In the summer of 2015, my Japanese professor offered me the opportunity to travel to Tokyo, Japan and stay with a mutual friend's family as an English language tutor. After studying Japanese all four years of college, this was the trip of a lifetime, but I had never traveled alone before. So here are some things I learned!
1. Appreciate Eating With Others
2. Figure Out What You Want And Go For It
3. Get What You Want When You Want It
4. Get Lost (With Google Maps As A Backup)
5. Always Attempt New Things
If you find friends or are just exploring, always be open to trying new things! As a girl from the Midwest who had never ridden the subway, swiping my Passmo card past the turnstiles on my own was one of the most anxiety producing things I had done in Japan. But little by little, my sphere of “comfortable navigation” started increasing, and by the end I was transferring train lines and even traveling beyond Tokyo city lines all by myself. Whether it’s a new dish to eat or going beyond your comfort zone, it pays off to venture into the great unknown.