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A World Traveller Is Born

Living in Japan ignited that spark deep inside me to explore the world. Taking the huge leap to leave all that was familiar and cozy to the Land of a Million Quirks was daunting, to say the least. I managed though Japan itched and bit me at times. But it was nothing that a little Calamine lotion couldn’t fix. Having a strong network of family and friends back home and in Japan plus Skype were my remedies against massive culture shock attacks.

Most of the Japanese people I’d met had had their passports stamped with at least ten countries. Places like The Maldives, Kazakhstan, Peru and even Antarctica! Back in Montreal I had only imagined a life of travels to my ancestral lands of Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago. Since I was a toddler my parents were dragging me to the Caribbean to give me a taste of how they had lived before moving to Canada.

Then I was invited by my Filipino friends to attend their cousin’s wedding on the island of Bacolod. We spent three rollercoaster-ride weeks being hauled along to family fetes and nature adventures. There were seven of us. But venturing out on my own???

So, one day, while I was on a not-so-weird Japan train ride I decided that whether or not I had a travel partner or not, I would try to visit as many places – not just countries – as I could.

And the adventures began…

What are some of your best and worst travel adventures? Share them below. I’d love to hear them!


Weird Japan Train Rides

I love Japan. I love Tokyo. I absolutely loathe train and subway rides in Japan.

I lived in Japan (Sagamihara, Yokohama, Tokyo and Yokosuka) for over 10 years but never got used to sitting or standing so close to so many people. Those stories you hear about riding rush hour trains in Japan are TRUE!

Living in central Tokyo was easiest because my commute to work was generally less than 30 minutes. But moving south to the seaside city of Yokosuka was a practice in patience and breath-holding (bad b.o.) on those 90-minute trecks.

Here are just a few of my many Facebook rants that I shared with my friends from 2012. Naptural Born Traveller’s da da daaaaaa Weird Japan Train Rides – Best of the Best!
[quote]Ok…yes, I have large breasts but geez are they that spectacular?? Good Lord these 3 guys standing over me are drooling! The 1 one guy has his crotch in my face and is glaring at my chest and I just stepped on his shoe. He looked at me like “what?” So I shooed him away. I think he got the point. If he comes closer I will hurt him bad! 10/01/2012[/quote]

Nothing wrong with picking your nose and ears in private but do we need to see it on the train… 9/18/2012

Hey ignorant racist lady/man, I’m not going to attack you, I don’t smell bad and I’m not going to ask you a stupid question. I know you want to sit down and the only available seat is next to me so sit your f$&kin ass down! 9/17/2012

Aye aye!! Ojisan (old man) just get fresh with me on the Hibiya line. I offered my seat to him and he accepted but there was still room for me to sit so I sat. He says “sumimasen” and moves his arm next to mine to compare our skin colour and then quickly steals a rub on my arm! He have me a toothless grin and said “ii ne!” Man, he was too charming and fast for me and he lucky he wasn’t younger and pervier or else I would’ve slapped him! 8/23/2012

[quote]So they’re turning off the lights inside the Keikyu Line to save power. I just hope this doesn’t make things more romantic for the perverts! They better not do this at night! 7/9/2012[/quote]

It’s a huge problem when everyday you see men groping women on trains and the women stay silent. Culture is one thing but seriously, it’s not an excuse. I’m not a citizen so it shouldn’t be me to make changes. Tell me, my Japanese friends, what is being done to make women more confident about speaking up on sexual predators?? And what more is being done to teach men/boys how to respect women/girls?? 7/5/2012

It’s shame that wherever you go in this world warm weather brings out the stinkiest souls. #foul 7/5/2012

[quote]Something to think about if you live in Japan (YES THAT MEANS MY JAPANESE FRIENDS TOO!!) This message is from Joel Assogba (I couldn’t share it with the button so I cut and paste it):

Super Mario is not a Monkey
A Message to TBS- Television (TBSチャンネル):
On a Japanese TBS Television this morning (July 1. 2012), in a show titled 「アッコおまかせ」 “Akko Omakase,” broadcasters compared the Italian Soccer player of African origin, Mario Balotelli, to a MONKEY. How can this be possible in a society which is counting itself among the the G7?

If they compared Super Mario to a Monkey, then the…y must think of all of us, Black People as Monkeys. I have heard this stupid comment so many times from ordinary people on streets and bars, but if a national broadcasting corporation allows its broadcasters to make such RACIST comment, we have to sue them.

