to, though I've lived none of those places. Or I say where I would go if everything fell apart. But then that could be back in the states or in one of the tiny places in China where you can stay for months for nearly free in exchange for a little work. Places like XingPing, above.

...yeah, I know, I never finished blogging China. It's on the list of things to do. Right after buying my plane ticket to Argentina. I'm spending a lot of time these days planning the next leap. It's going to be big. Once again, it will change my life.

I miss the days when I had time and energy to write and write. It's around the corner again, but not often these days.

These days are so busy. So busy that I had 170km bike ride (my 2nd century!!) and a till 2am birthday party on the same day--yesterday, and still managed to study a few hours this morning with a friend. Now I'm tired though and feeling reflective. I've been in Japan a long time and somedays it feels more like home than anywhere else. Sometimes I feel like staying would be the easiest road. But I don't take that road usually do I? I believe that's a good thing but my belief may be flawed.

My work days are a lot like this

I did a photo experiment with the munchkins. I let them play with my old point and shoot camera and thought art may come of it. Perhaps unsurprisingly, kids under 6 didn't care so much about composition of photos but instead wanted to test the limits of the camera. How close can you hold it to the wall and still get light in the lens? Does it work up and down as well as the normal straight ahead? What happens if I touch the lens? Anyway, many very beautifully candid pictures came out of this experiment and I'm trying to remember how I made the slide show of pictures like I did after I came back from China. Anyone know how to do that on iPhoto?

There are too few weekends in a week, I feel. Soon though, everything will change again and I'm both excited and scared. There's so much to pack, so much to organize, so many deep breaths to take. There are so many adventures to have.

I look forward to the days when there is more time for writing poetry and understanding this crazy journey. I'll try and post more pictures soon. I'll try...

the adventures continue...