I am both an avid traveler as well as a lover of the Japanese language and culture. I cite my father as the source/inspiration for both of these interests, as he spent his 20’s traveling all around the United States and the world. If given enough time, I could probably list each country that he has been to, but for now I will limit it to the ones that I remember: Iceland, Great Britain, Germany, France, Austria, Italy, Spain, Morocco, Algeria, Congo, Kenya, Indonesia, Myanmar, India, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Greece, and Yugoslavia. There are certainly countries that I missed, but those are the countries that I remember him speaking of in his travel stories. And he has A LOT of travel stories.
He sold contraband scotch to Muslim soldiers in Morocco after crossing over the Strait of Gibraltar. He saw a woman in the middle of the Congo who was boiling monkeys in a large stew beside a bridge. He worked on the crew of a yacht that sailed from Kenya to Indonesia before he got off the ship and made his way up to India. Just weeks before Shah Pahlavi was overthrown in 1979, he left Tehran, turning down an offer to teach English to Iranian students. All of these stories and more were told to me ad infinitum as I grew up, to the point that the stories have lost their initial appeal. Nonetheless, these stories have still had a profound effect on myself and the way that I view the world.
Most obvious is the desire to travel. At this point in my life, within the US I have been to New Mexico, Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, DC, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and all over my home state of New York, and these were scattered across the 22 years of my life. Outside of the US, my travels were practically nonexistent until the summer of 2016, when I backpacked solo through Ireland, Scotland, England, and Paris before beginning my time at SUNY Geneseo.
Prior to this point, I had never been to any country except for Canada, which, as a resident of upstate New York, was no great feat of international excursion. I supplemented my travel experience in my final semester of college, the Spring of 2018, when I traveled to Guatemala on behalf of the Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity’s philanthropic organization, The Ability Experience. In each of these international experiences, I journaled my thoughts in one way or another, and it was with that in mind that I decided to start this blog.
As an English Literature Major, I am no stranger to reflection on what something might mean and then transmuting those thoughts into a written piece, and since my graduation I have found myself missing this process of thought documentation. I also wrote for my college’s newspaper, The Lamron, for a couple of semesters, and I found the process of writing for publication provided an interesting twist on the ways in which I compose my pieces. Finally, I was trying to figure out a way to let the people back home know what was going on in my life as I experience a new chapter in Japan, but I wanted to do this in a way that I felt uniquely reflected my own personality. With all of that in mind, I came to the decision to start this blog.
There is a lot more that I can write here, but I will save most of that for future blog posts that I will make. How that information will end up coming about remains to be seen, but that’s all part of the fun. I guess to end this on a semi-quirky note, I’ll throw out five random facts about myself.
- My favorite movies, in no particular order: Pulp Fiction, Whiplash, Good Will Hunting, The Graduate, The Big Lebowski, When Harry Met Sally, Oldboy
- Each of my family’s dogs have been named after flowers: first Daisy then Violet
- My favorite superhero is Batman
- I wear glasses, but did not need them until I was about to turn 20
- I love everything about 1980’s music and aesthetic