I remember back in Year 8 or 9, I was chatting to my school bus driver after school one day. He asked me what I wanted to be in the future. A writer, I said without hesitation. Like most kids, I read a lot when I was in primary school: mysteries, romance novels, war stories, fantasy stories, young adult books. I would stay up past my bedtime, engrossed in the lives of the characters. Not only did I love getting caught up in those stories, but I was inspired by them. I let my imagination guide my fingers as I typed page after page of my own ‘novel’. Despite my passion for writing at the time, as I went through high school, my dream job changed numerous times, and my story as well as my goal to be an author took a back seat.
So, it’s kind of strange that all these years later, I am doing what my 13 year old self wanted to do! Have you ever found yourself unknowingly living out a dream you used to have? What’s meant to be will be! Over the past year, I have had some exciting opportunities knock on my door that have kept me busy and definitely rekindled that childhood dream of writing for a living.
I had my first ever article published back in January ’15 by a travel website called Taiken Japan, which is a blogging hub full of Japan-based foreigners sharing their travel stories and outlook on life here. They were just starting to recruit bloggers, so I was free to write about whatever I liked. I contributed half a dozen articles, basically once a month, until July.
And then came an even bigger surprise. I was contacted by BBC Travel who were looking for someone to be the Tokyo representative in their Localite project. They wanted someone to introduce a side of Tokyo most travellers wouldn’t know about, focussing particularly on Tokyoites with an interesting background story. It was definitely a challenge to meet their expectations, but it was a great experience and one I’m very grateful for.
So far this year, I’ve been involved in another online project which should be going up any day now. And my next major goal is to contribute to the Lonely Planet. Ambitious, I know, but as I’m teaching my high school students at the moment, you have to set high goals and take risks in order to move forward… “If you want to see a long way, you have to build a high tower!”
If you have some free time, please click on the links and have a read. I hope you’ll find them interesting and learn something new about Japan!