Moke Lake, Jacks Point, and the many birds of New Zealand (gallery)

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Moving to Queenstown for the winter

New Zealand implemented a 4 tiered level system to denote what citizens could and could not do in each level and to expectation set during the pandemic. Honestly, auntie Cindy and her crew really freaking nailed it. Level 3 said people could expand their bubbles by 2 and you could move one direction. Meaning if…

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The Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival & our final days in Tokyo

Sadly this post is short and bitter. In true Joli Murphy fashion they cancelled the festival right before we arrived. We thought strolling near the river with the smell of sweet cherry blossoms was still going to be perfect…. …but of course the night we arrived in Kawazu a massive wind storm blew in… and…

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Kyoto to Mount Fuji: The long way round through Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Nachi Falls, and Hamamatsu Gardens

I know that title is a doozy, but we really packed a punch into 8 days. After crossing eating toxic fugu off our bucket list, the next items were seeing Mount Fuji and getting some thrills at Fuji Q Highland. We were killing time trying to time the Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival just right and…

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A narrow escape to New Zealand: How we made it to the best possible country just in time for lock-down

In October of 2019, when my then boyfriend – now husband, convinced me to quit my job and go traveling around the world with him and to apply for a New Zealand visa before I turned 30, I didn’t realize he had encouraged me to make one of the best decisions of my life. Five…

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Rest & Relaxation – Susami River Home & Staying with a Monk

After pushing it hard in Kyoto to do all the things, we desperately needed a break. That much needed break came in the form of a riverside home, spring weather, and staying with a wonderful Monk named Tomi. Our first Airbnb by the river, was a breath of fresh air out of the city and…

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Surviving Fugu – Eating Toxic Blowfish in Japan

Considering how much I talk about food on this here blog, it probably comes as no surprise that my husband and I will try anything at least twice. Eating fugu was on the top of my husbands food bucket list when we set out on our travels and had decided that Japan would be one…

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Kyoto – The Land of Golden Temples, Orange Shrines, & Bamboo Forests

Looking back on Kyoto now, it’s all a bit of a blur as we packed as much into 5 days as humanly possible. Making our way from Nagano to Kyoto, we made couple stops to break up the five and a half hour journey, including a one night stop at an awesome riverside Airbnb. Picking…

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Japow – From the Mountains to the Temples and Everything in Between

Japan is rich with culture and incredible food and experiences, and after spending over a month exploring almost the whole circumference, I could honestly write a blog for each day we spent there, which is probably what has stopped me from catching up on writing about it. For sake of a good enough job finished,…

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