Jay Single


Jay Single

Traveling is my version of a reset button. It allows you to leave the hustle and bustle of real life and experience a different way of living with new people, cultures and encounters. Below are some of my trips including Thailand in '09, South Africa in 2012, two working trips to Arctic Canada, China in 2013, and finally Japan in 2014. I've also traveled to Europe for 2.5 months with the infamous Brad Kerr, the beach escapes to Hawaii and Mexico, and a few road trips across most of Canada and down the west coast. Enjoy!


Asia » Japan » Okinawa April 24th 2014

As you may have noticed, Japan has been a pretty busy time for me as I was eager to experience as much as I could. So my final stop being the crystal blue waters and white sandy beaches of Okinawa and the surrounding islands would be a welcomed pace. All that I had planned was to make my way to a quiet island, relax, and do some scuba diving, and I was definitly looking forward to it. My first two days on Okinawa honto (main island) was a bit disorganized, as I made a mistake booking a hostel deep in the suburbs, so I had to move around a bit. However, I managed to check out another melancholy site, and that was the Okinawan Peace Park and Memorial museum. I appreciate war history, so I thought ... read more
The Cornerstone of Peace
Ama beach
More Beach

Asia » Japan » Osaka April 19th 2014

I was pretty relaxed after Koyasan... Almost too relaxed, so I thought it was time to mix it up a bit in Osaka. After the great deal of temples I had already visited and reading my guidebook a bit, I was somewhat relieved to find that the main sight in Osaka that I was interested in was the entertainment district of Dotonbori. Osaka is essentially the Toyko of southern Japan and has been an economic hub for decades especially due to its close proximity to the sea. Unfortunately, my hostel was located on a bit of the outskirts of the main part of town, which some might consider a "rough part". With that in mind, if this was the rough part of Japanese metropolis, I would happily take it any day over the "rough parts" I've ... read more
Neon of Osaka
Carp Superfans

Asia » Japan » Wakayama » Koyasan April 16th 2014

As I parted ways with Kyoto, it was a pleasant farewell as I was looking forward to expanding my introduction to Japanese Buddhism. Koyasan was first settled in 819 by a monk named Kukai and is the birthplace of the Shingon sect of Japanese Budhism also known as Esotentric Buddhism. I hopped on the train which began to wind it's way through the mountains. It was nice to get above sea level and as the ceder trees began to line the tracks, it felt a little bit like home. It was cool to see some rural mountain Japanese homes dotted throughout the hills as well. The train reached the end of the line and it was time to ride the cable car up to Koyasan, which was an experience in itself. I managed to find the ... read more
My room
Strolling through Okinuin

Asia » Japan » Kyoto April 15th 2014

I was eager to hop on the train bound for Kyoto not only to experience the cultural hub of Japan, but it gave me 2 hours of much needed sleep on the infamous Shinkansen (bullet train) from my lack thereof the night before in Tokyo. I also planned on taking a day trip to Nara, about an hours train ride away, which was Japan's first permanent capital in 710AD. So I hopped off the train eager to experience some traditional culture. What struck me already was the amount of tourists both foreign and domestic. Not only is Kyoto sought after by international visitors, but Japanese people also roam from different parts of the country to absorb their rich culture. On my way to my hostel in the Gion district of Kyoto, I was already able to ... read more
Oi River, Arashiyama
Garden of Tenryuji
Night Performance at Heian-Jingu

Asia » Japan » Tokyo April 10th 2014

As I mentioned in my last entry, Japan has been an elusive place for me. When I touched down with no noticeable seismic activity, I was relieved, albeit exhausted from almost no sleep on the 10 hour flight. I hopped on the train without issue which was my first introduction to Tokyo's intricate yet efficient and impressive metro train system. Train lines are everywhere and looking at the metro map initially was dizzying, but the helpful staff at the station pointed me in the right direction. I was happy that the little Japanese I remembered at least made me seem polite as I was able to ask where to go and thank the attendant even though I'm sure I made 4 year olds all across Japan sound elegant in comparison. I found my way to my ... read more
Asakusa in the day
Shibuya Crossing
Tsujiki Fish Market

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Vancouver April 4th 2014

Well, let's keep our fingers crossed that there aren't any earthquakes overnight. I don't say that to sound facetious, but the first time I tried to make it Japan in 2011, the most devastating earthquake to hit the region happened right as I was packing the night before departure. I'll never forget the disbelief as I turned on my TV to watch the tsunami rolling in. So here's to another kick at the can. This is the most structured trip yet, as the popularity of the time of year in Japan makes accommodation hard to come by. I'll land in Tokyo and make my way south, stopping in key spots such as Nikko, Takayama, Kyoto, Nara, Mount Koya, Osaka, Hiroshima and finish off in beach bum style with a few days in the tropical Okinawa. Oh, ... read more

Asia » China » Shanghai June 8th 2013

My last week was supposed to have me hit up Hong Kong for a final contrasting city in China. However, lack of planning led to mismanagement of my visa and if I left, I’d have a hard time returning without jumping through a bunch of hoops and shelling out some cash. However, when one door closes, another opens and the mishap would allow enough time to visit my other pioneering teacher friend in China, Kayla Carter. When I had seen her 2 weeks ago in the city, she explained that she lived on the outskirts of Shanghai and that it was a nice 45 minute trip to the countryside. After another full week, I welcomed the idea of a slower pace. So as I boarded the bus out to meet Kayla, I was able to do ... read more
Ms. Carter
Old China
Seafood vendors

Asia » China » Shaanxi » Xi'an June 3rd 2013

The next high-speed train I boarded was en route to Xian, home of the Terracotta Army. This train would share a similar time as the one for Beijing, but I would be awake for a little more of it. Richard would meet me there via air from Shanghai. I was stoked because this would be the first actual “on the road” travel experiences I’d have with him. As the train arrived at the station, I already began to feel like a bit of a pro. I had the trains down, networks of metros seemed fairly easy, and I was actually picking up a few functional words in Chinese. I disembarked the train and made my way directly to the metro ticket line, and bumped into two fellows from Switzerland and France. We chatted for a moment ... read more
Terracotta Army
Terracotta Warriors
Cruising the Wall in Xian

Asia » China » Beijing May 29th 2013

After another energy consuming weekend, I was happy to get back on the high-speed train in comfort to Beijing. The ride I had in store was about five and a half hours, and I slept for the majority of it. I’d have to say I fell in love with the bullet train the first time I took it en route to Suzou. I've always loved trains for the fact that you can actually observe a bit of the country that you are traveling in and it feels like moving from one destination to another is less of a waste of time. And with these high-speed trains, it definitely accelerates the process. The average speed is around 300km/hr and you could have a full glass of liquid on your tray, and it would be barely disturbed. I'd ... read more
A temple in the Summer Palace
The Summer Palace Landscape

Asia » China » Shanghai May 24th 2013

I’d have to be honest… When I first decided on China, it wasn’t first on my list of next places to travel, however, the fact that I had two highschool friends over there for a few years as contacts had its appeal. Furthermore, the person who I was staying with wasn’t just any friend, or any contact I had, it was the infamous Richard Forbes… teaching sensation in China, who has been paving the way for foreigners like me for years. I’ve heard the stories of the many who had the pleasure of staying with Richard and some who have taught along side him in China and all had one thing in common to say… This was going to be a helluva trip. So as I boarded my flight I wasn’t exactly sure what I had ... read more
This isn't rush hour?
Communicating without language

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