I was born and raised in Japan, and now live in Vancouver, Canada. Although I was very shy growing up, I have always been independent and full of curiosity. As a child, the World Atlas was my favorite toy; looking at maps always made me happy.
My adventures started at 9 years old, when I would take three-hour train rides (which included several transfers) by myself every summer to visit a cousin. My first international trip was at the age of 12, when my parents sent me to Minnesota, USA as an exchange student, to stay with a family on a farm. At that time, I could not speak any English and I did not even know how to write “how are you? “ – the first few letters I wrote to my host family started off “how and you”! Isn’t that stupid? I do not remember how I communicated with them. But I remember that we had a good time. I was very shy did not speak much, but I am still in touch with them, and have met up with them a couple of times after I grew up.
I immigrated to Canada and have been work in tourism for over 16 years . I love to share my travel experiences and to help others have great experiences of their own. I specialize in Adventure tours, and “grassroots” is my style. Once in a while, it is nice to stay at a comfortable hotel but mainly I stay very basic places, taking local transportation, and sometimes even sleeping on the floor. I want to experience local life and blend in with the locals. Of course I check out the major sites, but I especially like to walk around residential areas, trying local restaurants and street food, and checking out the markets and schools.
Adapting to Canada’s different culture and language was not easy for me, and it still presents problems. As Dr. Norman Doidge mentions in his book, The Brain That Changes Itself ”, the part of the brain which is capable of distinguishing between English Rs and Ls dies after the age of one! I have found that there are other things, linguistic and otherwise, that are hard to overcome when you are older. But I am committed to my path. Not only do I want to share the fun part of my travel experience, but I also want to increase my understanding of culture and of life in different countries.
I also start a charity project ( The Wheel of Green Life ) . I am like Greg Mortenson (famous for his book, Three Cups Of Tea ) . I do not have much, and live in a small shared house, but at least I have a roof and a hot shower. The difference is I am not smart or famous like him! But I believe that anybody has a right to try. I want to try and see what an average Joe can do.
Last but not least, I would like to express appreciation to my parents who gave me education and put their trust in me. I feel sorry that I wasted the money they spent on my university because I was playing Tennis all the time, but Tennis taught me who I am now! I have lots of patience and I am very persistent. I also appreciate my Tennis coach who supported me, and my grandparents who taught me the beauty of Japanese culture. I am a nobody but I am not alone. I became what I am because of them.
I will do my best to write an interesting blog and to improve every day! My adventure will continue.