It is currently 1:20 pm in Sapporo, Hokkaido.
Teaching Across Borders officially starts today and I feel excited, nervous and grateful for what is to come.
I am excited to explore a new city, eat amazing food and continue practicing photography. I am excited to continue learning Japanese and practice speaking it with my host family who only speaks basic English.
I am nervous about meeting my host family, their expectations and how I should act around them.
I am grateful for this opportunity to be in a new city on the other side of the world, learning more about my teaching style, strengths, weaknesses and what I value most as a teacher. I hope to grasp another perspective on education, make new friends, and continue to step outside my comfort zone.
I have been in Japan for a week already but I miss my family and friends. I know they're worried about me but I will be okay. Solo traveling in Tokyo has been an amazing experience. Even though I have been to Tokyo before, I was able to delve more into the culture of Japanese people such as their mannerisms and their lifestyle. I was able to skip the major tourist spots and explore the small underground things that make Tokyo a spectacular city. Yesterday, all 6 of us went to Tokyo Disney Sea together and it was a magical day. I'm also excited to share this experience with these girls who I feel comfortable with already.
Some cool experiences so far:
Going to the Cup Noodle Museum and being inspired by Momofuku Ando, who invented precooked chicken ramen instant noodles at age 48, reminding us it's never to late to follow our dreams and do something new
Seeing Tokyo lit up at night from the observatory on the 45th floor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
Eating conveyor belt sushi, eating in single person stalls for ramen and having fresh sashmi in a don-buri which is a rice bowl
Sitting on the second floor of a cafe eating creme brulee while watching the madness of Shibuya Crossing on a Sunday Night
Being crammed into a train during the evening rush hour like a pack of sardines
Waking up early and going to a beautiful, nearby park to read because Tokyo is a late rising city and things don't open until 10 or 11 am!
Walking until my feet hurt but seeing the coolest things on the way
Taking photo booth pictures and editing them on those crazy, cute, Japanese systems
The closer I get to graduation, the more I want to teach overseas in Japan or Korea. This experience will be an asset in helping me decide what I want to do.
I will take it easy, do my best, and have lots of fun!
I'm ready for you Sapporo, Hokkaido.