10 Years Later

BG graduation - with BA sign

Standing by my college’s sign at BGSU after graduating.

Last night, I was feeling reflective. Probably because I realized that ten years ago, I was in this same spot. Not life point, but location. Currently, I live in the Kanto Plains of Japan and in 2003, I also spent a summer here. During that summer, I was completing my final internship with MWR. It was my last adventure before entering the “real world” to find a job, home, and possibly a husband. That summer, however, was all about being young and having fun!

10 years ago…I was at the start of my career. The world was full of possibilities. I was single. I had spent the majority of my life in America. I wanted to live overseas and travel. I didn’t have a full-time job. I worked insane hours but loved every minute of it.

Greece 2002 - Court at Greek Church

Summer 2002 internship in Souda Bay, Greece

Japan 2003 - Mt Fuji

Summer 2003 internship in Atsugi, Japan. Hiking Mt. Fuji

Now 10 years later… I am married. I have a dog. I have lived overseas for the past 8+ years (At this point, Ohio is more of a travel destination to me than “home.”) I have worked a variety of jobs. I have lived in Europe and Asia. I have climbed peaks in several countries. I am always trying new recipes. I speak in a jumbled mix of English, Spanish, Japanese, and other languages. I’ve tried backpacking and loved it. I have experiences the good and bad of living in other cultures; I have experienced the good and bad of America when I return. I walked the Camino with pilgrims from around the world. I spend plenty of time in my kitchen, writing my blog, or researching upcoming travels. I’ve made friends with several like-minded people around the globe. I became a foodie.


Kyoto, Japan

Grand Canyon - Goddess pose

Backpacking Grand Canyon in 2004 with friends.

Spain - Carriage ride in Sevilla

My husband and I on a carriage ride around Sevilla only a few short days after getting engaged!

Yum - Okonomayaki

Enjoying Okonomiyaki in Hiroshima, Japan


Our little “Spanish” dog who loves hiking as much as we do!


Cooking class in Seoul, Korea


Learning the chado, Japanese way of tea, and performing for others


Cooking with Annie B in Andalucia, Spain


My husband and I along the Camino de Santiago, Spain

And I have made my way back to Japan. I realize I’m pretty lucky to be able to come back to a place that had such an impact on me years ago. This time however, I feel that I appreciate it more as a world citizen than just an American living in Japan.


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