My Adventure in the Land of the Rising Sun

UMD Study Abroad Blog



Preparing for my trip to Japan was both exciting and stressful. Since this will be my first time out of the country and being away from my family for such a long time, I am quite nervous. Packing was a bit harder than I thought it would be, but I prioritized and took advice from others who have been on longer trips. The studying portion of the preparation was very informative and helpful, however finding the time to study was the difficult part, with all the summer plans. Fortunately, I managed to complete my studies of the hiragana and katakana alphabet with encouragement from my best friends that assured me that it was okay if I had to leave them to study for a while.

My greatest fear is that my family and friends will fall apart without me, since we’re all so close. I also fear that without them, I will be overcome by my depression, finding myself lonely in a new place. In regards to my studies, I fear that I will become frustrated with myself, not being able to understand Japanese well enough and fall behind in my classes. Other fears include missing my flights or my SIM card not working properly.

Navigating the airport was a bit overwhelming and confusing at first, but I was blessed to have a family friend with me who is more used to airports, she helped me figure out where I needed to go. Saying bye to my family was hard, but I tried to make it quick so I would not miss my flight. I was there early enough to navigate to the correct gate, even after making a few mistakes. The second airport was easier, since I did not have to worry about my luggage and had a better understanding of how to find the correct gate. The Narita airport was very disorienting, as all I had to guide me were signs and I had to hope I as doing everything right, since I don’t know enough Japanese to ask or understand what the airport personnel were saying. It seemed like forever before I was through customs, and I was hoping and praying that my group was still there. It took me a while to find my luggage, but I did find it after asking someone at the airport. Thankfully, my group was still waiting despite me not being able to ask them to wait for me.

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