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World map in IKEA under a light bulb
World map in IKEA under a light bulb
Original photo by Caitlin Lu
Life > Experiences

Two Random but Wholesome Conversations I Had With Two People in Japan

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

Whenever I want to think about something that would make me happy or want something to be grateful for, I usually look back at my memories. Every single time I have done that, I have always felt reassured that there is always something to be hopeful for. Usually, I tend to be hopeful about humanity and how thoughtful and courteous we can really be to one another.

For the past two to three years, I have really thought about conversations with two specific people that I randomly met in Japan when I was visiting over spring break of my senior year in high school. These simple yet endearing conversations have certainly brought me so much inspiration and joy to my life, and I hope they bring a little joy to your life as well.

The Upcoming Oncologist in the Bullet train

One of the biggest reasons why my family decided to go to Japan was to see the cherry blossoms in the spring. We came a bit late during the season, so one of the only places that still had cherry blossoms was Hirosaki Castle. It was beautiful seeing the cherry blossoms on that rainy day, but I think what really made that day memorable was when I was taking a bullet train ride back to the hotel we were staying at in Osaka. 

Of course, there were many people who were taking the train to get to where they needed to be and one of them was a lady who noticed my family and me. She introduced herself to my older brother and me and was telling us about her life. She mentioned how one of her parents passed away due to leukemia and how that experience encouraged her to train to become an oncologist.

By the time she had to leave, she said something to me that I don’t specifically remember, but it was something along the lines of, follow your heart and do something good for the world.

It still makes me emotional when I think about what she was trying to communicate with me and I don’t think she knows how much that conversation meant to me and has positively impacted who I am today. To have a conversation with someone that inspiring and wise is tremendously valuable to me and I wish I could have a chance to say thank you to her in person.

The Little Kid During his field trip in Nara Park

My family also wanted to check out this place called Nara Park, which has a beautiful temple and a huge group of deer that move around the area. When I was done looking through the temple, I was sitting somewhere, talking to my brother. A boy came up to me with a few notes in his journal and was looking at me. He was saying hi and was trying to start a conversation with me in English.

It was really cute since he was really making an effort to talk to me and would keep on looking back at his journal to make sure he was saying things correctly. He ended up saying bye and went back to his classmates and his teacher; I think they were on a field trip to specifically speak to tourists to practice their English. It wasn’t a deep conversation in any way, but I was touched that he was willing to speak to me since it takes a lot of courage to speak to a stranger that doesn’t know your language; looking back at that moment, I am really proud of him. He was a really sweet kid and I hope he is doing well.

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Sapna Parihar

U Mass Amherst '23

Sapna is a member of the University of Massachusetts Amherst chapter from the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a junior majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Psychology. Sapna is excited to continue writing about wellness and anything else that revolves around her passions. Her interests include dancing, crocheting, listening to R&B and Pop, and reading self-help books.