In mid-May, blog contributor Staci Barke traveled to Tokyo, Japan to do independent research for two months. She’s been posting updates on her blog, The Foreign Local. We’ll be cross-posting her posts here for our reader’s information and enjoyment!
Here’s her first installment, from May 17:
I have always been a last minute traveler. The night before I moved to Korea was when I began to pack. And I packed the morning I left for Germany. Traveling is in my blood, it has always been a passion of mine. The first time I traveled abroad was one month after I turned 15. This was to travel around Japan for 3 weeks with my Japanese teacher and upperclassmen; I was the youngest allowed to go. The next time was 2 years ago in February of 2012 when I moved to South Korea to become an English teacher. This happened on a whim when my boss asked me one morning if I would like to teach in Korea, of course I said yes and 2 months later I was on an airplane. While in Korea I went to Osaka, Japan for a weekend. The following year I was looking at airline tickets to Germany for no apparent reason one night. I found tickets for 50% off! Of course I bought them. And now, summer of 2014, I am back to my first love: Japan. I will be staying here for 2 months to do research on the old districts of Tokyo and the globalization effects the Skytree, the recently built broadcasting tower, has on these areas.
When I travel, I try to break down the language and culture barriers. I take the backroads, go where the locals go, and avoid other foreigners. I immerse myself in the language and culture of the country I am in. Because of this, I get accepted into the communities I stay in. This is how I came up with the name for this blog. I want to share my experiences with everyone, which is the reason for this blog. Follow me on my adventures around the world! Hopefully you, too, will be bitten by the travel bug.