Laura, Japan Specialist
Laura first travelled to Japan at the age of 15, living as part of a family on a three month exchange in Nagasaki. Touched by the warmth and hospitality of those she met, she developed a strong bond with Japan and its people.
After returning to her hometown of Minneapolis in the US, she continued to pursue her passion for all things Japanese by studying the language, history and culture to degree level alongside a Global Studies BA, achieving magna cum laude level of honours from the University of Minnesota.
She returned to Japan many more times over on further exchanges, including a year long stay as an English teacher in the stunning region of Shizuoka, near Mount Fuji, where she discovered her love of hot springs and the way of life in rural Japan.
In her spare time, Laura enjoys watching foreign films, practicing yoga and trying out all of London's great restaurants.
I'll never forget when…
The fascinating ritual of Japanese of tea ceremony, or Sado, has been around for hundreds of years, and is based on the wonderful idea of ichi-go, ichi-e meaning one time, one meeting, a chance in a lifetime. I was lucky enough to spend a morning with the ladies of the Women's Association of Kyoto doing just this. Dressed in our silk kimonos, we quietly sipped our tea and shared a moment together where we didn't need words to communicate. It was very special.