Posts Tagged With: pre-travel

Ghibli – say it fast three times.

The good thing about going home after my stint in the Bangkok hospital was being able to sort out our Chinese visas. After a bit of Googling, it seemed like a long old process but it turned out to be rather simple. More simple, almost, then getting tickets to the Ghibli Museum. It’s a good job I did go back as we’d have never known that we needed to order/reserve/pay for our Ghibli tickets long before we arrived in The Land of the Rising Sun. Take note if you’re thinking of Ghibli-ing it.

After our journey out of the city and into the suburbia of Mitaka, we followed the signs to the museum. The entry is staggered throughout the day to ensure an enjoyable experience for all. Then in you go and you get your ticket, which is an amazing start. Each ticket is three cells from a Ghibli film. Having only seen Spirited Away and Ponyo, I didn’t recongise mine – Ashley tells me it’s from Princess Mononoke, one of their most famous– although I did recongise his ticket cells from Ponyo!

The first room is full of awe-inspiring film and animation related displays; including a carousel of solid figures in slightly different positions spinning under a strobe that gives the impression of moving models, a giant robot juxtaposed with projections of moving butterflies, a house with a Ghibli film image behind each door and a model set of Miyazaki and his crew. All of the films and reels were visible as part of each exhibition, which makes you view the film as more of an art form in my opinion.

The rest of the museum is a Wonka-styled, child and big kid friendly building, which you’re encouraged to view as you wish. This includes a replica of an animation studio, a Cat Bus (there’s one that kids can clamber on but also one that adults can walk through) and a roof top garden complete with a giant robot.

It’s a very cool place, but maybe a little small for all the preparation involved in getting tickets. Having said that, perhaps this makes you appreciate what is there all the more. Like I said, I’ve only seen Ponyo and Spirited Away, and it did make me want to watch more Ghibli films, however, if you’re reading this thinking “Who’s Ghibli? What’s Ghibli? When’s Ghibli?” then maybe it’s not worth the preparation involved. On the other hand, anyone from a Ponyo and Spirited Away novice like me to an uber-Ghibli fan like Ashley is bound to enjoy the place.

Sadly there’s no photos allowed inside so this is about as good as it gets on the photo front…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Categories: East Asia, Japan | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

This time next week…

…I’ll be on a plane to Singapore from Saudi Arabia…hopefully.

This week I’ve been double checking the visa situations in the countries I’m planning to visit. You don’t need to apply for a transit visa for Saudi Arabia – oh, that is if you’re there for less than 18 hours.

I’m there for 21.


Ok then, so it looks like I’m gonna need a transit visa.

Right, scroll down the page….you cannot apply if: you’re a lady travelling without a male relative.

Oh right, ok, brilliant.

So am I going to be detained?












Thrown to the wolves that are so common at all international airports these days?






I’m hoping none of the above. I have no choice but to risk those three teeny weeny hours not causing me any problems. And then, this time next week, I’ll be on a plane to Singapore from Saudi Arabia…hopefully.

Categories: Hometown, South East Asia | Tags: , , | 4 Comments


It’s gradually sinking in. Just how long I’ll be away from people I’m so used to being around, routines I’m so used to following…

It’s starting slowly, the realisation hit me this morning that I won’t see my boyfriend’s mother for 6 months. But I’m still blissfully unaware of how long I’ll be away from him, or even my own mother!

I’ve tutored French and Spanish to pay for the bulk of my trip and my first last session was today…if that makes sense?! I finished with one of my tutees – the first one I’ve finished with…hopefully that’s a bit clearer! Why are we finishing? Because I’m nearly leaving!! < That’s it sinking in!

Then I went to my second class of the evening and she took a photo and I realised that this is my last hectic Wednesday!! I’ve cursed the late Wednesday for ages now it’s over and I’m going to miss it! So at 8 o’clock next Wednesday, and the Wednesday after that, and the next Wednesday after that, I will have eaten my dinner by 8pm rather than walking though the door to heat it up. Nice thought but also kinda sad – I think the word I’m looking for is bittersweet.

Categories: Hometown | Tags: | 2 Comments

Frantic ebaying!!

After months of waiting, and smiling sweetly at the continual “not long now’s”, and thinking “Oh, I’ve got ages to wait before I need to start buying the little stuff”, it’s now actually rather close and ebay is calling for last minute tops that cover my shoulders (not only to avoid offending the locals but also to keep the sun burn peel at bay!), travel adapter plugs with USB holes and all sorts of things that I purposefully left to the last minute….hang on then, am I now in “the last minute?” ooooo!

I’ve been lucky enough to spend last weekend with my fiancée friend Grace at Whittlebury Hall Spa (closed this weekend – when we originally wanted to go – due to the Grand Prix at Silverstone!) and to be whisked off to Paris next weekend by my amazing boyfriend so it still feels like a while until I head East.

But maybe, this frantic ebaying is a sign that I actually do accept, even subconsciously, just how close I am to heading out to Singapore. I think so. 🙂

Categories: Hometown | Tags: | Leave a comment

Hello world!

So here we are. Less than 4 months until I leave for Singapore, my springboard to the rest of SEA.

  • Saving cash? Check!
  • Injected? Check!
  • Everything else I need? Err…not quite….I think the to-do list is longer than the done list at the moment!…

To- Do List

  • Buy backpack
  • Buy maleria tablets
  • Buy travel insurance
  • Buy all those things I see in the travel shops that will most definitely, undoubtedly have a purpose somewhere along the journey. Yes, they will definately get used…

Ooo, maybe only slightly longer, that’s positive!

Question 1 is normally “Where are you going?”. Well, I have no set list but lots of ideas. Hopefully…

  • Malaysia
  • Indonesia
  • Brunei
  • Philippines
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Cambodia
  • Laos
  • Vietnam
  • China


  • Myanmar
  • Japan
  • South Korea

I guess only time will tell.

Categories: Hometown | Tags: | Leave a comment

Blog at