私は日本に行きます。Nihon ni ikimasu. I am going to Japan.
Since childhood I have wanted to go to Japan. I don’t know why. Perhaps the lure of things that interested me such as the intrigue of a strangely written language, the beautiful photo depictions of gardens and flowers, the gorgeous kimonos or simply the exotic and very different culture. Keep in mind, I grew up before the Internet, before easy access to information; the world seemed even larger then. Before Internet connection, different cultures were more mysterious and faraway places more exotic. Add a child’s imagination, and the exciting dream gets painted with even more vibrant colors.
Later on in years as “luck” would have it, I met the foreign exchange student (from Japan) who was attending my high school. We became best friends. She returned home to Japan after that year, but we stayed in touch with occasional letters (no email back then). Her letters were written on rice paper and the envelope stamped with a picturesque scene.
As time went by we grew up, married and had our own children. One day she brought her children on a visit to the States, and stopped by to see my family! By then we were corresponding via email. Communication was easier, and a few years later I hosted her daughter at my house for a couple of weeks during the summer.
Communication continued for several years after that, and my friend finally suggested I hurry up and come to Japan before “we” got too old to do a lot of walking. I picked up on the hint and realized I better be about getting there. A year later I was making the big trip to her country to visit my friend and her family in Japan! My, how the world turns; or it’s a small world; or who knows the future? In the strange course of life events, my exciting dream to visit Japan finally culminated with a ten-day adventure to that country topped with a meaningful visit to a long-time friend. Amazing.
Don’t give up on your dreams. Keep them in the back of your mind and nurture them every chance you get. Keep them alive because you never know the future.