Stateside: Reflections in International InterMission

It’s now been one week since our return from Japan and to be completely honest I wish I was still there! This past week on multiple occasions I’ve missed my host family and the routine I had created with them multiple times. While I’m happy to be home and with my own family, there is something to be said about a culture so kind, generous, and thoughtful.

I miss waking up in the morning and being greeted by my house mother who, despite knowing very little English, always had a smile and a “good morning” to offer. I miss my host dog barking and trying to scurry out of the apartment as we left for school. I don’t miss the crowded bus but I do miss the heated train seats and the sight of the same people every day as we walked to school. I miss the smell of the alleyway we passed on our way home every day and I hope that one day I’ll return to Japan even if just to try the source of that scent.

My host sister and I talk less and less each day, her busy with her studies and I with my own, but we’ve exchanged pictures of our family and pets and I’m confident that when the time comes we will reconnect easily. Living with her for two weeks made me realize to always put your best foot forward because then others will do the same and to remember that even though it’s easy to dwell on the negative, if you try to stay positive those aspects will outshine the rest. I feel mentally rested and inspired I feel that I’ve had experience that reconnected me with the things that I love and the experiences that I enjoy most.

The trip reminded me of who I am because in a place so new and different I had the chance to think about myself again. So many words could be used to describe my InterMission experience, but every time someone asks me, “How was Japan?,” the first word that comes to mind is “Amazing.”

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