2014 – The Highlights

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
― George Bernard Shaw

(No German version this time, sorry ;))

As the year has slowly and quietly come to an end (except for a small earthquake before midnight), I had some time to think about the best or most important moments for me in 2014. So, here is my top 10:

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1. I turned 30. Of course this had been long expected, but it made me think a lot about the future, what kind of a person I want to be, where I am at that moment and in what direction I want to go from now on. When I was in my twenties, I always thought that I would already have an answer for all that questions, when I became 30. Now, I am still looking for them, but maybe with a little bit more self-confidence 😉

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2. My brother visited me in Japan in April. He has never had any interest in this country before, and he probably wouldn`t have visited it, if I wasn`t living here, – but he liked it a lot and we had an awesome time together. Showing him around, it also made me realize again what I like about Japan.

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3. Before I moved to Tokyo I lived in a town of only 20.000 people somewhere in the countryside of Japan. It is a very quite area, and you can hardly see any people walking on the streets, – except for one week in the year (the „Golden Week“ in April/May), when there is a huge porcelain festival being held, and suddenly hundred thousands of people visit the town. I always enjoyed seeing „my“ town come to life during this exceptional time of the year.

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4. I travelled to Yakushima in May. You can read all about why it was such a special journey here.

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5. I passed my shodan Kyudo test after a year and a half of practicing. Doing Kyudo (Japanese archery) always helped me to relax and calm my mind. I am a little bit sad that I didn`t have the time (and courage) yet to continue practicing Kyudo in Tokyo again, but maybe in 2015 I will get back into it.

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6. I travelled to Seoul for a week in July in order to study Korean, meet some old friends, do some shopping and overall to prove to myself that I can still travel on my own and find my way around even if I have a hard time communicating with people. Mission completed 😉

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7. In August I left my small town in the countryside of Saga prefecture, where I had been living and working for 2 years, to move to Tokyo. This of course meant a huge change for me. I loved the people in Saga, who had welcomed me so warmly, and had (and still have) some difficulties getting used to the anonymous and busy life that waited for me in the big city. Nevertheless, what made this change so much worth it, was the fact that I was able to finally end my long distance relationship, as we can now see each other every day 🙂

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8. I travelled back to Germany in September, to attend a very important wedding and to see my family. Of course, as long as I live in Japan, visiting my family and friends over there, and enjoying German bread and lifestyle will always be one of my highlights.

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9. My friend Yumi invited me to her (Buddhist style) wedding, which was a great and unique experience for me.

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10. Just a few days ago I came back from the prefect winter trip. We travelled to Nagano, where we could snowboard in powder snow, relax in the many onsen and saw the so-called „snow monkeys“ (that were also relaxing in an onsen XD), – but that is a story for another post.

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This was a year of many challenging as well as successful times, happy and also sad things happening. I am excited and nervous at the same time for all the new great experiences, travels and challenges in 2015! A happy new year to all you readers, too 🙂

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