The last couple of weeks have been crazy. For starters, I had 5 days of Japanese tour guide/translating jobs. The first was a 3-day tour with a group of older ladies in a travel club – basically they just travel all over the world with their friends. They had visited Costa Rica, Panama, Iceland, Southeast Asia, various places in the US and Europe, and were going to Antarctica in January! Rough life. The second was a group of 50 high-schoolers on a trip across Colorado. Coordinating 50 kids in Japanese through Garden of the Gods was an interesting experience. Nonetheless, I’m loving my job and feel reaffirmed in the fact that travel is something I want to do long-term.
I find it interesting that the things you are passionate about usually come to pass. In college, I wanted to learn more about Africa and social enterprise, so I wrote my senior thesis paper on whether we should provide food aid to The Democratic Republic of the Congo. That lead to me finding a job in Kenya and getting the real Africa experience (perhaps more than I bargained for). When I returned, I wanted to use my Japanese so I applied for a tour guiding job in Colorado. One thing lead to another, and I now work for two different companies, worked at a ski resort in Japan last Winter and have started my own travel business. I believe God cares about what we care about, and He wants us to serve Him as we live out our passions and interests. I’ve often been out of my comfort zone on this journey, but I’m learning that that’s not such a bad thing.
After the first tour guiding trip, I hopped on a plane to Texas. Meeting my dad at 10:30 PM, we drove 5 hours to Arkansas for my cousin’s wedding. The wedding was great, my cousin looked amazing and I got to meet her now husband for the first time. I had a great time hanging out with family, watching my littlest cousin dance, eating too much food and celebrating with Mary Rachel and Leith.
Going to weddings does make you think about your own relationships though. I’m sure much of marriage is working through issues as they arise, but finding the right person from the start seems pretty important too. I want to find that person for myself, but also think there are seasons in life. Learning to experience joy in each season is more important than getting married, making more money, buying that house, or doing whatever you think will make you happier, because even though those things are great, in and of themselves they are empty. I am so happy for March Rachel, Leith and my brother Jon (who might be next) – I just haven’t found that person yet and I’m learning to be content in that.
After Arkansas, we drove to Texas where my dad’s side of the family lives. It was great seeing them as well, hanging out at the lake, wakeboarding and playing the inaugural game of volleyball in my Uncle’s pool. I’m realizing how unique and special it is to have great family on both sides who care and who want to spend time together.
Finally, after driving back from Texas to Colorado, my brother, his friend and I did a pickleball demonstration in Vail and went camping for the night; a great way to end a busy two weeks. The next month will be no less crazy, I have a couple of weeks of tour guiding, playing in a professional pickleball tournament and starting my tennis coaching job but I’m excited for it all.