Happy New Year – 明けましておめでとうございます

January 1, 2011 · 6 comments

I’d just like to wish a happy new year to all my readers, I hope 2011 brings everything you hope it will ^_^

Just a regular arcade in Tokyo

As for me…

I shall be staying in Japan until October this year, so I got a good 9 and a half months left in the land of the rising sun thanks to my working holiday visa and stable job. After that I will spend a couple of weeks in South Korea and make my way back to the UK for Christmas and bring in the 2012 new year.

I don’t usually make a new years resolution beyond ‘just carry on being happy and do cool things’ which is what it’s been for the past few years and has worked well for me. Previously before that every new years resolution I made I forgot what it was let alone to actually do it. But this year I’m going to be more specific and name a ‘cool thing’. So my resolution this year is to learn the Japanese language to an intermediate level, preferably closer to fluency. Never before have I had the chance to spend so long consistently in a foreign country with a different language (constantly having to go in and out due to visa reasons is a pain), so I’m going to take advantage and actually make a good go at Japanese. I’ve learnt a little since being here, but not taken it seriously as I can’t seem to focus on one thing as I’ve set myself many tasks to do (this website amongst others for example).

A second language (yes I’m ashamed to say at the moment I only really speak English well) is useful in general so it’s never a bad idea to learn one. Japanese isn’t overly common around the world so one may question it’s ‘value’ but I’ve spent my entire life influenced by Japan within my hobbies/interests and they all would have been enhanced with knowledge of Japanese. From video games on the NES and Sega mega drive to the modern PS3 and Wii, to martial arts, Japanese cars, anime and manga. The small country in the far east brings a lot to the world table and many a time have I heard people utter ‘I wish I knew Japanese’ in these circles of people interested in these things.

Maybe I’ll never have an interest in anything from Japan again, but that is highly unlikely given what they’ve done for the past 25 years. So this in my opinion is a superb language to learn and maybe even one I’d get the MOST use and enjoyment out of over the rest of my life.

So I’m going to get my head down and study a bit. Handily whilst being in the country I can get out and practise it too. So updates across this year will be on my travels in Japan, especially nearer the end of the year. Because I have a full time job, which is in an isolated area (I’m 1000M above sea level on a mountain) I don’t get much time and chance to travel far. But as you are reading this, I’m actually celebrating new years in Tokyo, so will have some interesting bits to write about Japan’s capital in late January at the very least.

As for AdventureRob.com – it is mostly going to be the same. I have no plans for an update this year, if it isn’t broke don’t fix it as the saying goes. Although I’ve started to use slightly bigger photos on posts (450px wide as opposed to my original 412px wide) that is the only noticeable difference, I believe bigger pictures make better articles and unless I majorly overhaul the sidebar design I can’t go much bigger than that.

I will also update the categories to the right in the menu at some time too (as there is too many currently and it’s becoming cluttered), but that will be subtle and I don’t expect anyone to notice. It’s more to make it easy for new visitors. Lastly I have a new idea on introducing a new style of blog post (for me). It will be ‘A thought on _<subject here>__’. I think humour is a strong point for me and being a bit of an observer on life this kind of post will be good. It’s difficult to chuck personality into posts like camper van cooking tips and reviews. But travel stories (see m. favourites in the menu to the right) are a lot easier – however interesting stores don’t happen that often so I need a new way of venting my personality here.

I will hopefully bring an update on my attempts to make money online (what is working/what isn’t) and concentrate on that for a month or so. Maybe that will come a 1/4-1/2 of way through the year. One more thing I’ve not mentioned yet is as I live up a mountain, although I have the disadvantage of isolation, I have the advantage of being next to a ski resort. The company I work for also has a good relationship with them, meaning I got a seasons ski pass for 15000Y (which is around US$150 or £120) – that is FIVE months of snowboarding for a tiny low price. Not to mention the free daily transport there and the fact there is an awesome second hand shop in the nearest town to me, so I’ve picked up nearly all of my snowboarding equipment for a small amount (again around the $150/£120 mark). So you can bet I will be taking advantage of this which gives me something fun to do, helps my fitness, I can listen to Japanese learning audio while doing it too. On the whole, life should be good for me this year and it’s quite nice to have a plan in place for it too.

So – do you have a plan for 2011 or are you making it up as you go along? Let me know and have a happy healthy new year!

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Alouise January 1, 2011 at 7:30 AM

Learning Japanese; that’s a pretty cool New Year’s resolution. I usually stick to the general ‘continue to strive towards being totally awesome’ as a resolution. But maybe I should think of something more specific. Here’s to a great 2011.

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AdventureRob January 3, 2011 at 2:04 PM

Thanks Alouise! I seem so busy at the moment (also holding down a 40-hour/week job), but I really don’t want to put learning Japanese on a ‘to-do’ list, it needs time and attention.

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Effortless English January 2, 2011 at 9:25 PM

All the best in the New Year!
Effortless English´s latest blogpost – What is the best way to learn English

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AdventureRob January 3, 2011 at 2:04 PM

Thanks! You too!

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Vi January 4, 2011 at 7:29 PM

Happy New Year! And enjoy your year in Japan.
Vi´s latest blogpost – Don’t keep all your warm clothes inside checked luggage

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