I tell people I am going to Tokyo, Japan and they tell me "Wow! How did you get that?"

Ummm, I applied?

This is what I would like to say. But instead I go into all sorts of details around this idea of "I just applied." I say "I have always wanted to go abroad", "I went to Japan in 2004 and loved it", at this point their understanding clears and they say "oh, so you have been there before! That's great, then you know what to expect!"

Uhhhh, no.

I went to Japan in 2004 for 10 days with a friend I met at college. She was only planning on being there for a year and I weaseled my way for a visit at her house in Fukuoka, Japan. Can I reiterate? I went for 10 days. She spoke for me, I couldn't communicate with her family, all I knew is that if I smiled and made a goofball of myself I would be okay. After all, I was going home in 10 days. So just because I went there about 10 years ago, doesn't mean that I know what to expect.

Instead of explaining this I go on to explain what I am going to do, that it is an international school with a western curriculum. It's English speaking school and most teachers don't learn Japanese. It's been a school for over 100 years and has a good reputation. I sit there and realize that all of this conversation comes down to one simple concept:

I am just following my dreams.

It's truly as simple as that. I have never felt at "home" here in the U.S. I have never felt like this is where I belonged. I felt like my outlook on life was bigger than the little places I have lived, that my need for exploring and understanding was infinite and beyond the scope of what I could find here. I have been all over the world, but the places I have loved most are those that I explore from the inside.

So, that's what I am doing. I found a way to explore a culture from the inside, do something I know I'll love, and broaden my understanding of the world. I am simply: following my dreams.