I’m not completely sure what the overlap is like between my YouTube channel and my blog. If you’re following my acne update videos, then a lot of what I’m about to spill here won’t be news. You know how rough it’s been, especially the last month or so. You know my usual chipper personality took a punch to the gut over how severe my acne got. You know I reached the end of the line. Making the decision to go back on Accutane was deeply challenging on multiple levels. But I have to give myself one last chance.

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I’M BACK. No, I didn’t stop blogging because it all got a bit too difficult. And I didn’t stop blogging because I got lazy (although, I have been living that potato life today, can’t even lie about that). I took a few weeks off due to going overseas, and while I should have been a bit more proactive and planned ahead, written a bunch of posts and scheduled the lot – I also had to make a choice. Work on my blog, or work on my YouTube? Well friends, take a guess which one won that battle?

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I thought I’d be over this by now. And to be honest, for a little while, I was. Less than a year ago, my skin might have been scarred but I had absolutely no active acne, and I went outside without makeup on. And not just down to get the mail, I went shopping. Shopping without my mask on. I still felt self-conscious, red, raw, marked for life… but I felt confident enough, brave enough. But it was short lived; my acne returned, and reached a point I felt was even worse than my teenage years. Good God, what the hell is going on?!

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Festival camping kind of sucks. It’s cramped, it’s noisy, it’s dirty, and if it’s rainy weather then God help you if you’ve pitched under a tree. But there are plenty of things you can do to make your life easier, quieter, and legit fresher. Today, I want to take you through a few of the tips and tricks I’ve learned that will hurl your life out of Fuji Rock festival camping hell, and into some kind of serenity.

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This post will only be interesting to about 0.01% of you. So, soz to anyone who isn’t keen on festivals (or camping!) But I am EXCITED! In less than a month, I’ll be back in Japan, rocking out at the Fuji Rock Festival. Now, I’m not going to pretend that I know all there is to know about this festival, but this will be my third year at the show, and I reckon I’ve got a few bits of ‘inside info’ that can help anyone attending. This is Part 1 of 2 about Fuji Rock. Next week, I’ll let you know all about how to be a festival camping pro! 

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JET Programme reverse culture shock. A.K.A.: Welcome to hell, punks. My old prefecture of Yamagata included a warning about it in a booklet to the departing. It was like reading possible side effects on a bottle of medication: you may receive some, all, or none of the above, but it’s best to be aware just in case your hair starts falling out. If you spend a year on the programme, then the side effects will be kept to an absolute minimum. Your Japanese adventure will be more like an extended working holiday, and just as you feel like you’re getting used to having IRASSHAIMASEEEEEEEE screamed at you every time you enter a store, you’ll be hurled back into your home country. But stay a minute longer, and you may find those reverse culture shock side effects stacking up.

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Welcome to the depths of my ‘draft’ folder! I wrote this listicle over a few desk-ridden days at my school in 2016, and I wasn’t sure if I should release it. Even now, I’m bound to cop some crap for it, but being an ALT in Japan can be a real mixed bag – my experience was, over-all, fantastic. No regrets. But does that mean it was always top notch? Hell naw. So, to all incoming JETs, and all alumni, here’s my take on the top 10 unexpected quirks of ALT life.

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Has all your hard work, sweat and tears finally paid off? Have you, at long last, received your placement notification for the JET Programme? HOORAY! SUCCESS! But how many of you also found yourself saying “Google, where is *such-and-such*”? Are you now suddenly petrified, confused, worried, stressed and thinking “Hell. No.” Rest assured, you’re not alone – so let’s talk about it.

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