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Strolling Down Memory Lane in Kyoto, Japan

Strolling Down Memory Lane in Kyoto, Japan

Ever since I watched my first episode of Big Blue Marble in grade school (I’m telling my age, I know), I’ve believed it was important to experience the world: people, culture, food and language.  So as parents, Cedric and I included our son on any travelling opportunities we had.  At a young age, we took him on road trips, cruises, any way we could go, we ALL went!  Once he was older, we strongly encouraged him to study abroad as part of his university education.

Fast forward to his sophomore year of university, he decided to learn Japanese to fulfill his language requirement. He’s a gamer, so in addition to his classes, he also made online friends with other gamers in Japan and elsewhere.  Progressing rapidly in his language studies, he was offered the opportunity to study abroad in Kyoto, Japan.  I honestly don’t know who was more excited, him or me!  After one short summer semester, he was hooked.  He continued his Japanese studies and promised when he graduated he would take us to Kyoto to experience life in Japan.

I’ll freely admit that 2017 was a banner year of travel for our family. We traveled to the Caribbean, Mexico, France, Italy, Holland, and Spain, but none of them compared to the feeling of having our son escort us through Kyoto and Osaka, Japan.  We retraced his footsteps as a sophomore: standing outside the Palace Side Hotel in Kyoto- his home base during his study abroad semester; trekked through the multitude of vermilion gates at Fushimi-Inari Shrine; slurped huge bowls of freshly made noodles; watched as he chatted with a kindly stranger in Japanese on the train; and most importantly, re-connected with friends he made and never lost touch with.  Travel is truly the investment that gives back more than it takes.

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