Hello everyone!

I’d like to begin by thanking Stephanie for inviting me to guest post on her blog. I’m very appreciative for the opportunity.

For those unfamiliar, I’m Jak from across the brink at The Cryton Chronicles. I go by many names, though. EmoJak, Slowplay, The One True King. For all intensive purposes, Slowplay is the one best correlating with this endeavor. For example, the following is my reply to Stephanie in regards to when I could have my entry emailed to her to prep:

“I will try to whip something up, which shouldn't be an issue with the entire month of July available. That way there is a lot of time for you to look it over, and for me to tweak where necessary!”

So, now it’s the last weekend of July and I’ve finally begun! I’m a procrastinator, what can I say? She’s been a real sport about it all.

Speaking of Stephanie, I remember the day she stumbled unexpectedly into my life as though it was yesterday.

*Frantically rifles through past blog posts for no particular reason — especially not to pinpoint said event, which may or may not have taken place on May 26, 2013*

Ah yes, like it was yesterday. Her first words to me were along the lines of:

“Wow, real nerdiness!! Hard to find around here!”

“Wow” indeed! If that doesn’t warm the cockles of your heart, nothing will.

While I wish to stick to the preferred topics of choice, I quickly came to realize just how uneventful my life has been. I don’t have a “summer to remember” I can pinpoint that some people seem to have. A summer they shared with their first love, threw an insane party, or took a crazy trip; one for the history books of their personal memory rolodex.

My family rarely ever took vacations, and when they did they consisted nothing more of traveling up North an additional hour or two away, or just across the border into the neighboring state. I recollect (from what memories I can channel) a trip to Wisconsin Dells, but not specifically all we did there.

Now don’t go thinking I’ve never gotten out and about completely! I’ve lived in Washington for a while, on whim to live with a random girl I’d never met before (I’m THAT guy), before moving to live temporarily in Arizona where I worked on my tan and Spanish speaking skills (both failures, by the way). I’d love to tell the tale of my voyage to Florida for MegaCon, a multi-genre [read: geek] convention I attended a few years ago, but even that story is filled with some disappointments due to a certain relationship I was getting involved with during that time. Also, pictures — that I don’t currently have prepped — would be best for such a telling.

So instead, while Stephanie is living it up (hopefully no longer dealing with a broken toe), I thought I would share some of the places I hope to travel to before I venture off into the Great Beyond.

Japan: I’ve always been fascinated with Japan. This may have began after experiencing my first anime (which I knew as Japanimation) Akira. For years thereafter, I became obsessed with anime and was saddened many video stores failed to stock them for rent. Now you can find it everywhere, but my obsession has long since waned.

I’d love to learn about their culture firsthand, learn some Japanese, and travel to various locations visiting their castles and temples. When I think of their staple foods I can’t help but think of sushi and octopus. Over the past few months, I have delved into sampling a multitude of sushi meals and I have to say it isn’t anywhere near as bad as I thought it would be. Octopus, though? Yeah, no.

I think if I can keep my expectations balanced — sans epic samurai and ninja battles against the hoards of demonic entities hell-bent on destroying the world — I’ll have a great time!

Australia: This is another location I’ve really wanted to travel to. I’m even more ignorant of Australia than I am of Japan. Aside from their accent, I literally love the idea of seeing kangaroos, and being able to say I’ve officially explored the “outback” and been “down under”. Sooooooooo yeah. I always think of surfing too, which may be cliche and unfounded? I really have no idea. I know I wanted to learn how to surf when I was a kid, but not too keen on the idea any longer.

My father and aunt have actually traveled to Australia and said it was beautiful. They then proceeded to talk about the gigantic cockroaches that chilled in their hotel room, and that maybe sullied the moment.

Either way, I feel a walkabout is in order at some point.

Europe: This is kind of broad, but I have no specific single destination I’d want to travel. There are too many, and hopefully I would be traveling with company able to organize a game plan. I’d be fine with anywhere as long as there were castles on the docket. I love the plentiful variety of accents, languages, and culture to be found, but I’m all about the castles. I’d want to visit as many (and possibly stay overnight in as many?) as possible on my trip throughout Europe. I’m sure that would be pretty cost intensive, so it may be some time before this dream comes true. 

Maybe once I write that next best-selling novel, right? Right.

There are many more locales I’d enjoy experiencing, but that small sampling should do. To be honest, as infrequently that I travel [read: leave my apartment], I’d fancy an adventure to just about anywhere.

I thank you all for listening to my rambles.

And I just wanted to thank Stephanie again for allowing me the chance to guest post on her blog! Sorry it took me up to the last minute to crank something out. I work best under pressure? Hope your vacation has been amazing and I look forward to hearing (and seeing) about it upon your return, as I’m sure everyone is!
Have you ever visited any of these locations (assuming you don’t specifically live there)? If so, what were some of your favorite moments? If living there, are there any events/locations you would highlight and highly recommend visiting if in the area? Where are some locations you would love to travel to? Any specific reasons why?

*Me*: I have been to Europe, since I've been born here, but there are still so many places I want to see here. I want to see the lavender fields of the Provence, I want to have a cappuccino in Rome with my husband, want to see the dungeons of Hamburg, and the midnight sun in Iceland. I herewith offer you a space on my couch or my guest bedroom, once we have one, if you want to come visit Germany at some point, Jak! Our area here is beautiful and I love it, even though I still miss Washington, nothing can compare with the scenery there! If you decide gracing us with your physical presence one day, we'll take you Erlangen and Bamberg, check out the Roman Limes, and relax in Franconian Switzerland. Interested??
Thank you again so much for standing in for me, Jak! It was well worth the wait. Thank you for reminding me of this day in May, and I still stand by my words, thank you for improving the nerdiness out here in the blogosphere, along with Lizzi and a few others. If you want to know what I mean, visit him over at The Cryton Chronicles!