I’ve reached my 100th post on this blog! To mark the occasion, I’ve updated my “About Me” to give you a bit more detail about my story and how I’ve come to be where I am. You can also read it below.
I hail from a small country town in Far North Queensland, Australia. My hometown is known for dairy farming, with a population of around 1,500 people – it’s one of those places where everyone knows everyone, and even if they don’t, they’ll say g’day to you anyway! I had a very ‘outdoorsy’ upbringing with my siblings and friends. My best childhood memories include climbing trees, floating down the river on tire tubes, riding our bikes up the road, mowing the yard with the ride-on mower, having sleepovers and playing with the dogs. The simple life! But even as a child, I dreamed of exploring the world. I wanted to visit everywhere from the French countryside, to Macchu Picchu, to New York city!
Although my mum is Japanese, I didn’t have much of a connection with Japan when I was a child. The first time I really developed an interest in Japan was on a school study trip in 2004, when I was 17 years old. I remember being fascinated by so many things – riding the bullet train past Mt Fuji, drinking ‘pure’ water from the ancient Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto, the massage chairs in Akihabara, taking purikura (sticker photos) with my new Japanese friends, watching a 4D movie at Universal Studios in Osaka, and lots more. After that trip, I went back to Japan three times on short trips. I was so captivated by everything that I wanted to experience everyday life there one day – the ultimate goal was to live in Tokyo!
After studying a Languages degree and finishing my Master’s degree in Teaching in Melbourne, I finally got the chance to make that dream happen. I got a job as an eikaiwa (English conversation) teacher and made the move in February 2011 to a city called Koriyama in Fukushima. I was super pumped that I was actually fulfilling one of my life goals! But, Mother Nature had the worst kind of surprise in store for us all. The disastrous Tohoku Earthquake struck exactly one month after I touched down. It was an extremely tragic and stressful time for everyone, but it taught me to value the gift of life more. I ended up relocating to Nagoya and transferring to another division of the company, working as an ALT (assistant language teacher) in public junior high schools. Despite the quake, I was still so happy to be in Japan. I think for about the first six months, I woke up everyday thinking, ‘I can’t believe I’m actually here!’. After two great years in Nagoya, I decided it was time to move on and reach for my goal to live in Tokyo! I successfully applied for a job as an English conversation teacher at a private high school, where I’ve been working since March 2013.
Moving to Tokyo marked such a huge milestone in my life that I was inspired to start my blog, Celia in Tokyo. I wanted to have a place to share photos that I take and stories I have to tell about this adventure called life. I’ve met some of the most kind-hearted people here in Japan, and experienced some once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that I’ll never forget. I have a lot of love for this country!
I hope that my blog helps you to get to know the Japan I know and love – past the usual sushi, trumped-playing robots and geisha – and possibly even inspire you to visit (or return to) Japan!
I’m grateful to all of you who are following my adventures here, as you motivate me to keep going! The blogging community is a unique one, and I really enjoy the interaction between and support from bloggers. I, for one, love reading blogs from all over the world about everything from cooking to sports to poetry to travel! As thanks, I want to do a special shout out to some of my amazing followers who visit fairly regularly and/or whose blogs I enjoy…
http://priorhouse.wordpress.com – A personal blog about a mix of different topics, like art and poetry.
http://neihtn.wordpress.com – Hien posts wonderful photos of nature and wildlife.
http://www.packingmysuitcase.com – A Brazilian living in Germany and travelling the world!
http://todaysperfectmoment.wordpress.com/ – Like me, Anthony’s an ESL teacher and he used to live in Japan.
http://johnliddlephotography.wordpress.com – An Australian photographer who’s also interested in Japan.
http://nrpin.wordpress.com – Nihar discusses some interesting topics like technology and the art of photography.
http://theexercisehitlist.wordpress.com – Beth is a mum to 4 young boys and has a goal to stay fit and healthy.
http://eatprayjade.com – The stories of a fun-loving, world traveller.
http://wisemonkeysabroad.com – A very active and inspiring Aussie couple, who have seen a lot of the world!
http://felinecreatures.com – A super stylish Chicago-based fashion blogger.
http://tonyj2japan.wordpress.com – A fire fighting Aussie with a passion for soccer and Japan.
http://krithya.wordpress.com – A Bollywood-lover who also takes fantastic photos!
http://shootingveniceandberlin.wordpress.com/ – Bruno is an avid photographer based in Venice.
http://ladycaladium.wordpress.com – A fellow English teacher here in Japan.
http://unclespikes.wordpress.com – Stories of life and photos from travels from the one and only Uncle Spike.
http://lemanshots.wordpress.com – Beautiful digital art by Josephine.
http://injimsgarden.wordpress.com – Bringing a backyard garden to life, in the most interesting and poetic way!
http://janalinesworldjourney.wordpress.com – The adventurous Janaline shares her fun and exciting travel stories with us.
http://merakigeek.wordpress.com – Amusing stories of daily life with 3 young kids and a cute kitten!
http://www.myseoulinbkk.com – Delicious eats in Bangkok, and other daily musings of a Korean expat.
http://www.haikugirl.wordpress.com – Everything you need to know about Japan!
http://thegreatamericanlandscape.com/wp/ – Beautiful, eye-catching photography of nature in America.
http://johncoyote.wordpress.com – Thought-provoking poetry by John.
http://peterlamphotography.com – Seeing the world through the eyes of this Danish-born photographer.
Derekuma (an email follower)
Most importantly… My family – mum and dad, my sister and older brother (and sometimes younger brother :-P )
Thanks to everyone else who stops by as well! Please continue to do so!