The Year of the Tiger – Travel Trinkets and Memories Challenge #1

Challenge Outline

Being a big fan of several Photo Challenges, I am going to try and host one myself. I am not sure how long it will last but would love it if you could take part!

Over the years as I have become a more experienced and seasoned traveler I have come to realise that my travels are not all about shopping! The people, the places, the experiences, the culture, the food, the music, the customs and all that is different and exciting are what stay with me and my memories and photos are what I collect now.

However having said that I do like to collect one or 2 little things that remind me of places and as I look around my living room I see small trinkets that take me back to my travels and ignite memories of places, people, noises and smells. In a recent One Word Photo Challenge post I used a trinket as a lead in. It got me looking at all my other trinkets and thinking about past adventures. I’d like to take a few weeks, months maybe a year to introduce some of these small trinket treasures and share the memories.

If you would like to share some of your travel trinkets and memories please feel free to join me and post a link on my page. I’d love to join you in you retrospective travels and love you to revisit these memories of places with me. I am going to try and post one a week some please join me.

It doesn’t have to be a travel trinket maybe just a trinket of some kind that jogs your memory. Please check out other peoples posts! I know I love it when people check out my posts on other challenges. It is appreciated and encouraging.

So without further adieu here is my first  Trinket.

1986 – The Year of the Tiger

This wee fellow was bought in 1986, almost 30 years ago on my first ever overseas trip, and my first of many trips to Japan. It was the beginning of a life changing trip and a long time love affair with Japan. He is a very special trinket to me!

I came to Japan with my college classmates and we worked the summer up in the mountains at a ski field which was running a NZ promotion fair. Our major was Japanese and Tourism so we were let loose on the poor unsuspecting customers. It was on this trip that I realised what language learning was all about, communication and interaction and it was fun!

We had a ball. I remember staying in hostel. Our first breakfast had eggs and a bowl of hot steaming rice. I remember us all sitting at the table, eggs in hand and chanting ichi, ni, san and cracking the eggs on the table. Oops they weren’t hard boiled, Japanese eat raw egg on rice sometimes for breakfast! The next day we carefully cracked our eggs over the bowl, only to find the hostel Obasan  ( aunty) had hard boiled them for us! I wonder if my friends still remember it?

There were lots of fun miscommunications like when the customer at the B and B I helping at asked could he have a bath and I thought he was asking would I take a bath with him! The look of shock on my face must have made him realise what I was thinking so he kindly rephrased the question so I understood!

There were incredible summer fireworks over Lake Suwa and great camaraderie. It was a summer to be remembered and for many of us life defining.

I came back in 1987 for 5 months on a working holiday and ended up staying for about 10 years. During the time my love of travel was developed and finely honed.  In 1997 I went returned home and upgraded my qualifications and taught Japanese in NZ for 12 years before taking time off for year travelling. Then I found myself back in Japan and here I still am. Loving it!

The year of the tiger is etched in my brain and it was a great year!

Yoroshiku Onegai Shimasuimages (1)


PS. I am now going to dust the poor wee fellow after looking at those pictures!

11 responses to “The Year of the Tiger – Travel Trinkets and Memories Challenge #1

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  4. Hey! Liked your post and the idea! I might participate, too 🙂 I’ll be back! And I loved reading about your 80’s memories! No wonder you speak Japanese, you’ve been at it THAT long! Wow. I’m bad a perseverance, I always start something then get interested in something else…

    Liked by 1 person

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