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Konichiwa from Nagoya, Japan

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As I’m overlooking the Nagoya-shi skyline from atop Nagoya Castle, the phrase “Distance makes the heart grow fonder†crosses my mind.

I’ve been living in Nagoya, Japan for almost four weeks, and it has honestly been one of the most eye-opening experiences of my life. Before boarding the plane to Japan, the furthest I had ever traveled was New York City (truth-be-told, I’m still convinced it has the best pizza on Earth and most of the Southern United States.)

But even with my travels, nothing prepared me for what I would experience in Japan. And yes, I do miss home. Memphis is my city. However, the people I’ve met, the places I’ve been and the things I’ve done are worth all of the homesickness and then some.

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Traveling abroad is an opportunity we are able to enjoy. As you’re reading this, there are wonderful people located in the Study Abroad Office in the PanHellenic Building who’ll be able to help you in the same way they helped me: by showing me that traveling the world is possible.

And while it’s extremely easy to get lost in the white-noise that is our current political climate, please don’t let the fear of what’s out there stop you from enjoying the abundant good that’s also out there.

Over the next few weeks, I hope to share my travels with you so that your curiosity becomes undeniable and your wanderlust uncontainable. The best way to understand another culture is to completely and absolutely immerse yourself in it.

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So, while distance may very well make the heart grow fonder, I’d argue that the journey makes the heart and the soul grow stronger. Conveyor-belt sushi, ancient Shinto shrines and five-story arcades were waiting for me the moment my feet touched the ground.

I’m curious what’s waiting for you.

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