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travel + culture

on the road and what's out there.


goodbye tokyo! (hello Bangkok!)

Caitlin Surakitbanharn

the whisky is all gone.  

our time in Japan has come to an end.  we are packing our home up, and on Monday, we leave.  the sun will set on Japan and will rise in Bangkok, Thailand for us.

i thought there would be sadness in saying or writing those words, and i'm sure on our last day here, i will be sad and i will cry to leave our beautiful home.  it was the first home Jao and i shared together. there is so much LOVE in this house, so many good meals at this table, so much laughter and joy and pure happiness here.  this was the first place that was home, together.

but the time has come to pack it up.  things here deteriorated quickly for us, and the longer we stayed in Japan, the more we realized it's awful reality.  the extreme racism, the sexism, the totalitarianism, the apathy, the lack of love and passion, the lack of personality.  it's a sad state of affairs here in Japan, particularly in Tokyo, and i, for one, am happy to be leaving this all behind.

that being  what a 2 years it has been.  it's been a wild, insane adventure.  so many amazing people have come to see us, we've had so many great days/nights, and nights that turn into days.  we've seen so much, learned so much, experienced SO MUCH.  it's impossible to even put into words how much fun we've had here.  and while things ended pretty negatively....for every terrible experience we've had (and we've had many)....for each of those...we've had 15 incredible experiences with some of the amazing and beautiful people of this country.

a picture is worth a thousand here's the highlight reel.

hours after i landed.  this was our first meal together in Japan.

party on.

this picture is the most special to me. it was an extremely important, private moment, and i will love this photograph for the rest of my life.

sweaty, post workout, eating our favorite soba noodles.

a baseball game with Declan!

selfies in Harajuku.

dinner in Takamatsu.  shortly after this photo was taken, i spilled an entire box of couscous all over the table and floor.

The Nutcracker ballet.

hanging with Juan and Kinoshita-san

being silly at Illuminations

Ueno Park during sakura season.

trip to Nikko with classmates!

we summited Fuji!  finally!!!!

a matsuri in the 'bu

in it.

Love exhibit.

Dad came to visit!

my sister came to visit too!  yakitori in Yurakacho.

a wild night with Alex and Jen!

no one remembers taking this.... all you can drink wine gets ya.

Alice in Wonderland (truly)

my 27th birthday, headed to a beautiful onsen.

Birthday breakfast at the ryokan (japanese breakfast is no joke!)

this is a more realistic view of our everyday life.  taking trains and me eating chocolate.

enjoying the fall leaves.

Karaoke nights.

visiting the emperor's palace.

kimono life in Kyoto.

our honeymoon in Yakushima.

after i got my tattoo in Nakameguro during sakura season.

visiting the Yamazaki distillery!  


jao's folks visited and we traveled the country together.


Disney Sea!

Jason and Eli, good friends :-)

cruising around the Izu Penninsula

Christmas Morning :-)  

this is where we watched the sunrise on Christmas. it was the most magical christmas morning of my life.

waiting for the first train at 5 am after dancing all night!!!

alex and max stopped in for some noodles!

Robot Restaurant with Bryce!

Tokyo, my love

the Schaffer/White clan crushed Tokyo like none other.

they were hungover.  i was wearing leggings? 

Nalisha joined us briefly!

all black (kimono) everything.

hanging out with Genki.

thai mojito buckets with T, Michie, and friends

my sweet Genki-bear

so much love, you guys. it has been spectacular.

and with that, we're off.  

it's time for Bangkok.  

so long, Tokyo.  it's been real.