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Life in Transition

written by Traipsing Terra March 30, 2016

It has been too long since my last post, but I am going to blame that on the fact that I am in the middle of a transition. I have never been very good at dealing with transitions. To some that might seem weird, but for me it’s hard to say goodbye, hard to think of the future, and just plain hard to move from one reality to the next.

Thankfully, the only time my emotions have really gotten the best of me was my last day at school with the kids. It was so hard for me to say goodbye to the tiny humans that I had spent so much time with this year. When it was time to say goodbye, words disappeared and the tears started to roll. All of this emotion, and the process of moving out of my house has made my desire for writing shrink. It has been easy to skip writing a post in favor of hanging out with friends and going out exploring or going to that bar or restaurant we always wanted to try. I have been really lucky because I made some pretty amazing friends in Japan. More so than my time in China, and many of these people I hope to stay in touch with in the future. However, it does make it harder to say goodbye.

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Another part of transition that I don’t like is packing. It is also my least favorite thing to do, mostly because I am probably the worse packer of all time. I over-pack and am always so unsure of what to bring, and I know it’s inevitable that once I get to my destination I will think, “why did I pack this and not that.” I have also accumulated way more here than I did in China, so there are more boxes being shipped home. (Sorry Mom, but thank you for always being so kind and letting me store things.)

With change also comes a breakdown in my routine. My morning runs become fewer and fewer, and I find it harder to get in my daily yoga, mostly because of small hotel rooms and airbnb apartments. Although I love to travel and see new things, I am also a creature of habit, and working and having a home allow for daily routines. Obviously, I will find a new routine during my travels, but it is hard to develop a new daily routine.

My time in Japan has been amazing. I have seen so many wonderful places, met so many wonderful people, and had the joy of getting to know 30 wonderful little humans. Part of me would love to stay another year to watch them grow and see more of this beautiful country. But another, bigger part of me would also like to continue traveling and seeing more of this world while I am young and don’t have too many things keeping me in one place.

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Japan is a beautiful country filled with kind people. I will miss so many things about living and traveling here. Here is my list of top things I will miss:

  1. The cleanliness
  2. The efficient forms of public transit
  3. The consistency of great food and beverages
  4. The hidden temples and other gems you can find everyday
  5. The connection to the changing seasons and nature
  6. The politeness and kindness of people
  7. How safe it is to travel anywhere, anytime
  8. The occasional amazing outfit and cosplay costumes you encounter.

My time here has allowed for some amazing experiences, but I have so much more that I want to explore in this beautiful country. I can say that I will be back to Japan someday to see and do the things I didn’t have time for this time around. Here is a list of the things left undone during my time here, and what I would like to see next time around.

  1. The Japanese Alps– I love hiking, and was hoping to make it during the summer to do some trekking, but never had enough time off from work to make it there.
  2. The giant penis festival– It happens in Tokyo every year around the end of February/March. It looks like a fun and strange time all around
  3. Exploring Osaka– I only made it there once, and all I have really seen is the airport, a breakfast place and the castle. But I know there is so much more to see and do.
  4. Climbing Mt Fuji– This was almost my #1 desire when living/visiting Japan. I love climbing mountains, and I already climbed the high point in Hokkaido over the summer, so I must conquer the high point of Honshu.
  5. Okinawa—Obviously, I would love to see the tropical side of Japan.
  6. Cat islands– There are so many around Japan, and I never made it to one. So next time I must visit at least one
  7. Rice planting– This is a big part of life in Japan, and I would love to try it.


Of course, every time I travel I end up with a list of new things to see and do the next time I come that is just as big as when I started. That isn’t any different now but I saw a lot, met lots of wonderful people, and it was a great opportunity for me. So what’s next you ask? Stay tuned for the final reveal of all that is planned in the next 6 months!

Are transitions hard for you? How to you deal with big changes in life? Do you often leave a country wanting more? 



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Justine March 30, 2016 at 3:36 am

Oddly enough my big life/moving transitions have left me feeling kind of numb. It’s kind of odd how easily I can just pick up and move and never look back. That being said I think I’ve failed to create a strong community/ties in the places I’ve lived! It’s awesome that Japan ended up being a good experience for you (it looks stunning!!) but I’m super excited for what’s coming next for you guys. I’m also really, really jealous 😉

Traipsing Terra March 30, 2016 at 3:40 am

Strong community is mainly what makes it hard. Leaving China wasn’t as hard, because I didn’t have that strong community. But I have to get better at this considering this is the life I want to live. Maybe with time it will!

Harold Tice March 31, 2016 at 1:47 am

Always something new and different along the way!

Japan is very civilized.

Traipsing Terra March 31, 2016 at 2:07 am

Thats true!

Ellen Troyer May 20, 2016 at 12:36 am

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge with it move with it, and join the dance.”
Alan Watts – Zen and the Art of Happiness

I love reading your blog. Surely a travel publication will ask to publish some of your pieces. Love, Ellen

Teaching English in China and Japan | An Interview with Terra Tice - The Traveler's Tale | The Traveler's Tale September 9, 2016 at 8:02 am

[…] and I have the company of Terra Tice who hosts her website over at TraipsingTerra.com. Terra is originally from California, and has recent experience of working as a teacher of English […]


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