This past weekend, Craig and I joined some friends (one of which is also an American) for some delicious barbecue and craft beer to toast Independence Day. It seemed many of our fellow Americans living abroad had the same idea — the restaurant was bursting with English.
One of the most important lessons living abroad has taught me is to put my home country in perspective. What I mean by that is remembering the bigger picture and learning to appreciate the differences that make each country unique. I’ve always been proud to be an American — and always will be — but having a greater, a wider view on the world in which I live can only help me be a better citizen of that world.
I do my best to represent America well to all people I meet here in Japan and when we travel. Stereotypes abound and no culture is free of them. By conducting myself in a respectful fashion, as someone open to learning and growing, I believe I’m doing my part and not taking this experience for granted.
I certainly missed being on a lake back in Michigan, but we had no shortage of fun (or food and drink). I hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend celebrating with friends and family. Happy 239th birthday, USA!