I have 20 more days till I leave for Japan, I’m so excited I’m basically packed to go but there are a million thoughts in my head, and seemingly even more little things to get done.

After three years of university, I cannot believe I am finally going on the internship of my dreams. I’ve always been a traveller, and from a young age, my parents encouraged me to explore locally as well as internationally. My interest in the CAPI program started in my second year when I began looking for opportunities to use my classroom learnings in the real world. I became interested in Japanese culture through the famous film director Yasujir┼Ź Ozu. I fell in love with the simplicity, neatness and complexity with which Japanese citizens lived their lives in his movies. From there I did my little bit to get to know the country as much as I could through literature and nonfiction writings.

This fall I will be interning at CITYNET Yokohama which was established in 1987 and since then has grown with the support of UNESCAP, UNDP and UN-Habitat. Their aim is to help build more sustainable and resilient cities in the Asian region. I am excited to understand, from a more hands-on approach, the problems organizations like CITYNET face in promoting and funding urban development. I hope that by the end of the internship I can give a more holistic explanation of the problems citizens are facing living in Asian cities. As a lover of cities, I really want to understand the future of them.

My personal goal for my time in Japan will be to create a home for myself in another new city. For many people, the scariest aspect of travelling is doing it alone. And I can’t deny the idea of moving to another city is scary but to battle these thoughts I have made a plan to pick up some new hobbies. They will allow me to explore Yokohama and nearby cities and provide opportunities to meet new people. The hobbies are water-colour painting, meditation and cooking. The choices aren’t random but rather skills I have wanted to bring back into my life, and I find a place like Japan is appropriate to do so. I want to explore the many temples in Japanese cities, and maybe attend some mediation sessions. Tokyo, apart from being a major tech hub and every anime person’s dream, has some amazing art cafes. Japan like many other Asian countries is a foodie heaven, I know as a vegetarian I will have some trouble finding variety in my foods so I thought when is a better time to learn some new recipes than when you’re moving to Japan!