I’m in the airport right now, about to head out of the country for my trip to Japan! I’m going with one of my close friends (and colleagues) to explore Japan before we take students next summer.
It also happens to be 10 years since I studied abroad in Japan in college. I never expected to go back so soon. I wanted to, of course, but I assumed I would travel to other places I had never been before first.
I wish I had kept up with my Japanese language skills. I remember thinking in college- when will I ever use this? So after my two required years (and partly because it was really hard and bringing down my GPA), I stopped taking Japanese in college. I went to some Japanese language meetups during junior year and fewer in senior year. I stopped altogether in grad school and beyond.
What I really learned from this is that you can make anything relevant to your career if you want it to be. If you are passionate enough about something, you can make it happen. I love Japan and tried to figure out how I could get there again. When Clare (my friend and colleague) was interested in Study Abroad too, it became a reality!
I tried studying Japanese, but as a non-student, it is much harder to learn. A lot of free sites and apps will teach you the basics- but I really need a more intermediate level, which is much harder. I wish I had spent more time on it, too, this past year. Next year, my goal will be to study Japanese before I go with students!
Either way, I am beyond excited to be going back! I can’t wait!
This blog will be on hiatus for about a month as I travel to Japan for two weeks and then to China for another two weeks for vacation with my family. You can follow my Japan trip on my travel blog (primarily for students going on the trip with us next year, which is why it isn’t hosted here).
I hope everyone has a wonderful month. Don’t give up on the things you love. You never know when they might be back in your life one day!