Today (or is it yesterday now? time no longer exists for me) Christina and I began our journey back to Philadelphia. The long flights have given me ample time to reflect over what we have done. For the past four months for Christina and I have been traveling Japan and studying both horticulture and general Japanese culture. It was a very busy time for both of us and we had so many amazing experiences throughout our time.
Almost everything I ate in Japan was delicious. I always enjoyed seafood and the fact that I was eating it every night is something that I will miss dearly. I have had no problems adjusting to the Japanese diet.
Japanese gardens are heavily influenced by the surrounding nature. Everywhere you walk in Japan there is natural beauty which is why gardens focus on showcasing the beauty of the surrounding nature by creating a scene, as if you were walking on a nature trail and just stumbled upon an awe inspiring view.
Besides visiting gardens we learned Japanese Gardens and culture from others. Japan has so many customs that are completely different to what I am accustomed to. As someone who never enjoyed wearing shoes inside, I was more than happy to remove them at every temple we entered. The formalities of introducing yourself in japan involves a lot of bowing. People in Japan are always more than happy to help people in need. Which is good, as someone who cannot understand Japanese, people were very accommodating to me.
What I was really impressed with was the amazing people I have met throughout my Journey as well as what they taught me. All of them are masters of their specialized craft and when demonstrating what they were teaching, they managed to make it look like a casual affair, as if anyone could do it. Of course, that was never the case when I tried it, but they showed me what kind of person I want to be.
Another person I need to thank is Christina. For 8 months we have been sharing many wonderful moments as we were traveling the world. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner for this journey as she was the one that was always on top of things and making the team look good. Very smart and insightful, she will do great things with whatever she decides to do in the future.
Our eight month journey gallivanting and gardening around the world is over, but I’m very excited for what is next. For the final four months of TRIAD, I will return to working at Longwood’s conservatory. I have learned a lot over my time abroad and now is the true test to see how I can apply to what I have learned. But for now, I’m taking a nap. A long nap…