One of my biggest challenges while studying abroad has been finding community. It is not easy to make real connections with people you have never met, in a country you have never been to, all in the span of one semester. But when you do find those people – as unexpected as it may be – it makes the experience that much more memorable.
I recently traveled to Hiroshima for a weekend. It was an amazing trip, full of history, temples, and lots of great food. Along the way, I met two other Americans staying at the same hostel. I was grateful to connect with some of my fellow countrymen, and they greatly appreciated my ability to translate Japanese. We spent the weekend together and by the end, it was hard to say goodbye. You never know when you will make connections abroad, but there is something special about sharing in such a unique experience with others.
Also, I met this deer at the Miyajima Shrine. The deer here are quite friendly and were happy to pose for pictures with us!