Farewells and a Little Time Travel

Yesterday, our trip around Japan came to an end. With this departure came the imminent separation of the group with whom we had spent an entire month. The main group left the morning of January 30 to get to the airport. Two others, including me, took a flight later in the afternoon and were the last group to arrive back in Chicago. Two of our group left to other countries while one remained in Japan to continue exploring for a few more days - to these people, we wish safe travels and the best of luck!

Our time in Japan was a rollercoaster of activity. We spent a lot of  time traveling to different areas around Japan's main island, Honshū, visiting different temples and businesses every day. (To learn more about these adventures, you can look back at the amazing posts other group members have written on this blog!) When our group was walking  around Japan, it didn't feel much different from walking around an unfamiliar city in America. Because of this, my being on the other side of the world didn't register until I was on the plane back to the United States.

For those of us who have now finished our adventures abroad, it's safe to say that we've all been looking at American culture in a new light since we got back. This week before classes is going to be a time to reflect on all the experiences we had. But for now, we face the daunting task of overcoming jetlag. For me, the  sensation of boarding a flight at 5:30 a.m. on January 30 and arriving back in Chicago at 5:30 p.m. on January 30 was jarring, to say the  least. The main group traveling back managed to land earlier in the day than they left, getting to relive four whole hours of their Tuesday. And  they say time travel doesn't exist...

Regardless of the extra time, rest assured that our first priority will be getting some sleep! That's where I'll be heading soon, so oyasumi nasai, sayōnara - goodnight, and goodbye!


The Tokyo skyline.