Hi! My name is Madison and I was in the teen language camp for Fukuoka Japan. I visited Japan for two weeks this summer and I’m still amazed. Even now, I still can’t believe this summer really and truly happened. That first moment when I stepped off the plane and realized I was actually in Japan, I couldn’t believe it. Then, all of a sudden, I was back in the USA thinking how in the world is it already over! I hadn’t even made it home and I was trying to figure out how to go back. Where would I go next time, same place or somewhere new? What chores could I do around the house to earn the money?
Of course, my family thought I was crazy when I first told them I wanted to go to Japan. I think they even laughed, but I was serious. I loved the culture and language and really wanted to try authentic ramen, so I took Japanese language classes. I looked at blogs, studied articles, and watched videos until I found a program I liked at Greenheart Travel. Next, I investigated the company thoroughly to make sure everything was legitimate, and it was. Then, it was time to save up. It took a long time to get the details worked out and gather the money. That was a lot of dishes!
As I got closer to the trip the more I realized that I was about to go through LA, China, and Japan by myself. That was terrifying but in the end totally worth it. Fukuoka was beautiful, my host family was absolutely amazing, and the food was sooo good. The school was fun and well organized and the teachers were spectacular! I learned more in a few weeks of full immersion than I did in two years of book lessons. Knowing that feels good. Now, I am officially a supercool teen who has traveled the world.
It’s been a couple of weeks since I got back and I’m still missing my Japanese family, the melon bread, and the indescribable feeling of being somewhere exotic. Visiting Japan was a truly amazing experience that I will never forget. And how different I am now! It was such a long and scary process getting there. I felt timid and nervous and I wasn’t quite sure what I’d gotten myself into. On the way back, though, I was all confidence. I marched right up to security, right up to my gate, and right to my seat like a boss!
It takes a lot of courage to go to overseas and everyone will think your parents are crazy for sending you, but don’t be afraid to try. If you can dream it, you can do it! For me, it started with a single wild crazy idea—I wanted to go to Japan—and Greenheart Travel paved that road. They helped make that wild crazy idea my reality. They got me safely to Japan and back. Seeing the world is an amazing experience. I highly, highly recommend it.
Madison Schuler, from Wyoming, is a Greenheart Travel First Time Traveler Scholarship recipient. Learn more about Greenheart Travel’s scholarship opportunities to help you travel for a change!