tokyo and st petersberg monuments
Osaka, Japan on the left and St. Petersburg, Russia on the right

Well 2012 hasn’t even started yet and I am already excited about my travel for the next year. Living in Germany, I get five weeks of vacation, this is perfect because it allows me to cultivate my healthy travel habit.

If you follow me on twitter you know that I am heading to Japan for two weeks in late February/early March. I found an amazing deal via Aeroflot for 477 Euro round trip. While in Japan I will visit Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo, traveling within the country by train. If you want to know more about Japan, everyday on twitter I will be posting interesting facts like these:

  • Slurping your food is encouraged, it is a sign that you enjoyed your meal. If you don’t slurp your host might be offended.
  • People greet each other with bows, ranging from a nod of the head to a full 90 degree bow. Deeper bows are for formal situations, showing respect, the nod is often shared amongst friends.
  • Cab doors in Japan are automatic, do not touch doors with your hands, the driver presses a button from inside the car that open and closes the door.
  • Speaking of cabs, the drivers wear white gloves and sometimes surgical mask.
  • There are vending machines on almost every corner that sell anything from hot food, panties and vacation packages.

You can follow many more tweets leading up to my departure with the hashtag #japanfact.

I just booked another trip seconds ago. Airberlin is having a Christmas sale to multiple destinations (it ends Dec 15th). I am going to St. Petersburg, Russia for a long weekend in early June. The ticket was 114 Euro round trip!!! I will have additional cost because I need a visa AND an invitation letter. Russia is tricky to get into, depending on your country of citizenship, so I will be sharing tons of tips for Americans while I prepare. I have mentioned before that visiting Russia alone intimidates me but the Panda might come along.

My early June trip will coincide with White Nights, the period of 80 days during the summer when the sun barely sets in St. Petersburg. Due to the long summer nights with pleasant weather there are tons of festivals and parties throughout the street. Many travelers deem this the best time of year to visit St. Petersburg.
I am so friggin excited.

So that’s it for now. Stay tuned!!! I have my sights set on Kenya for later in the year!

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15 Responses to My Travels Plans for 2012…so far

  1. Oneika says:

    Now you're MY travel idol! I've been dying to go to Russia!!

  2. Nikki says:

    Wow! Your Russia trip is giving me total wanderlust. I would love to visit during that time. Looking forward to hearing some tips about the visa process and what it entails!

  3. @oneika stop playing you know you can catch a quick flight to russia…oooh wanna come with ? 🙂

    @nikki i am already getting nervous. reading stuff like this makes me a bit scared :

    Russian authorities will not allow U.S. citizens to depart the country if their visa has expired. Travelers must wait until a new visa is approved, which may take up to 20 days. Please verify the expiration date of your Russian visa, and leave Russia before your visa expires!

    oh lord i need to start working on this NOW. just to be on the safe side.

  4. Oneika says:

    Can't though I wish I had talked to you before because I totally would have come! Going to Norway for the long weekend June 1-5 🙁

  5. I would love to go to Japan! It's definitely on my list 😀 I love the little facts! I'm gonna be looking out for those haha. I knew slurping had to be a positive thing, they slurp a lot in the Korean dramas I watch so I assumed it was a good thing in their culture. I like the fact that you don't have to be super proper..because seriously, people like to chow down! 😀

  6. Nikki says:

    Yikes! I had a crazy layover in Moscow once where I was sure I was gonna miss my connecting flight (flying Zagreb – Moscow – Cairo…totally ridiculous flight but very cheap, with Aeroflot actually!) and one passenger totally scared me about how I'll be screwed if I miss the connection because I don't have a visa and they don't let you sleep at the airport and all this stuff. I was totally frazzled by it and thank God, I made the flight. Anyway! I'm sure everything will be fine! And very beautiful in Russia for sure 🙂

    Also just want to mention, I'm loving the interesting facts about Japan!

  7. Diana xoxo says:

    I visited those three cities when I first ventured off to Japan almost three years ago. Now, I live in the country. There's quite a lot to see and do in all three cities, which I've been to numerous of times. You'll have a blast!

    Uh… just remember to bring a small hand towel and some tissue paper since most public bathrooms are tissue paper free.

  8. Rhona says:

    Sound so great. I have always wanted to see mother Russia and tried all the time to go while I lived in Germany but the timing never worked out. Cannot wait for your update.

  9. Adam says:

    I am so jealous you're going to St Petersburg! I want to visit Russia so much – hopefully AirBerlin will have another sale soon and I can snag a ticket as well.

  10. If I am not out to sea while you're in Japan, better let me host you in Tokyo for a day. If I can't, I know some cool people that would love to.
    About the slurping, this is untrue. I was told this when I first moved here. In no ramen restaurant I've been to, have I heard people audibly slurping.
    One thing to be aware of here is getting the "X." And I'm not talking about coming here and joining the Nation. The "X" is the symbol that they give foreigners here when you are not welcome in a Japanese establishment or the person doesn't speak English.

  11. Shells says:

    I'm jealous. You're heading to two countries that are very high on my list of "to vist". Although I must ask, what have you heard about Russia? I am often warned that if I do travel to Russia alone I should be mindful of skinheads who have no qualms about harassing blacks.

  12. @ follow you hart really no slurping. maybe this has changed in the last 3 years cause i have heard from people who live there that slurping is whats up. the X man what? yes you will hosting me or hooking me up with a guide. this was already my assumption. LAWLS

    @adam you can go! its a hop skip and a jump from berlin

    @shells yeah i am worried a bit about russia too but st petes might be okay. i might recruit the boyfriend to come with but i will contact the tourism board and hopefully they will be of assistance.

  13. Shells says:

    Good. This world can be a crazy place so be safe! I look forward to reading about your experience once the trip is over. You seem like a girl who can stand up for herself so hopefully you'll be fine. Those idiots only tend to prey on people weaker than themselves.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Both of you are my travel idols.


  15. Anonymous says:

    You two should meet up. Sisters in travel.


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