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My Quarter Life Crisis

Today marks 25 years of the world being blessed by my presence. The day of my birth was a momentous occasion, with almost every Australian cracking a beer, or three, to celebrate my arrival. My birth was so important, they commemorated the moment by gifting me an exclusive silver spoon and declaring the day a national holiday. Yes, they might have labelled the 26th of January as Australia Day, and claimed its roots somewhere in antiquity, but I know it’s really a celebration of my amazingness. After all, Australia wasn’t truly a great country until I came into being. And now that I have left Australia, well it’s really started to go downhill once more. Actually, that raises a good question; If I was god’s gift to Australia, why did I leave?

It’s as simple as this, as much as I was doing for Australia, Australia wasn’t doing much for me. The only thing Australia had provided for me was friends, family and epic sunburn during the summer months. And as much as I appreciated two out of those three things, to quote a certain Disney character, I wanted adventure in the great wide somewhere. And although Australia has an abundance of wide open spaces for exploring, the lure of foreign lands was too strong. So, with a Disney medley playing in my head, I headed for the land of sushi and Hello Kitty for my current adventure. However, it’s still just an adventure and I’m still uncertain about my place in the world. At 25 years of age I’m having an identity crisis. So, move over midlife crisis and make way for the millennial quarter life crisis.

Mt. Fuji
This picture of me on a rock has nothing to do with having a quarter life crisis. This is because me sitting in a corner rocking back and forth unfortunately doesn’t make for a cute photo.

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One year in Japan

A little over year ago now, I received a phone call. As I was supervising a class of first year students in a chemistry lab, I left the phone call to go to voice mail, while I rushed to ensure the laboratory wouldn’t be blown up by my students’ slight incompetence. The class having finished with no one minus an eyebrow, but many complaints about my marking of lab reports, I finally checked the message on my phone. Expecting a telemarketer, I was surprised to hear a gruff voice, belonging to a man I had met once before at a job interview. The voice informed me that he might have an opportunity for me, and could I please call him back as soon as was convenient.

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Melissa’s Guide to Transitioning to Life Overseas

It’s official, I’ve been in Japan for 6 months. What started as an unexpected opportunity has turned into a hectic whirlwind adventure and I wouldn’t have it any other way, or would I?

I would be lying to you if I said my life in Japan was perfect. It can sometimes be overwhelming, confusing and embarrassing. However, it can also be amazing, exciting and a great learning experience. I just sometimes wish there was a handy guide book on how to make the transition into living overseas a little easier. So, being a legitimate expert after living in a foreign country for 6 months, I decided to write the guide book for you.

So, here is Melissa’s Guide to Transitioning to Life Overseas.

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 Melissa’s super helpful guide to hiring (and wearing) a kimono in Japan

So, you’re in Japan and everyone keeps asking, have you worn a kimono yet? Why not? You’re getting a little sick of the questioning and therefore decide to bite the bullet and find somewhere to wear a kimono. Finding somewhere turns out to be fairly easy because during your wanders in Kyoto, every second shop seemed to be a kimono rental place. However, a new problem is raised, you don’t want to be the only white girl wearing kimono, because you already get enough looks for being white without going for the whole “Memoires of a Geisha” vibe. When your friend comes to visit from Australia, you therefore tell her we’re going to wear Kimono together, because it’s something everyone does in Japan.

Does this sound like a familiar problem to you? Well, probably not because you’re likely reading this because you think Japan is cool or because I titled this something really awesome and it piqued your interest but then you realised I click-baited you (I didn’t mean to, I swear). Or maybe you’re more like my friend, where you were interested in wearing a kimono but don’t know how to go about it without local help. Well you’re in luck, because this is:
 Melissa’s super helpful guide to hiring (and wearing) a kimono in Japan.

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Melissa’s Guide to DIY Passport/Visa Photos

Hi everyone and welcome to the newest section on my blog, Travel! This section has been created because I am moving to Japan on the 21st of September, 2016. This move has happened really suddenly but I wanted to share some hints and tips on how to live and travel overseas (you know, once I’ve actually experienced it myself).

The first post I have for you is how to save yourself some money by taking and printing your own passport/visa/identification photos. You’ll need a lot of these pictures if you’re planning on moving overseas, so any money saved here can go directly back into your travel plans.
Keep reading below for how I created these DIY passport/Visa photos.