Author: Ben

Aussie born, quarter Japanese, blogger, traveler, minimalist, adventurer, designer, snowboarder.
Career Versus Travel: What should I do?

Career Versus Travel: What should I do?

Ah, the ol’ career versus travel dilemma. I want to travel. But I don’t want to make sacrifices in my career. Can I even find a job overseas? What about car insurance, or my phone contract? And exactly when should I travel? Where do I even begin?


Career Versus Travel

When I first moved overseas I went and worked in Myoko. On my days off I snowboarded for these beautiful views.


Ahh, the age-old question: career versus travel. And its one that I’ve griped with for the past few years. I want to travel, but what about my career?

To be honest, my future career is undetermined. It’s shakey and uncertain. It’s a little uncomfortable but I have the faith in my future and liberty to shape my life with travel as I live out each year. If something goes wrong I have a Plan B to share (continue reading to find out), and as long as trust myself to find a way forward, then I will continue to travel.

Travel has shaped me into who I am today and continues to help me discover who I am. I sure as hell don’t have any regrets from my travels either. Travel might be the same for you, or it might not. But I’ll begin with some pointers below on some career versus travel issues!

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Hidden Tokyo: Cheap Eats

Hidden Tokyo: Cheap Eats

I can’t recall how many times I’ve stepped foot onto the platform of Shibuya Station. Nor can I recall how many bowls of ramen I’ve smashed during my 2-3 years of living in Tokyo and Japan. What I can tell you is that Tokyo is bustling. Bustling in its quirks, its people, its systems, its neon lights, its signage. Underneath the layers of bustling, out the back door and into the hidden pockets are the quirky hidden gems that construct this guide. It’s called Hidden Tokyo. This post on Hidden Tokyo is one of four travel posts about Tokyo. Refer to Hidden Tokyo: Cheap Eats, Coffee, Sightseeing and Nightlife as I continue writing them on purposize.


Tokyo Sushi

Sushi been done right.


Hidden under the surfaces of the metropolis are the best-hidden gems. I’m talking about community pockets, cultural festivals and serene little tea houses: contemporary, traditional or even both, somehow fused into the fabric of gargantuan Tokyo. I love it all. I loved living there. It’s such a unique city. And with it, are all the niche hotspots, cafes, cheap eats and cultural experiences that I think are a must-do if you aren’t the conventional type of tourist.

I have compiled a list of my top favourite Hidden Tokyo: Cheap Eats. So, buckle up, book your shinkansen ticket, get out your chopsticks, rub your ramen belly and get ready for Hidden Tokyo.

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The Power of Self-Awareness

The Power of Self-Awareness

You feel this extreme sense of curiosity to constantly discover who you really are.  You explore these curiosities to help find those passions. You understand and live up to your personal values. Nothing comes at face value. You always grab your thoughts and question them. You live with self-awareness.


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A friend of mine, Nicole, hosted a storytelling night in Brisbane. I saw Nic speak at a recent social enterprise conference and something drew me in to get to know this chick. She’s another dimension. Larger than life, brimming with wisdom, straight down to the earth and just has this incredible sense of self-awareness. On a warm Brisbane night, we were sprawled out in a nice cushiony circle of goodness with mood fairy lights and some funky chilled beats. The space was in a glassed off room in a converted office, and it felt cosy and safe. Even more so with the small group of 6 who had come along and I had only just met. But it felt as though we had already been really tight-knit friends.

Nic opens the space with a premise for keeping humans connected on a deeper level via storytelling. Nic offered the thought that we have lost our rites of passage and much of our lives and decision-making is filtered through a lens of fear. The intention I saw behind Nic’s message was that we need to be real. By being real, we can connect and communicate with one another on a deeper level. Her inspiration for our space is to share and connect using the power of storytelling.


During this space, I took some time to share my stories.  Stories that were brief but open insights into who I’ve become. From coming from a mixed racial background to childhood experiences of living with divorced parents and to finding myself into higher education. I spoke of how I felt my role was in society and also how I took my first step into leadership to not just serve myself but to serve others. And lastly, how I’m on a journey of self-exploratory and making a living through travel, and why I am sitting and speaking to my peeps in front of me.

As you continue reading, I hope you can find ways to discover self-awareness in yourself. I don’t claim to be a guru at this. I can only share some anecdotal formulas that have given me a greater understanding of who I am through my lived experiences.

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Understanding Our Boundaries

Understanding Our Boundaries

I want to go down a path of understanding balance and boundaries and what they mean for healthy relationships in life. I think boundaries don’t necessarily solve problems but are what helps nurture healthy relationships with the people you want to be around. Let me start by saying: Humans naturally suck at defining our boundaries.

We idealize having things in common, or spending heaps of time together with our partner thinking it makes us more compatible. Sometimes we’re narcissistic at our core and only put ourselves first because we believe we don’t have the capacity to let others in. We can compromise too much for others, or never compromise for others at all. We have great intentions inside, it’s just how we convey ourselves, and how other’s receive it that can cause a clash in values or understanding.

I want to introduce a concept that I use for my relationships. I believe it is foundational in order to feel balanced, stable, dignified and to love for yourself and others that you love.

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Travel by Teaching English

Travel by Teaching English

Graduation day was approaching fast, I was stressing over what I wanted to do in life. Getting a ‘real job’ and settling into the 9 to 5 was scary enough, and felt far too soon at my age.


Taipei 101, Taiwan – Credit to tingyaoh


After 3 years of being trapped studying full-time, I was hungry to do jet set out of Australia and do something exciting and purposeful. Travel had always opened doors for me, what harm could be in taking time to explore the world a little? So I hunted for programs to do overseas. What began as a short-term teaching exchange over summer ended up playing a massive role in the next few of years in my life.

I had left with very little preparation, zero expectations and an open mindset ready to soak it all in. I’ll admit, it was a little overwhelming at first – flying into a new country with a new job and home lined up for the next few months, but it was easy to start feeling the excitement.

My first teaching abroad experience was as a volunteer teacher in Taiwan via a 3 month exchange program. This later involved into studying a TESOL Certificate (Teaching English as a Second Language) and being offered work in China, to eventually finding professional work in Japan as an English Instructor. My experience is specific to Asia, however, English learners span across the whole globe too. Let me share some helpful ideas below.

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Minimize Travel Luggage: 5 things to do WITHOUT

Minimize Travel Luggage: 5 things to do WITHOUT

When I first left to go overseas, I sold or donated all my belongings, departing with a suitcase and skateboard under my arm. Ever since, I can’t help but de-clutter and minimize travel luggage every time I go abroad.


Minimize Travel Luggage

Next stop Canada and this time I’m only taking a carry-on backpack.


You’ve probably heard of minimalist travel packing, right?. Incredible feats of travellers minimizing their whole life’s belongings into a tiny backpack they sling over their shoulder and travel with a carry-on lifestyle. That’s pretty brutal if you’re new to the game. Ever tried packing your entire life into a carry-on bag, it’s exhaustingly tough. Anyway, minimalism isn’t an on and off switch. You don’t have to start with the extreme. I first went overseas with a suitcase. Several trips later I just take a backpack. Simply de-cluttering the non-essentials is a great way to take a step toward minimalist travel.

You know what things you certainly need, but here’s a quick list of 5 things to do WITHOUT to progress towards your minimalist travel lifestyle.

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