Top Posts from 2019

Well, it is the end of another year, and this one has seen some really exciting changes in my life. I moved from South Korea to Thailand. I took two voyages back to the United States, one in the beginning of the year, and one during the summer break to get everything in order for the move. I got to visit Japan during the Sakura festivals and see what the hype was all about, and I got to fulfill a long dream of mine of spending Christmas in Germany. It has been an exciting year full of highs and lows, and I want to thank all of you for being along for the ride. I thought I would take the time to go through the posts that you enjoyed the most this year and list them in order according to their popularity.

#10 – Cherry Blossoms in Our Winter

This is the first poem to make this list, and it is actually one of my favorite poems that I have written. It really captured the moment that I witnessed during my trip to Tokyo, and I think showed why the Sakura Festival is so important to all of the people who live there,

#9 – Being Indiana Jones – Hua Hin, Thailand

Even though this experience was more of a day trip from Hau Hin, it was still close enough to the place where I set up my base to include it in this area of Thailand. I had a lot of fun on this first trip out of Bangkok, getting to explore the country a little more, and it just showed me what little treasures I could find as long as I took the time to find it.

#8 – The Journey to Ring in the New Year – The Holidays Day 13

This was actually the first post I had during the 2019 year, and it told of the story of the struggle I had making it to my brother’s house for the New Year’s Eve celebration. Snow can be a beautiful thing, but not if you have to travel through it dumping down out of the sky on a holiday night known for people drinking too much and taking unnecessary risks.

#7 – How is This Not a Thing – Itaewon Day 2

I had many unique experiences during my time living in South Korea, but one of the most unique experiences was being sat down in an enclosure with a bunch of meerkats in a cafe in the middle of downtown Seoul. The Meerkat Friends has been in operation for over a decade and it is easy to see why so many people enjoyed a post about cuddling with a bunch of the furry creature.

#6 – Massive Explosions – The Move Day 15

Only one thing can beat cute, furry creatures, and that is blowing things up. It is kind of a tradition in the United States anymore, and it is always a fun to be able to spend it with my family. I was especially impressed with the creativity that went behind some of the fireworks, and I am also impressed with how big, and loud they have gotten over the years.

#5 – Ice Cream Asian Style – Back to Japan Day 1

Who knew a pair of chopsticks and a small cup of Hagen Das would have been so intriguing? It was another one of my posts inspired by my trip to Japan and this was even before we were able to experience the sakura. Funny thing about this post was we found a small little spoon in our bag from the store after we finished eating our ice cream.

#4 – You Can’t Go Back to the Green – The Holidays Day 20

I am always surprised by what posts connect with people and which ones do not. This post was supposed to be a throw away about a day at I had to spend on campus of my old college getting some paperwork taken care of, but for some reason, people kept coming back to it over the year. I guess they feel the same way about that lyric to that Billy Joel song that I do.

#3 – The Legacy – The Move Day 1

This was my final farewell to a country that I had lived in for four years. It was a bittersweet departure. During my years at the school, there was a lot of talk about “Leaving a Legacy” behind, and this was my response to that idea while saying goodbye to all of the people that I had met and grew with during my time there.

#2 Downtown Bangkok

Making the move to Bangkok has given me an opportunity to explore a new corner of the world, and the city of Bangkok has so much to offer that it might take a couple of years to get to it all. This was my first attempt at making a dent into seeing what this city is all about, and I am sure there will be many more to follow.

#1 – The Arrival- The Move Final Day

There is nothing like moving into a new place. It is full of excitement and potential, but the only way I could share this moment with my family and friends was to write this post about it. The amount of people checking into it was almost like having a house warming party except I had not quite unpacked yet. It was still fun to show everybody the interesting artwork that was found in my bathroom. He has got a name now too, Smoke.

Honorable Mention – Bend Sucks! Move Somewhere Else – Around the World Day 39

When I published my first book, I was told that you would never know what would take off, and what would die in obscurity. This post has found a life of its own. There is hardly a week that goes by when I do not have a person look at this post about a funny bumper sticker I saw while in Bend, Oregon a couple of years ago. It has turned into the most widely read piece I have ever written, and I am interested to see if it continues to make a presence in the coming year.

Thank you for visiting me site this past year, and I look forward to seeing more of you next year.


Ice Cream Asian Style – Back to Japan Day 1

What do you do when you get back to your hotel after a long day of traveling with a little snack of ice cream, and you don’t have a spoon to eat it with? Well, all of my years of camping in Colorado has taught me one thing. You adapt and conquer. You go through all of the stuff that you collected throughout the day of travel and find something that will work for you.

The parking lot at Incheon International Airport early on a Saturday morning

Yesterday was one of those crazy travel days that always kept me going, but I knew in the end it would be worth it. I would be traveling to Japan to search for the cherry blossoms that everybody talks about. They are supposed to be one of the things that everybody must see in their lifetime. It makes it on all of the travel bucket lists, and they are supposed to poke out starting this week. So I took the recent Spring Break opportunity to hop over the Sea of Japan to go and see them. The day started out early at Incheon International Airport, and I thought that I had planned correctly, nobody would schedule a flight that early. Boy, I was wrong. Many people must be on Spring Break right now and looking to find their own adventure in East Asia.

A look of the main street in Nikko, Japan

My goal for the day was to eventually make it to the Japanese mountain town of Nikko. It is a two hour train ride outside of Tokyo, and is one of the hidden gems of Japan. It is filled with old temples, and great Japanese architecture, and you do not have to compete with the crowds that you would find in the busy Japanese cities. It doesn’t have the cherry blossoms that Tokyo is famous for, but I have a whole week to see them, and this would be the perfect to ease into the week. The only problem was in order to get there I would have to hop off the plane, get on a subway, and then a train, and then a smaller commuter train if I wanted to make it there in time for dinner. It meant to keep going all day long.

Government building in Nikko, Japan

Because of the busyness of the Spring Break, the time that I thought would have to sit down for a quick bite to eat was taken away from me by standing in airport lines, and figuring out how to book the trains that I needed to make it to my destination. The only thing I could get to eat along the way came from a convenience store in the Tokyo airport. Luckily, I was in Japan. Even if you buy a couple of rice triangles to eat, the person behind the counter will stuff your bag with napkins, chopsticks, and salt and pepper. I didn’t know it at the time, but this little gift would become important later on.

Ice cream with chopsticks

So it came back to my original question. How do you eat your ice cream when you do not have a spoon? Well, you adapt and conquer. You go through all of the things that you collected through the day to see what might work as a substitute. When you find it, you eat it Asian style with chopsticks. They work just as good as spoons.