Welcome to Nomunication

What is Nomunication? In Japanese culture, it is common for colleagues and friends to build relationships over après-work drinks. A significant part of my social education in Japan happened over the course of five years packed with social gatherings and countless drinks: piping hot tea, ice cold beer, and everything in between! Thinking about additional ways to apply my experiences in Japan, I decided to start a podcast. This project will be a slight departure from the content I make for Karen Nerds Out, but I can guarantee that some crossover may happen from time to time.

A quiet table for one at La Kuma Coffee in Longwood, FL

My original major was Telecommunication and Journalism when I started at the University of Florida in 1997. The cutthroat intro classes were not to my liking, and I couldn’t seem to find anyone to help me conquer my fear of public speaking. Like most Undergrads, I would eventually switch majors to English, which had far less camera time and bright lights. However, all these years later, I still feel like I have some unfinished business as a result.

Shortly after I moved to Tokyo, my employer asked me to be a guest contributor on a  bilingual Japanese-English podcast hosted by J-Wave Radio. If I’m not mistaken, it is the only time in my life I went to Roppongi in all the years I lived in Japan and visited thereafter. Within the last year, I’ve dropped in on one of my favorite wrestling podcasts: Women Wrestling Friends, and since then, I’ve had the itch to create my own podcast.

My biggest obstacle was myself. Most of the podcasts I listen to average an hour an episode! The thought alone was enough for me to slam the brakes. Then one of my favorite voices of professional wrestling, Kevin Kelly, released a short-form podcast with the target of five minutes. It didn’t dawn on me that I didn’t have to fly out of the gates with a full thirty-minute program. I could start small and that is okay!

I thought back to Amy Landino’s book Vlog Like a Boss. I have a smartphone… therefore I have the means to make content! While VLAB focuses on video content, the idea that I don’t need thousands of dollars worth of equipment and software to produce something when I am just starting out, gave me the last nudge I needed to sit down with a giant mug of coffee and begin mapping out a plan. After scratching down my outline, I plugged in my mic, hit record and shortly after: upload.

Karen Nerds Out will still continue, but the Nomunication podcast (and Karen in Translation) will be a slight departure from the regularly-scheduled nerdy content. It will be more focused on my experiences in Japan and how they still shape my life currently. It’s my hope you’ll pour your favorite beverage and join me.

Local Love Letter

One of my favorite things is enjoying a really, really good cup of coffee. I had my circuit of coffee houses and tea shops I would frequent in Tottori, but I haven’t been able to find a cafe here in Orlando that mirrors that cozy cabin in the country aesthetic. Enter La Kuma Coffee, Longwood Florida! Kuma means Bear in Japanese, so the minimalistic decor is mimicks a quiet forest. It’s a bit of a drive from my house, but it’s worth it for great small batch roast coffee and their to-die-for homemade desserts!

  • French Press Coffee
  • Homemade Cherry Blossom Cheesecake

The above photo was from my first visit in December, but now I am aching to go back! It’s so tranquil that it might be a great place to record an episode!


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