Wanderlust blog post from 2015

Very blessed to have had opportunities to travel abroad. I realize that I’ve never compiled a record of where I’ve been. This post will help me to remember and reflect…

My very first trip abroad was during my junior year in high school (yikes, dating myself.) It was a band trip to Tokyo, Japan. Unfortunately (or fortunately,) my memories of the trip are only of my friends and the hilarity. Yes, I was too immature to appreciate traveling to a foreign country.

It took two decades before I needed to renew my passport. I was blessed with the opportunity to accompany two of our Kapolei Elementary students on an exchange program with Amano Elementary in Osaka, Japan. What made it truly special was the hospitality of our homestay families. ありがとう。

I went on my very first missions trip. Truly blessed. It was to Okinawa with a team from Hope Chapel Kapolei. We helped with the launch of Hope Chapel Gushikawa. 🙏

Through the JEM exchange program, teachers and students from Kamehameha Elementary and Buckingham Friends (Pennsylvania) were hosted by Glendal Primary in Melbourne, Australia. Heaps of memories.

I was a tag-along (not a chaperone) on Metz’s Spring Trip to Europe. We visited Rome and Florence in Italy, then Barcelona and Madrid in Spain. Bella vita.

I went on a medical missions trip to Mae Sot, Thailand with a team from Inspire Church. On my way back home, I was able to meet up with my Compassion sponsored child in Makati, Philippines. “Best day of my life.”

Later in the year, I traveled to Beijing, China to participate in the RDFZ Xishan International Summit. Made lifelong friendships.

I took a solo, “YOLO” trip to Paris, France. Stayed in the café district. It was a dream-come-true…

Revisited Osaka, Japan and stayed with Daryl. I was able to reconnect with the Yasuda Family who hosted me in 2001. ありがとう。

Bucket list stuff. I chaperoned our Kamehameha High School’s International Relations Club to Machu Picchu and the Amazon in Peru. So awesome.

A few months later, I chaperoned our Japanese Club to Tokyo. We were then hosted by the Takahagi Friendship Association. Amazing hospitality. ありがとう。

I was blessed to chaperone our elementary’s children’s chorus to Aotearoa (Auckland, NZ.) Backed up the chorus on guitar. We visited Hobbiton and shared special experiences with the Bright Family.

Cashed in my HawaiianMiles and traveled to Seoul, Korea. Stayed in Hongdae and had such a great time. 감사합니다。

Just booked a trip to Sapporo, Japan for the Summer Festival. Looking forward to it!

Would love to visit Hong Kong next year, then Taikai in Okinawa in 2021. Hoping in the near future to see Vietnam, Istanbul, Marrakech, London, and Hiroshima. Ahh, wanderlust…


People who know me know that travel is my passion. It’s quite expensive for me, but it’s what I look forward to. I think I got the “bug” as a little kid. I used to live for field trips. It was getting out of the classroom and experiencing the surroundings with all of your senses. Mom also used to cook these great bentos for me. She would bust out the tin and fill it with musubi, fried chicken, and spam. I remember packing a frozen can of juice in aluminum foil.

Speaking of field trips, my best one came as a teacher. I was able to take students to Japan for an exchange program. I believe that homestays are the best experiences you could possibly have.

First trip to Europe was with a school tour group. Worked out great. We were always with a local guide, and we could skip lines at museums and attractions.

I have been blessed with opportunities to travel for free. Being invited to Beijing to present at a conference was a dream-come-true. I was also hosted by a school in Melbourne, Australia. Amazing friendships. Kamehameha Schools has occasionally sent me to conferences on the mainland.

I have been on missions trips to Okinawa and Thailand. These have been life changing experiences. I was also able to visit my Compassion sponsored child in the Philippines.

My favorite form of travel is solo traveling. I take one carry-on bag with me and immerse myself in that city. So freeing. You have to try it.

Only thing missing is mom’s bento…

Tracking my travels on this cork globe. Hope to add a few more pins soon…