Arriving in Tokyo, Japan I was stuck by how a city can be so clean and quiet and yet so bright and lively at the same time. Small independent bars that seat only 8 people line Golden Gai streets, each with it's own theme and feeling. 24 hr sushi restaurants mean that you will never go hungry in this big city. The ski hills in the north island's area of Hokkaido lived up to their reputation of "Japow". Powder so deep that if you fall on a snowboard getting back up again can take a while and don't worry about lift lines or crowded runs, because there are so many different areas to ski that there is an open run for every taste. After a full day on the mountain coming home to a relaxing onsen, (a natural indoor or outdoor hot spring bath) to sooth the muscles, and a multi course traditional Kaiseki meal to not only feed the belly but the soul makes it hard to ever leave this place. Japan is a place I already can't wait to go back to full of hospitality, natural beauty and food to die for.
A quick escape to Puerto Rico, might just have been a life changing experience. While I have traveled to many (39) countries, Puerto Rico struck a chord in my heart. The ease of traveling to a tropical island, that still has the convenience of being a US Territory makes a trip to Puerto Rico an extremely approachable destination. Amazing surf, white sand beaches, a tropical rain forest and incredible snorkeling and diving topped off with beautiful smiles and welcoming people. While this trip was part work and part pleasure, the soothing sunsets and warm sea water made it an experience of reconnection to all that which is important to me.