For those that have read my musings, whether my Vietnam blog last summer or my column for the Duke Chronicle over the course of this past academic year, you can probably tell that I really like to write. To me, there is nothing more satisfying than plopping down after a long day of adventure and exploration; of curiosity and learning, and externalizing my experiences on a digital interface.
I love to share stories and I love an audience. I'll try to make whatever it is I'm talking about both funny and informative. I really enjoy mixed media and embedding images, videos, and other web-based features into each post, so it should be as fun to read as it is to write hopefully.
My basic itinerary is as follows: 1. Japan (2 weeks) 2. Shanghai (4 weeks) 3. Backpacking around China (4 weeks)
I hope that you will follow along with me this summer as I attempt to encapsulate and reflect on my journey.
OKAY!!! Introduction finished!
So where are you and what is going on?
That's a great question my curious subconscious! And yes! I made the same joke on my blog last year. Right now, I am in Osaka, Japan. Osaka is the third largest city in Japan and has a population of roughly 2.5 million. I flew out on May 27th, fleeing both Trump's America and my teens as I had just turned 20 years old the day before.
After almost a day of travel, I finally met up with Landon Garfinkel and his parents Alan and Francie at our hotel. Oh!!! That reminds me....back story.
Long story short
Landon and I met doing speech and debate competitions in high school. We both competed in Humorous and Duo Interpretation and naturally became pretty good friends. The summer after our junior year of high school, I invited him to come spend a week with my family at our home in North Carolina. Landon said he was "down" and our wonderful mother's handled the logistical details. Somehow, Landon's mom figured out that the name Besner sounded familiar and asked my mom if her husband had a sister named Brandy. I do in fact have an Aunt Brandy. She loves Bitmoji very much. But how did she possibly know this?
Well, as it turns out, my dad (Brad) and Landon's dad (Alan) were best friends as kids while growing up in North Miami. As Alan remembers, they walked together to school everyday and would often play sports in their neighborhood. Alan and his family moved away when they were in middle school and they hadn't talked since.
Woah! This is some crazy stuff going on. So that was the beginning of it all. We reconnected our fathers the following November and our families have been close ever since.
Landon and I in North Carolina, 2014.
Alan (left), me (holding umbrella), and Landon (right) at a Japanese restaurant in 2015.
Since going to college, Landon and I have stayed in touch, but hadn't spent a significant amount of time together. So, perhaps to ensure that Landon and I didn't drink apart as our fathers had, the Garfinkel's invited me to join them on a cruise in Japan.
We start in Osaka and make our way down the coast of Japan, to Taiwan, and end in Hong Kong. We will board the ship tonight, a small Abercrombie & Kent vessel with only 150 passengers. We went to the welcome dinner last night and Landon and I are the only passengers under the age of 50. We hypothesized that the median age is probably 70, so we're going to fit right in. We met this woman who claims she is the Grand Duchess of Poland and we have befriended her already. I'm sure more on that will surface later.
That's about all I have time for now as my computer is about to run out of charge. I'll be posting pictures periodically in the gallery page of this site. Thanks for reading!