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Many people ask what led me to Japan, and the answer is simple: a strong love for meeting new people
and traveling. I grew up in the southwestern desert region of the United States (Phoenix, Arizona, via my birthplace
of Las Vegas, Nevada!) and I have been interested in learning about other languages and cultures for as long as I can remember.
My first study abroad experience was in Limoges, France as a first-year university student, and my studies of the French language
provided the foundation for me to later learn both Portuguese and Spanish (or, as I am now more likely to be found speaking, Portuñol!).
I began studying Japanese in high school, and went on to major in East Asian Languages and Literature
at Arizona State University. My focus was Japanese, and also included studies of Mandarin Chinese
(with which I can make my way around as a tourist, as long as my trusty dictionary is on hand!).
I spent my fourth year of university as an exchange student in the Peace Studies department of Hiroshima Shudo University.
In addition to deepening my understanding of Japanese culture, this experience was illustrative in shaping
my strong conviction that we must always use our voices toward creating positive social change,
rather than aiming to solve conflicts through violence and war.
After two more years spent in Japan as a Coordinator for International Relations on the
Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme in the lovely city of Nikko, Tochigi prefecture,
I went on to earn my MA in sociocultural anthropology from the University of California, San Diego in 2000.
I then moved to Tokyo, where I began my freelance career as a multi-faceted wordsmith.
In addition to writing, editing and translating, I also began co-organizing workshops for the
Peace Not War Japan cultural collective, which used music and dance as portals through which
to encourage young people to consider issues relating to sustainability and non-violent conflict resolution.
My career has more recently allowed me to travel throughout the exquisitely gorgeous Japanese archipelago
for travel writing assignments, as well as to interview numerous fascinating individuals working in
many different fields for articles in various online and print publications. Many of my writings
land where art/design and culture intersect with sustainability and social justice.
I can usually be found working on my laptop while drinking coffee across the
cafes of the metropolis, or at home putzing around in my micro veggie garden.
I appreciate your stopping by!
About Me: About Me
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