August 2019 Te Contractor’s Advantage
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Growing Up Around the World
When I was a kid, both of my parents worked for the military. They worked in the American intelligence community as civilians. It was a relationship that took our family all around the world, to England, Germany, Japan, and many other countries. Growing up was an interesting experience, though not too dissimilar from kids who grow up with parents actually in the military. It was sometimes difficult to form long-term friendships, but at the same time, I was able to grow closer to my family. We would uproot our entire lives and move from place to place, but we still had each other. It was also a fantastic opportunity to really see the world and experience different cultures and ways of life and meet new, interesting people. On top of that, in each new location, I could explore and take it all in, really getting a sense of the place. In many ways, this gave me a cosmopolitan outlook on the world — it lets you really appreciate the world at large to a greater degree and gain some perspective. When we were in England, we lived in Yorkshire. If you’re not familiar, Yorkshire is a region in the northern part of England. It rains practically every day as the wind blows over the moors. Even to this day, Yorkshire sticks out in my mind in a very particular way, as living there had a profound impact on me. Every time it rains here at home, I can’t help but feel nostalgic for my time in Yorkshire. I had so many happy times there, and
sometimes I miss it. As much as it rained and seemed so bleak, it was so green and incredibly beautiful. While we were living in Japan, I had the chance to climb Mt. Fuji. Of course, I say climb, but there is an entire industry built around getting people to the summit. For many people, it’s a day-long hike that can get a little steep toward the end, but there are also other means of getting to the top. Many people in Japan follow the Shinto religion, which I understand reveres high places. People make pilgrimages to Mt. Fuji, and, because of this, there are many inns and cabins on the trails leading to the summit. Older folks can take their time ascending the mountain, while others can hike it in less than a day. I was in a group that hiked Mt. Fuji overnight. It was an eight- hour hike to see the sun rise over Japan. That morning, you could see the sun shimmering on the many
lakes surrounding Mt. Fuji. It was a breathtaking sight.
These are just a couple of my experiences from my youth. When I got older, I moved to the U.S. to go to college, and my days of living around the world came to an end. I’ll always appreciate the perspective and global education I gained during my childhood, and I’ll always be thankful for all of the experiences and adventures I had the privilege of undertaking.
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