Traveling can have a huge impact on one’s life. Having the ability to see another side of the world and leaving your comfort zone can make many precious memories to store within. It is an enormous accomplishment to see what others countries outside the United States have to offer. Unfortunately, only a few people get the chance to visit unfamiliar countries.
I am one of the lucky ones who had the chance to travel outside the United States. Out of my sixteen years of traveling the most exciting and memorable place I have been is Japan. In summer 2007, I had an amazing opportunity to take a trip to Japan with People to People Student Ambassadors. Going into this program, I was not aware this would be a life changing experience.
My journey to Japan began on June 14, 2007 with a fourteen hour flight. Our first stop was Tokyo, Japan. I can never forget our first official day in Tokyo. Taking the tour of this huge, busy city, one might mistake it as New York. With all the tall, flashing buildings and shopping centers, one would never imagine that they were in Japan. I expected to see the Japanese in kimonos with their hair in a bun and heavy make-up on. I realized that this appearance is usually associated with traditional rituals.
Our two day stay in Tokyo came to an end, and soon was time to move on to our next city. In total, we visited five of their cities. Each city had their own unique style and something spectacular to offer. One thing every city had in common was their food. If people think Japanese food is delicious in America, wait until they it in japan! When I bite into the fresh sushi or the hot teriyaki chicken that was just prepared in front of me, each bite had a surprising sensation. Japanese food is more than white rice, soup, and green tea.
Approximately an hour and forty-five minutes away was Nagasaki, which was our next city in Japan. Nagasaki is a historically known site. Now lay the Atomic Bomb Museum, was where the United States bombed Nagasaki. During our tour of the museum, we had the greatest opportunity to speak with a survivor of the bombing, an inspirational man with a huge heart.
Our remaining time spent in Japan was in three other cities. In each city we gained numerous of memories. One memory that stood out the most was our home stay. Each participant of People to People Student Ambassador program had to stay with a family. My family that I stayed with didn’t speak English at all. It was hilarious that when anyone of us spoke we would laugh because we were confuse. Living there was like playing a game of charades.
When this fairy tale trip came to a close, I knew this was the best trip I could ever go on. Never in a million years could I ever imagine myself being in Japan for two fantastic weeks, visiting five cities. The trip was a surprise that changed my previous thoughts of Japan.
Coming to Japan meant a lot to my opinion of life outside of the United States. I experienced a new culture and new technologies. From this trip, I gained more knowledge on another country and allowed me the opportunity to compare and contrast my culture with Japaneses culture. I enjoyed every moment of the trip and would not changed anything that happened.
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