Monday, September 25, 2017

First Blog Post!

Marlena Madden
Japan

Hello to anyone who might be reading this!
This is my first blog post! I have been in Japan for about a month now. (Sorry Kirsten! I should have posted sooner.) However, rather than starting off with details of my trip, I will advise everyone on traveling in general. Maybe "What I should have done instead" or "Things no one told me, but apparently I should have known" would be better titles for this post? Oh well.

Do not:
·         Start packing two days before the trip
·         Buy a phone last minute
(You might be a moron with technology, or your phone company might neglect to tell you that you need to unlock your phone even though your mom informs them that you will be studying abroad in Japan, and they do not offer phone service there. Sounds like something they should mention? I think.)
·         Beg your mom to mail you things immediately
·         Look super stressed out while waiting for your grandfather to join you in the airport
(Side note: Do not let grandfather make you get out of the car and enter airport by yourself. Warning: A security guard might notice how stressed you look and approach to start questioning you.)
Do:
·         Plan for phone service, WIFI, etc.
·         Learn common phrases in your respective foreign languages
·         Try to sleep on the airplane if the flight is long
(Even though I find it impossible)
·         Force yourself to interact with people
(For example, Shannon from New York was sitting next to me on the plane. I started a conversation with her and we exchanged contact information to meet up for coffee a week later in Shibuya.)

But, to get to the point, dwelling on past mistakes gets you nowhere.
Always make the most of your trip!

Here's a photo of me looking super awkward with my host mom (Toshiko-san):

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