Home away from Home


So Japan has this genius Idea called golden week, which is a national holiday in Japan that allows a lot of people to travel once a year in the beginning of May. My golden week trip I had planned to go to Hokkaido, the most Northern Island of Japan, which was in the opposite area from where my program was in Osaka. Now I am a traveler, so it doesn’t really occur to me how leaving a place I’m comfortable may affect me down the line, so when the time came to leave for my airplane, my mind was on GO GO GO. I wasn’t afraid of leaving Osaka, heck I hadn’t been afraid of leaving the U.S. I was ready! Now Hokkaido was amazing with the sights and the sounds, it was actually pretty different from osaka, people spoke in a different dialect, and people responded to foreigners differently there as well. The weather was also a lot cooler there and the mountains and nature was so much more prevalent. While I was in Hokkaido, something began to occur within me that I didn’t think was possible.

I begin to feel so Homesick. Not Homesick from my country but from Osaka. My friends whenever we returned to our town in Osaka: Aikawa, we always talked about what we could say when we were getting closer to Aikawa. The familiar Riverside in the distance, the train announcer always having a different voice, and also how the closer we got to Aikawa the more we felt we belonged. It was a scary feeling realizing that your surroundings and what was originally foreign to you, was becoming familiar. The more familiar it became the harder it would become to leave. Once we finished our trip in Hokkaido and started the journey back to Osaka, a long, hot, difficult journey back to Osaka. I will never forget the sigh of relief I let out hearing “The next stop is Aikawa, Station number HK 65”. As I trudged my suitcase off the train, I stood there and just took in my surroundings, I could smell the takoyaki cooking in the nearby restaurant and the hustle and bustle was too minimal, I didn’t feel like a foreigner. There was a thought that creeped into my mind as I stood there. This was my home away from home, and I couldn’t be more grateful to return to it.