There are choices and pathways to take. You discover that following a storm a couple of years ago, the easiest paths may be closed, but you might only find out when you’ve walked through them for a couple of minutes. You’re excited for the adventure, wary, not sure how much you can handle or if you were completely awake when you made the decision to come here. But here you are.

The start is hard. Harder than you feel it should be. You may wonder if this was a bad idea, if you bit more than you could chew, if you had better give up now before embarrassing yourself.

Some parts are dangerous – this is not just a perception – you are risking a lot in this challenge. Have you strayed off your path? Check for signs and you will find them. When walking on such paths, you must keep your eyes on your feet, checking only the immediate next step. Looking forward or at the view is distracting and dangerous, it may cause a loss of footing. Looking back may be equally disorienting.

Stairs and steps may be uneven, narrow, slippery. Sometimes you may need to lean on someone or grab a helping hand. Accept help.

Accept the need for occasional rest. Rest is not ‘giving up’. To enjoy the view, ensure safety and stop completely. Rest is brief, it is only long enough to catch your breath. Don’t worry if you need to stop for a minute until someone gets by you.

Still the mind, listen to your own rhythm.

You won’t believe how far you’ve come, even if the road felt long and challenging. You won’t believe the view. Even if your body aches, you will look at the journey and feel proud.


A foodie goes to New York City –  there are several delicious things to eat. Too many, in fact. Do you know how they say ‘The sky’s the limit’? I guess it was born here.

Places that look like well-kept secrets, with hidden entry-ways and dark atmospheres, are always intriguing.  We met up with a local and went to Decibel. Finding the entrance is tricky, but look for a little ceramic flask drawing (what is known as a tokkuri) and climb down a couple of steps. Once inside, if you can get a crammed table in some dark corner, you’ll barely be able to see the menu, or each other. It gets quite loud at dinner time, but go with it. Just go. Go for the long list of sake and the tasty food. In fact you might feel quite comfortable with a glass of overflowing sake inside you. You might not be able to tell what’s in your dishes, but you’ll care less and less once you’re there. IMG_20150820_023447 IMG_20150820_023741I couldn’t quite get shots of the food, but here are a couple just so you can get a rough idea of the atmosphere. We had a seaweed salad, wasabi pork dumplings, some Japanese pancake of sorts (we couldn’t understand the flavours, but it was delicious), sausage, dried fish, warm tofu, and tuna sashimi accompanied by sake of course.