My 50th Trip Around the Sun

Today I am either 18,615 days, 2,652 weeks, 612 months, or 51 years old. Any way you look at it, it’s my birthday!

Most people tend to make a big deal out of turning 50. Some throw ‘over the hill’ parties, and tell ‘old fart’ jokes, while some change the way they look at things, and others just change the way they look. Some see it as a new lease on life and make resolutions, and some want to buy some time in hopes of restitution. Whatever way they commemorate it, it only marks that one day out of their lives. While I agree with the old adage of take it “one day at a time”, when I approached that ‘one day’, I thought of it as more like coming in for a landing in some unknown territory on a 365-day tourist visa. No itinerary, no guidebook, and most importantly, no reservations. Just a journal, a camera, and a desire to live a life worth recounting in rapturous vignettes.

So during my 50th year, I moved from Seoul to Osaka, took a new university teaching position, started learning Japanese, traveled to 7 out of 47 of Japan’s prefectures, enrolled in SIT’s International Teacher Trainer’s certificate program, returned to the U.S. for a family reunion (after being away for 4 years), celebrated my 21st wedding anniversary, adopted a Pomeranian puppy, revamped and revitalized my blog site (, co-authored a book chapter on Linguistic Landscapes in Educational Settings, and just yesterday, booked a summer vacation to Sri Lanka!

morning flight to 51st yearWhat tomorrow will bring, nobody knows, but you can be sure that I am ready to go. Tonight’s sleep is my fuel, the morning’s sunrise is my ticket. I am packed with passion and pluck, and don’t need anyone’s permission. I have no set plan; no definite destination, and most importantly, no hesitation. Just a weblog, Photoshop, and a calling to celebrate every day of my next trip around the sun!

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