"When I was your age (insert outlandish phrase here)."
I'm sure the majority of you have heard this statement a time or two from your parents or grandparents.
Usually sounding something like, "When I was your age, I had to walk to school, in the snow and uphill both ways." Or maybe they mention how much the first gallon of gas they bought was, or how they had to use a typewriter for all of their school papers. What about the time they went to Japan when they were 17?
See, I can't recall any of those stories either. I'm sure there are a few cases here and there, however, as a whole our generation (Generation Y) is the first to have travel at our fingertips. The opportunities we have to experience other cultures and countries has been greatly multiplied by not only technology, but also by the way the world is viewed. Figuratively, the world has shrunken in size, and with it global travel is becoming a lot more commonplace. For example: My boyfriend just got back from Holland, my brother is currently in Russia, one of my friends is going to Germany in a month -- and we can't forget about little 'ol me out here in the Eastern Hemisphere. This is pretty amazing (and not to mention crazy), if you ask me.
However, with this accessibility there comes a responsibility to be a global citizen. To be aware of what is going on across the planet, getting out of the mind set that our country is the only one that matters. Not only being informed, but acting on it, with the intention of making a difference.
Part of being in Japan with People to People is just that. As global citizens we are lending a hand to our international brothers and sisters, and letting them know that not only do we care but are here to help.
Don't ignore the responsibility, or forget to grab hold of the opportunity. Take it from me, you won't regret it!
PS -- I made it to Japan! Let me tell ya, it's like nothing I've ever seen before. I'm talking toilets from space! Stick around if you not only want to hear more about the toilets, but also about the other incredible aspects this country has to offer!
Jamatane (see you later)!