little sarah Big World

Category: Travel


buildings and wires

We live in an apartment on the fourth floor of a pink building with a dinosaur on the side. He’s a mascot for the laundromat downstairs.

Next door is a “Girl’s Bar,” in a black building so close you could reach out our bedroom window and touch it. Must be a tame locale–we’ve never heard any music, laughter, or shouting.

Just around the corner is a blue building with an Okinawan food restaurant, where we speak Spanish to our Japanese waitress.

There’s a partially-covered highway just down the street, and we use it as a landmark on our long, winding runs. A sort of homing device.

We’re about 2 blocks away from Makuharihongo station, and at night we can hear the trains passing in the near distance, going “shk-shk-shk.”

Spanish meets English meets Japanese meets French

Across the street is a French-style bakery named Elefante, where we get sandwiches for picnics with friends, or sweet buns and pastries on lazy weekend mornings.

There’s a grocery store, a convenience store, a dollar store and a discount liquor mart, all within a one-block radius.

It’s a small, sleepy commuter suburb, but it has everything we need. It’s our little corner of the world, and it’s perfect.

*       *       *

Read the rest of this entry »

A Little (More) Walt for Your Wednesday


(from Whitman’s “Song of Myself”)

Leaves of Black and White Grass


Quiet mornings spent reading are what I need right now. Maybe some tea, and a good hug. The world around me is full of possibilities, and beauty, and I am trying to take it all in, to bloom where I’m planted, no matter how many times I uproot myself.

not dew, but rain

And in some ways, things are looking up. But in other ways, it’s not so clear. Working with special needs kids is something I never thought I’d do, or be good at, but here I am, and the kids love me, and already they’ve made such an impression on me.

But there are other things to take into consideration, other jobs, and writing, and relationships, and it can (and does) all feel a bit overwhelming at times.

Sometimes more than a bit. Sometimes it seems like an insurmountable problem.

But, in the end, I know that I must figure it out for myself. And that I can. (I think).

Climb that hill, one step at a time

snapping photos on my phone like an iPro


A Brief Re-Introduction (for Readers New and Old Alike)


My Current Self


An Idea Stolen from Espy

taken in Eric and Iz's room

littlesarahBigWorld has come a long way, and so have I. Though…lately, I’ve felt a bit like nowhere, felt a shrug of nothingness. And posts have been fewer and further between.

That’s because, in the span of 9 months, I broke up, fell in love, remembered my old friend Anxiety, quit my job, got married, turned 27 and moved to Japan.

So…maybe it’s time for a reintroduction, as much for myself as for you. Try to nail down some specifics in an otherwise nebulous, quicksilver existence.

socks by Steve

My name is Sarah. I am 27-years-old. I live in Japan.

a rare slow day

I like simple pleasures, slow moments, sunshine, soft light.

a minor victory

I love to bake, to garden, to cook and to read. I like long walks and long runs, and music to match my solitude.

bad-assery at its finest

I overwhelm easily, tend to regret my Life Choices, and generally struggle and thrash about. I know what makes me happy, but sometimes, on a whim, I choose what’s harder. And sometimes I choose what I want over what’s right. Then I fret.


My favorite breakfast is a big bowl of cereal and an inbox filled with possibilities. An open notebook and an open schedule, a full day asking me, “What will you do?”

I will: run, eat, read, write, snack, walk, listen, think, connect, write, cry, hug, cook, talk and sleep. Maybe I’ll squeeze a nap in.

Because when I grow up, I want to be a writer. “A writer, an activist, a musician and traveler,” I said when I was 21.

That was over 5 years ago. Now I am married and live in Japan.

or Best Friends

Time is a cookie, friends. Sometimes it is sweet and delicious, and sometimes it is a falling-apart mess.

Sometimes I am a falling-apart mess. And you are, too. Sometimes.

But sometimes you are beautiful, and happy, and full. Or you are decent, and kind, and careful. Or you are hideous, tear-stained, 3am insane.

So am I, and that is the truth.

We are all of us, all of these things, my friends, and I don’t want to hide any part of it. I want to tell the truth.

Because when I grow up, I want to be a writer. But more than that, I want to be me. Lasting forever, and starting right now.

Gu-ri-mu-pu-se-su (“Glimpses”)

An Illustration in Sunlit Dining

~Tuesday, March 19th, 2013~
(Saint Etoile, Kaihinmakuhari)

“Breakfast in a ‘French-style’ bakery at the train station. The toast set includes a small salad of cabbage, lettuce, corn, tomato, and hard-boiled egg, topped with mayonnaise. But the toast is good–thick, like Texas Toast. Blueberry-grape juice makes for a surprisingly delicious combination. Tastes a bit like jam.

Ashtrays everywhere. Here, you can get a $20 ticket for smoking on the street (and Chad almost did, first thing yesterday morning), but you can smoke most anywhere, indoors. There are designated smoking areas in restaurants, even fast food joints.

Also everywhere: R&B music. Like right now, at the bakery, or yesterday at Mos Burger (where we ordered a tempura veggie burger with rice patties for buns). Except that I don’t recognize any of the songs. It’s like Japan has some never-ending reserve of obscure, 90s R&B jams. Reminds me of Perry.”

*       *       *

mexican flag colors inside a Japanese bank

More to come, Friends. Always more to come.


…should always look like this.

And I am working on making that happen.

Read the rest of this entry »

Ogden Time

Caught the FrontRunner up to Ogden for a night at Dad’s house. Like I do.

Read the rest of this entry »



When I first moved to Spain my friend Laura was having boy troubles, caught between two guys that she was seeing at the same time without either of them knowing about the other. It wasn’t something she’d planned on, but like many things in life, the situation just sort of escalated.

Read the rest of this entry »




Trading one skyline for another…

…is a thing I could get used to.

The view is pretty spectacular, either way.

This Happened:

A hike happened, with 9 different ladies and only 1 common-denominator friend, thrown loosely together, after work on a Tuesday.

Read the rest of this entry »

Nanny Sarah


My Nephew is Now My Latch-Key Child

“Being exempted from motherhood has allowed me to become exactly the person I believe I was meant to be: not merely a writer, a traveler, but also–in a quite marvelous fashion–an aunt.”

-Elizabeth Gilbert, “Committed: A Love Story”

(more quotes to follow)

Read the rest of this entry »