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Friday, February 25, 2011

Who am I and What's this All About?

Let's talk about me.

Lauren in Munich, Germany, 2009
No, really. I'm serious. I want to talk about myself. Partly to assure you that I'm not just a robot with a passport, but also because I want to be up front and honest about my intentions for the blog.

I've lived all over the East Coast of the United States, from Florida to Connecticut, but I did most of my growing up in Raleigh, North Carolina. My dream has always been to become a novelist, so I studied English Literature in University...but I kept going on tangents. I studied Japanese. Then Mandarin. I was watching Asian dramas in such high volumes, you'd have thought I had an intravenous internet connection to keep me from going through withdrawal. By the time I graduated, I had a certification in teaching English as a second language, and a one-year contract with an English school in Tokyo.

Tsukiji Fish Market, Japan 2009
I stayed in Japan for three years and even when my visa was up, I didn't want to leave. I still sometimes wish I'd renewed it, but it's hard to ignore your dad getting wibbly over the phone. Still, as you can imagine, September 2010 wasn't the best time to come home from abroad with little more than an English degree, so I spent a few months wallowing in applications and temp jobs.

Then, I landed the job for which I'm now writing this blog: Japan Travel Advisor's Social Media Coordinator. (Cue fireworks)

To be honest, I'm not a business type, so having a title like "Social MediaCoordinator" makes me feel a bit of a fraud. I don't have a background in marketing or sales, nor do I have a background in business, so I guess I'm not prepared to have a fancy job description. I tweet. I post on Facebook. I follow blogs. And I get to do it for a living. That's pretty awesome, right?

What's This All About?

So, the blog was my idea. I love blogging. I have my own blog for my writing, and it's great fun to start up a dialog with other people who are interested in the same thing. I hope that this blog can be more than just an extension of the company. I don't want to just post a bunch of “deals” and marketing lingo. I wouldn't read that and I don't expect anyone else to do so, either!

But then I realized something: I spent three years in Japan, speak Japanese, and have tons of stories and tips to pass along...and I bet I'm not the only one! There are countless places I haven't been, and I think it would be awesome to post entries including tips and suggestions from seasoned travelers and studiers abroad (huzzah for new terminology). So, if you'd like to contribute to the blog--whether that's sending your pictures and talking about an experience, or guest-blogging--send me an email at LaurenJTA@gmail.com.