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.

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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

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

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Cooking class in Seoul, Korea

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

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Cooking with Annie B in Andalucia, Spain

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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.

xxCourtney

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