Okinawa (Better Late Than Never)

It was time for another trip out of Taiwan, so a few weekends ago I headed to Okinawa, Japan for a few days. It was such a nice trip to get out and explore a place I had never been before.

When I visited Japan a few months ago, I just spent time in Tokyo and Kyoto. Both places blew my mind away.  The cleanliness, politeness and overall organization of Japan is unlike any Asian country I’ve been too before (refer to this blog Konnichiwa).  So I was expecting about the same for Okinawa. 

The best part of my trip was having the random chance encounter of meeting up with one of my younger brothers best friends, Michael Curran. Michael grew up in my home town of Damascus, and joined the marine corps shorty after HS. He was deployed to Asia this past June. My mom and brother told me he would be on this side of the globe but I never expected him to literally be 10 minutes down the road from me in Japan. THANK GOD FOR SOCIAL MEDIA IN THIS CASE. Michael saw one of my photos on IG and before I knew it we were meeting up.

Side note** as much as some people hate social media and all the attention it causes/all the people it forces to have their eyeballs glued to their phone/all the time we waste worrying about “likes”/or the hours we waste browsing through Facebook/or the fact an app has turned the world into zombies searching for Snorlax’s… I love social media for one reason; it allows me to stay connected with the people in my life that I want and need to stay connected with. Being abroad has its rough times, but imagine if I was doing this and couldn’t pick up the phone to FaceTime, text or update my family on my life?!!?? So yes I am thankful for wifi, Facebook, email and all the other apps and services we spend hours a day looking at, but I still refuse to play Pokemon. Michael would’ve never known I was in Okinawa or been able to contact me to meet up if it wasn’t for social media. So thanks Mark Zuckerberg.

Even though we only had the chance to meet for a short amount of time, it was still so nice to see a familiar face and hear Michaels experience in the Marine Corps.  His service for our country is amazing, and really makes me proud to be from the states. It was also so rewarding being able to share my experiences and time here in Asia with him. Even though we are on the same side of the world, Michael and I experience very different Asian worlds. With barely a day off every few weeks, Michael hardly gets to truly interact with the culture, see the views or taste the food. He works really hard to help protect our country for our freedom, and I feel thankful to have people like him representing America. 

I have a lot of days abroad where I miss home more than normal. The new adventures, the new places and faces are indescribable, but at times home is the only place you want or need in the moment. Having even a few hours with a familiar face was so refreshing and rewarding. And to think we both come from the small farm town of Damascus, MD and both ended up ten minutes away from each other on the opposite side of the weekend. Crazy!

Here are some photos from my trip! Hope everyone is doing well back state side.  I have some very exciting news to share in a few weeks about my next adventure!! Miss you all and still dreaming of Chipotle 24/7.

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