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My Travel Writing Scholarship 2011 entry - Journey in an Unknown Culture

JAPAN | Friday, 25 February 2011 | Views [324] | Scholarship Entry

As a baby, I was originally born in the San Diego area; however, at three-months old I left my hometown behind for nine years. This was due to my father being in the Navy, and having to travel constantly. My family and I lived our lives, just as the nomads did in the past. I went on the eighteen-hour journey to Atsugi, Japan.
This is where I had the opportunity to live in a culture that was quite incomparable to what any average American child could imagine. I was surrounded by the exotic foods, breath-taking scenery, and the unusual customs of Japan. I consumed raw blow fish, and salmon roe as a three-year old toddler; from that point on, I was hooked on trying as many different foods as any Japanese restaurant could offer. I, also, remember viewing the sight of Mount Fuji to my rear, while passing it by in a car, and gasping at its beauty. In 2000, Japan was way beyond its time, technology-wise, with people having the ability to watch television on their watches, and a million times more dependent on their phones than us "Americans" were. The obsession with sumo wrestling, baseball, and the fast-paced drive everyone seemed to carry all seemed dreamlike to experience, but I was fascinated. Although, it seemed so foreign to me how the Japanese people lived their lives; I somehow felt extremely at home in such a warming culture.
Living in Japan for nine years, made me realize that there is so much to experience out of American borders. Thus, it was the need for adventure and traveling that I realized I longed for, when moving to Tampa, Florida, at nine. I constantly begged my mother to take me with her along her journeys, and I appreciate my family so dearly for giving me that opportunity as a child because it's experiences like mine that shape a person.

Tags: #2011writing, travel writing scholarship 2011

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