Happy New Year! 2016! It's our year!
Are you having a nice break? I can not tell you how nice it is to be able to sit down and listen to this as I post some pictures from late 2015.
It all happened ridiculously fast, but at the start of October 2015, I was flown to Lithuania by Now Japan to give two presentations about life in Japan. Those of you who follow my instagram would know about this already, but being 1/2 Lithuanian and 1/2 Australian, I was invited to fly to Vilnius for an all-expenses-paid trip to the motherland.
After my father passed away in 2013 I don't have any family connections with Lithuania anymore. In fact, my last trip there was in 1998 with my Dad. So, as you can imagine, this trip was important and emotional. I was incredibly lucky to be selected to take part in this conference. Revisiting Lithuania with this group was honestly the best possible way to revisit!
The Now Japan festival had a team of 70 volunteers who helped us 'guests' with anything. From picking me up at the hotel, driving me around, showing me local cafes, and on my last day in Vilnius they even drove me to the countryside so I could take photos of cute little colourful huts! I can not possibly tell you just how amazing it was to revisit the motherland with the help of these wonderful volunteers. I made friends with the cutest girl, Dovile, who is a few years younger than me, and as we walked the pebbly roads of old Vilnius, she told me stories of how she recalls her life when Lithuania became independent. It could have just as easily been my life, I thought.
I have so many photos to show you, but to start with, let me show you just a few.
Transferring in Amsterdam.
View from my hotel in Lithuania.
Old Soviet style decor in my Lithuanian hotel.
Lithuanian hotel breakfast. Eggs in baskets, a million cold meats and cheeses AND BROWN BREAD!!! Sooooooo rare in my Tokyo supermarkets. AND herrings. My grandmother used to cut cucumber like this. I almost cried when I saw this hotel breakfast set up.
Lithuanian hotel breakfast. Eggs in baskets, a million cold meats and cheeses, brown bread!!! (BROWWWWWNNN BREAD, GUYS! Sooo rare in my Tokyo supermarkets) and herrings! My grandmother used to cut cucumber like this - See more at: http://iconosquare.com/viewer.php#/detail/1081668563994433494_3481556
Guys, do you die for these cuties? On my first morning in Lithiania I was whisked over for a TV interview at Body Talk studio.
These girls had the cutest studio and were ridiculously sweet and creative. Can you imagine being flown from Tokyo and within hours of landing in Lithuania, being taken to the coolest place in town? I felt soooooooo incredibly lucky! I was pinching myself in the bathroom as I retouched my MAC Lady Danger lipstick ready for the film crew. How did I end up here? Life can be weird and wonderful.
After my first TV interview it was time to explore Vilnius on foot with the team.
Dovile colour matching in Vilnius.
I met THE BEST people!
We sat riverside and I ate zeppelini, which I hadn't eaten since Mr Y and I ordered it at the Lithianian Club in Bankstown, Australia. Ahhhhhh, so amazing.
THIS is the grand stage that I presented at during the conference!
As soon as I got a break from the interviews and presentations I snuck out to take photos. This is one of my favourite shots taken from the tower down the road from my hotel. Such incredible colours.
It's hard to take a bad shot in Lithuania.
I have so many other shots I want to show you from the Lithuania trip, and then I popped over to Amsterdam and have so much to tell you about that trip, too!
Stay tuned, Sandwiches, and a very happy 2016 to you!