Pre-Departure Thoughts…

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So today is my last day here in California until I leave for Kyoto, Japan.

I’m currently at the airport with a few of my fellow classmates around me writing this blog, and it still feels unreal that in approximately 12 hours from now, I will be writing my next post from Japan.

I started off my day at 8:30 a.m.; tired and stressed and endlessly double checking my luggage to make sure I have everything I need for my journey. However, now that I am waiting for my flight, my anxiety levels have diminished. I feel more excited and joyful compared to earlier this morning when I was feeling scared and anxious. Watching all the people walking past me with their luggage and speaking different languages is keeping me calm, because I know they too are on a journey and I am not alone. I wish I could just walk up to everyone and ask them where they’re from and where they’re going, because I just feel so curious!

I’ve never been outside of the United States before in my life, and I have never really traveled much at all except for a STEM research trip last year to Colorado. So being on the international side of LAX is so fascinating and new to me, I never imaged this experience to feel almost foreign hearing different languages being spoken. I hope to one day become accustomed to this experience, because then that would mean I would be an experienced traveler. The world has always fascinated me and I remember for as long as I could remember I always wanted to travel the world, learn, and experience life. I’m now starting my journey to travel the world and experience new cultures by going to Japan. I still remember when I first made visiting Japan a life goal of mine, and that was when I started to make quite a lot of Japanese friends through a weekly college Japanese outreach gathering I attend. Being able to try my friend’s traditional foods that they cook every Friday night, and speaking to them and asking them questions about their home towns was something I really looked forward to every week.

Now here I am, already booked to study abroad in Japan and I am so excited. However, despite my excitement, I am still very nervous. I look back at my Japanese friends and I wonder just how they managed moving from their home all the way to a foreign land across the Pacific. It seems as if they adapted to a new culture flawlessly; and I fear that I might struggle getting the hang of things while in Japan.