The journey begins! Me, Haneda International Airport, Aug. 21, 2015.
Hello! Welcome to Yomikai, a blog about my year studying abroad in Akita, Japan!
I grew up traveling all over the place. My dad was in the Army, and as a result, we lived overseas for much of my early childhood. Since we were often assigned to live in Europe, we often had the opportunity to travel around the continent. It wasn’t until we settled down in the U.S. for my middle school years that I came into contact with Japan via anime. At that point, I thought I knew a lot about foreign cultures, but Japan was something entirely new. Not only did I enjoy anime as a form of entertainment, but it also made me realize there was a whole side of the world I hadn’t bothered to learn about.
From there I became fascinated with Japanese culture, to the point where I even decided to do a short summer exchange program after my junior year of high school. I stayed with a host family in Osaka for six weeks, learning the language and traveling around the area. That experience was so fulfilling; I knew this was something I needed to pursue in college. I also knew that I just had to go back one day, and decided to look for a college that had study-abroad programs to Japan. Consequently, I found the East Asian Studies program at Dickinson College (where I am currently a senior) and knew that was where I wanted to continue my studies.
Needless to say, my biggest academic priority was to get back to Japan and see it again for myself. I chose to go to a more rural area this time to see a different side of the country. Now that the year is over, I have a stockpile of stories to tell and lessons to share. This blog is my attempt to share those stories and experiences with the world. Hope you enjoy!
(All photos on this blog were taken by my unless otherwise noted.)