Exploring the Fuji area of Japan (Chureito Pagoda, Ice Caves, and Aokigahara Forest)

Saturday morning I woke up and decided I needed a little adventure in my life! I have had the Chureito Pagoda pinned for a while as a "must see" place so this was the lucky winner for adventure time! Train time vs drive time was pretty close and after a debacle with getting lost in the tunnels of Tokyo the previous day, I decided to reduce my stress and take the train!
The Chureito Pagoda is approximately 2 hours from Yokota Air Base via train. If you're taking the train the stop for the Pagoda is Shimoyoshida. I enjoy train adventures because it allows you to see some beautiful places, riding in to Shimoyoshida I passed through some beautiful mountainous terrain. At one point we were riding along with some of the most stunning shots of Mt Fuji. Times like this I'm constantly reminded of  how lucky I am, the beauty of nature, and just how small we are in this big beautiful world!  Shimoyoshida train station is TINY! I mean seriously small. I'm pretty sure that th…

Seeing the Snow Monkeys in Nagano (Jigokudani Yaen-Koen)


Yesterday I did something that I've wanted to do for a REALLY long time! I've seen photos and lusted over this adventure. Why it took me so long I have no idea, but I'm so glad that I cashed in on life'ing with this one!
Seeing the snow monkeys in Nagano at the natural hot spring was something that I'll never forget. I highly recommend it for anyone who is in Japan (fun fact you don't have to go in the winter, they're open year round, the monkeys are always there (free range, not caged or contained). I would even venture to say that it may be better to visit during the "off" season because as you can imagine this place is riddled with tourists, which becomes annoying. My annoyance increased because some people literally have zero respect for animals, their habitat, and personal space. More often than not tourists would get uncomfortably close to the monkeys, babies, mamas with babies, in an attempt to score a good pic. Surely in this day …

Never stop adventuring! Up next...Nepal!


Once you find your passion you should absolutely NEVER EVER stop chasing it! NEVER. For no one. And with that being said, I finally have booked a trip that should have happened MANY years ago but (thanks airline assholes) didn' now it absolutely will be...Nepal here I come!

Probably about 10 years ago I booked a flight (I was living in the US then) it had a less than 24 hour layover in India, I did my research and if in transit with less than 24 hours you don't need a visa for India. I searched several sites and the embassy. Because I didn't want issues. Travel day arrived and I went to the airport my bags packed ready to go to Nepal and go on the adventure of a lifetime. The airline wouldn't let me board because I didn't have a visa for India. I explained several times even showed them online where it said in transit no visa, nothing, they still required me to have a visa despite the fact that I was there less than 24 hours and in transit. I even spo…

Travel Must Haves!


I've been meaning to write this post for a really long time. I've had it drafted in various forms, notes on post-its, memos in my phone, reminders set. I'll be honest, things just got away from me and I slacked! I always have people asking me for recommendations or seeing things on my Instagram story and asking me about them, so I decided to compile a list of my FAVORITES, my must haves!

I try to travel carry on only, so these are all items that I have found either essential, or helpful in one way or another! I'll list them in no particular order!

**Ebates. First and foremost whenever you're shopping online you'd be foolish not to use this! It's free money for some shopping you're going to do anyways! Sites offer various percentages back on your shopping trip. The sites change their percentages and sometimes offer bonuses so check back often! Just to give you a little idea, I've gotten $656 (don't judge I like to shop!) back from Ebates t…

Getting a Visa for China (Tokyo)


I will start this by saying that I am writing from the perspective of someone who has access to a Consulate within a close-ish distance, if you don't, this becomes more difficult.
I'll also say that this is a giant pain in the ass, but it will save you money by doing it yourself vs going through a travel agency, and it's totally possible to do on your own, just prepare yourself for a bit of a headache (and well, dealing with a communist country!).

I prepared, I had all of my documents, looked over the list of requirements several times on the website, I had it all. So I thought. Just go into it knowing that you probably won't and you'll probably have to change it all. Despite having literally everything, I had to re do the application when I got there, went through all kinds of interrogation from the ladies working at the office, they needed copies of my work orders (if you're military or working for the military bring this with you, it's not listed…

Bali Itinerary: My Favorite Things


I had a pretty packed itinerary, and if you choose to use the driver/company that I used they are more than willing to provide you with an itinerary. I customized mine because there were specific things that I wanted to see, but you can go into things blind and have a totally kick ass time.

Buuuuut. There are a few places that I would say, absolutely DO NOT skip when you come to Bali. This was my Bali dream team. The elite, the all stars. The ones that stood out above all others. I hope this helps with vacation planning of your own!

Also, they are NOT in any particular order!

Monkey Forest: This gives you the opportunity to interact with monkeys in their natural habitat (they ARE NOT confined in any manner, nor are they drugged)Holy Spring Temple: Go with a driver/guide so you know how to do the prayers, and which 2 fountains to skip (2 are for death/funerals ONLY)Hidden Canyon: Hidden Canyon of Sukawati (Beji Guwang), NOT for small children, people afraid of water, those not ad…

Bali Day 16: It's Not Goodbye It's See You Later, New Years Eve at 10,000 Feet, and Recovering From a Travel Hangover


I woke up this morning, feeling not like the other mornings in Bali. Like someone throw me a Xanax and quick!  An intense morose feeling had crept into my body and I was trying to balance that while also appreciating the last moments that I had on this precious island.

I thoroughly enjoyed my last delicious (cooked/prepared for me) breakfast. Have I mentioned that fruit?! I surely will not forget that fruit!

I enjoyed a conversation with Ogy talking about his wedding, my stay here and how it was so wonderful because of him, his family, the villa, and wishing him well on his upcoming wedding.

Sadly Made couldn't take me to the airport to drop me off, his in laws became ill and he had to tend to them, he sent me a message late in the evening letting me know, so I had a new person transporting me. Perhaps for the better. I'm not certain that my heart could take the sadness of saying goodbye to my sweet friend. I think the Universe knows how to take care of you. My last m…