My experiences in Japan were the most amazing and eye opening experiences I have had in my life to date. Although most people prefer to travel with friends to another country, I traveled alone on the Nihon University Exchange program. It may sound scary and perhaps unwise when you think about it, but it allows you to open yourself up to new and otherwise different and difficult situations. Within my first week in Japan, before classes formally started, I managed to get myself lost in the many cities inside Tokyo not knowing any Japanese, but find my way home and each time I did this on purpose! I felt that if I went out in the morning, took a train or went for a walk and got myself good and lost, I would have to interact with people and try to find my way back to my dorm and by doing this, I would find out what was in that town for when I wanted to go shopping, visit a museum or temple, find something to eat, or simply find the train station. I did this every time I went to a new city in Tokyo and even when I went to Kyoto and Hiroshima. Now, I am not saying wander around in dark alleyways or take an “adventure walk” in the middle of the night (although the nightlife in Japan was worth exploring), but when abroad in a new city in a foreign country, get lost and try to find your way home. You would be surprised what you find when you venture away from the safe confines of your dorm room and what stories you will be able to tell your friends that are interested in going to the same place. But don’t tell them too much, let them get lost in the culture and surroundings and find their own stories to tell when they come home.
Just a Man in Japan