Ryan Flagg – Tokyo, Japan

I chose to study abroad in Tokyo, Japan for a few reasons. For one, I’ve always loved to travel and have always had an interest in exploring the world outside of my home state and home country. The opportunity to leave the US to study and learn a completely different culture is incredibly exciting to me. I chose Japan specifically because it’s a place that has always been on my list of places to go. The two things that really draw me to Japan is the juxtaposition of Tokyo’s modern, electronic world with video games, film, and anime, compared to the more rural and natural aspect of the country. In my growing knowledge of traditional Rites of Passage, I think my current understanding will definitely help me when I travel to Japan and meet other people. I think one thing to take away from today’s first presentation and overview is that when oneĀ opens his or her mind, there’s more of a mutual connection and universal bond than if you go into a situation or talk to a certain person with your mind closed off to anything other than traditional US customs. I think I’ll fit in fine when I go, as I have this openness to other experiences and I can use that to enrich my experiences in a different world. If I coRyan Flagg, Spring2016uld choose a quote that would describe the start to my study abroad journey, would be from Mark Jenkins. “Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black and white.” (Jenkins). This quote is very inspiring to me, personally. Jenkins talks about adventure as something you just have to go out and do. You need to put away preconceived notions and live and learn as a human, just like everyone else.

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