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Nolan Gonzalez ’15: Don’t Be Afraid to Explore

By Timmera Whaley'15 on March 30, 2015

nolanHometown: Seattle, Washington
Major: Computer Science

What was your favorite part of Japan?

I really liked the space in the city–Kyoto especially. The space Japan creates is different from the United States. I like to explore a lot. So, it was really fascinating to me. For example, I went to a river next to where I was staying. It stretches pretty far–north and south, I think. I liked walking down it and finding a different part of the area I was living in. It was really cool because the river would change. It had a lot of characteristics to it. The river would morph itself according to its circumstances, and it is really beautiful at night. You can hear the splashing of the water.

What is one thing Japanese culture has taught you?

I think on like a really big sense, it taught me how flexible certain aspect of our culture is. This flexibility provides a more interesting perspective of our humanity. The people I hung around taught me to appreciate certain routines–the act of doing. We would go do many different things for no apparent reason. It was not to kill time, but it was to do something during the day. The culture is much more open to going to gardens, little festivals, and stuff like that for entertainment. It makes daily life more interesting and worthwhile.

What is one piece of advice you would give to a junior interesting in going abroad?

I think it would be great to go out of your comfort zone whenever you get an opportunity. I think it is important that if your host family or others you know invite you to go somewhere, it would be better to go. You don’t know what is really going to happen. For the times I decided not to go to certain places, I regretted it. The places my host family recommended were really memorable. Don’t be afraid to say yes.

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