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Ever Busy, Ever Traveling

It’s been 4 months since I wrote a traditional blog post so let’s get caught up with what I have been doing since December:

I’ve mentioned my desire to visit 10 countries in Asia while I have been in China for work and I really haven’t had a chance to go anywhere internationally – more of a lack of pre-planning due to the nature of my work I usually only get 2 weeks or less notice before I think I can take some time off. So my trips have been short but sweet.

In December, I had my assignment extended from December to May and as a result I had to go through the visa renewal process which marooned me here in Shanghai until the last week of December. Too late to plan a New Year’s trip, but I did manage to get places in January.

First up was Harbin – home to the famous Ice Festival. it was the coldest weather I have ever experienced, but it was a great time with some co-workers and certainly a bucket-list item that I wanted to do while I am in China. The photos I posted were just a small sampling, and I should really be better at posting photo galleries.

Next up: Daniel made a return visit to Japan and we rendezvous at Narita airport and spent a great long weekend together. Japan is truly a place that belongs to us and I can’t separate the two because they will always be linked. We went retro and inexpensive and stayed at our old hotel Kazusaya. She was looking a bit worn but there was something familiar and fun about being there. We visited Tokyo Disney resort of course, but the highlight was a visit to Aokigahara, the Sea of Trees, at the base of Mt. Fuji. It made me miss our road trips and I look forward to the day when I am able to just hop in the car and go somewhere.

The last trip I took was at the end of February to Sanya on Hainan Island in Southern China. It was a quick weekend trip to someplace warm. I had Sanya, Taipei, and Seoul on my short list of quick weekenders to check off some countries and for that weekend it was the warmest. Sanya is a beautiful place and I am sure there is a lot more to see than what I got to see in my two days, but I was glad to see the 4th largest statue in the world.

Besides those trips, my life has been working long hours on my project which can be tough, but thankfully I really love what I do so it is that much easier to get through. I have been extended once more to the end of July, so I hope I can keep going after my country count. Three places that I really want to see are Singapore, Thailand, and Cambodia – and that might be what my end of assignment trip is – unless I can get there sooner.

As for Shanghai life, my good friend Eric has made the trip out the Shanghai to work for a few months, and that has improved the quality of life dramatically. I am happy to have his company along with the others who have made this journey worthwhile.

Now that I truly have a for-sure end date, my thoughts turn to the future and I am excited to think about what lies ahead. New car, new home, and there is a Jarre concert tour coming up in the fall – will he finally come to the US? I doubt it, but I did some serious contemplation about making a trip to see him in concert!