My Black Brothers and Sisters, and all our White and Yellow Brothers and Sisters that really want to make this world a better place; stand up and act. Call the television station to complain, write to newspapers to complain, get together and make a demonstration to speak out loud against Blatant Racism…  7/3/2012[/quote]

I swear! I’m so angry and I wasn’t even the victim! I’m sitting down on the train and in front to the left is a school girl. Just behind her I see a man’s hands sneaking behind her. He thought he was smart because he wasn’t rubbing her but he was caressing her skirt with the movement of the train. So when she thought she felt something he moved! I yelled chikan (perv) and he shook his head and I told her to be very careful. When he got off he bowed to her and me..Steups!! 7/2/2012

Walking through Yokohama station with the crowds…I swerve fast in front a lady approaching me (head down and reading). She looks up and instead of letting me just pass she speeds up and therefore I collide hard into her. She yells in English “EXCUSE ME!” and I keep walking (I had 1 minute to get my train) and don’t look back. I think I’m right what do you think? 6/27/2012

[quote]It appears to be that my chest has calmed the beast in Mr Crazy Ojisan on the train…he was talking to himself loudly until he sat across from me and saw something he liked…no I’m not flattered, I’m too tired to change seats. 6/21/2012[/quote]

Just had to tell some over made-up, LV-toting, spoiled party girl to “stop pushing me” and 「押せないで!」 because she seemed to believe that I was a frickin literal pushover! So her and her friend proceeded to try to bad talk 外人…that’s when I turned on my music and ignored them…I am so done with ignorant bitches. 5/31/2012

No it’s never ok to walk out of the bathroom without washing your hands! 5/9/2012

Last train home is l a t e 🙁 4/28/2012

Tell me why there are so many drunks and psychiatric patients on the Keikyu line at this hour??? 3/29/2012

Lol just got bombarded by 15 youngsters on the Ginza line with 20 questions! They were so cute! Why is your skin chocolate? What is your favourite animal? Do you like your mommy? What’s in your bag? 3/23/2012

Why on earth must people cough and sneeze without covering their mouths?? 2/10/2012

I go to Eneos for my weekly kerosene fill and this time the guy hands me a huge ripe daikon along with my change! Lol 1/25/2012

STOP the madness! Stop snorting snot loudly stop coughing/sneezing without barring your mouth! Nastiness! Maybe it time for me to leave lol 1/18/2012


My frustration was quite apparent in some of these status updates. Have you had your fair share of weird train rides in your city? Share your stories below 🙂


I Love Trinidad Carnival

[quote]I. Love. Trinidad Carnival. #thatisall[/quote]

Trinidad Carnival is hands down the closest I have ever been to heaven! Blasphemy, YES, I know and I will not apologize. It is one thing to be a spectator on the streets on Trinidad’s capital Port of Spain. Stand around, snap photos of the sweaty masqueraders, bop to the thunderous bass of the Soca music on the big trucks. It is another – the ULTIMATE – to play mas!

To really understand modern Trinidad Carnival you will have to get the Caribbean island nation a few days – preferably on Fantastic Friday – before all hell breaks loose. You’ll need to drop allyuh (all of your) inhibitions and worries about your size and weight. You’ll need to lime (chill with allyuh friends) on Ariapita Avenue (De Avenue), eat ah Bake & Shark at Maracas Beach, go to ah All-Inclusive Fete, play Jouvert, play Monday mas & Tuesday mas – ALL without sleep!

Psst… this is the tour I’m going on > Trinidad Carnival Tour 2014

I stress modern Carnival because there are many beautiful and interesting historical facets to the festival that many newcomers do not know. I will touch upon certain aspects of traditional Carnival here leading up to Trinidad Carnival 2014.

Have you ever played mas? Have you ever been to Trinidad and Tobago? Leave your comments below 🙂

Gallery images by Nabwood Fotos

[map width=”400″ height=”300″ lat=”10.6661700″ long=”-61.5165700″ zoom=”8″]



[quote]I’ve chosen two Adinkra for the NapturalBornTraveller logo. I first learned the origins of these beautiful symbols on my trip to Ghana. Adinkra represent values and proverbs from the Asante people and can be found everywhere in that West African country. Fabrics, signs, furniture, wall hangings – you name it – EVERYWHERE! [/quote]

The symbol on the left is called Duafe (dwa-fay) and refers to feminine beauty and nurturing. It speaks to me because I am proud of my naptural/natural hair and the symbol looks like an afro pick that is so commonly used on black hair!

Next to Duafe stands the geometric-looking Adinkra called Nea Onnim No Sua A, Ohu or ‘He who does not know can know from learning’. Not to toot my own horn but I am a very resourceful woman. I LOVE learning and sharing my knowledge.

I fell into teaching by accident and I am so grateful for listening to a good friend of mine who encouraged me to move to Japan years ago. Teaching has allowed me to use travel to learn not just about languages and cultures, but also about myself. Learning to curb that ego and learning to listen and learning to just BE…

Which Adinkra speak to you?

adinkra cloth symbols

[lightbox type=”image” title=”” href=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-rO52n8O6g7U/UFA4JlVkC3I/AAAAAAAAA9k/2WumkX4zYKQ/s1600/adinkra+cloth+symbols.jpg” youtube_id=”” vimeo_id=””][/lightbox]

[map width=”200″ height=”200″ lat=”7.946527000000000000″ long=”-1.023193999999989500″ zoom=”4″]


Hello World

Hello and Welcome!

I’ve been procrastinating for ages and finally I present (TADAAAA!) Naptural Born Traveller!

This is a blog to document my travels and travails – past, present, future. Join me on a fantastic voyage as I show you where I’ve been and where I’m going!

So far I’ve been to these countries:
[list type=”map_pin_fill”]

  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Canada (by birth)
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ghana
  • Grenada
  • Guam
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Thailand
  • Togo
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United States of America
  • Vietnam


Where in the world am I going next???