I thought I’d write and let you know: I’m going to Tokyo and Aomori, Japan, in April 2017 – an amazing opportunity for me, and one for which I’m exceedingly grateful.  I’ll be co-chaperoning a trip from Camden Rockport Middle School with my friend and colleague Ian McKenzie, taking ten 8th graders on a most amazing adventure.

So much to research. So much to do. So much to keep my mind bustling at 3am when I should be sleeping. The excitement of traveling does that to me.  To be fair, everything does that to me these days, that awake at 3am thing, but this, THIS will be a real doozy of a mind-ogling thing to enjoy being awake for.



First, we’ll spend two days in Tokyo.  Then, we’ll hop a train to Aomori, several hours north of the big city.  There, we’ll stay with host families, visit our sister school, and go on quieter adventures such as bowling, eating out and seeing local sites. The real adventure is the full immersion into the language, culture and heritage of this elegant country.  I can hardly wait.

The exchange itself (Japanese students from Aomori for American students from Camden) has been going on for a decade. That’s no small feat in this educational and financial climate. It’s a trip that this little seaside town prioritizes. I’m proud and honored to be a part of it.

Four months before we do our traveling, in January 2017, as we do every January, we’ll host Japanese students here.  We’ll keep them ridiculously busy, fitting in all the grandest, culturally rich experiences we can (along with reticent activities like ice skating, too) – and when we’re there they’ll do the same.  It’s a stunning show of global communication, education, acceptance and love. It’s one of my favorite things about my school.


View of Aomori from Aomori Bay

Guy and Garrett went to Japan in 2012.  They went to Fukuoka and Hiroshima, in southern Japan – an entirely different focus and experience: the equivalent of visiting Texas and comparing it to Maine.

How about any of you?  Have you been to Tokyo and/or Aomori?  What can you tell me?