There are a few good stories coming up involving my friend and coworker Vivian from England. I met a lot of different people during my 3 years teaching in Japan, and Vivian was always one of my favourites due to her personality and attitude. Here’s a good example of what made her so cool:
Shortly after Vivian came to Japan, she learned that the local “English school and bar”, Speak E-Z, had salsa dancing classes one night a week. Vivian loved salsa dancing, and was really excited to go check out the classes. In the days leading up to her first class, she invited virtually all of the teachers in the area to come with her. Some said no, many said yes.
On the night of the first class, she got dressed up, and started trying to collect her dance team. One after the other, everyone cancelled. Some didn’t feel like it, some didn’t have anything to wear, and one small group decided to watch a movie instead.
Many people in this situation would have given up, taken off their salsa dancing clothes, and sat at home, quietly hating their friends. Vivian decided to go by herself instead.
She walked into Speak E-Z, introduced herself to everyone in the room, and then proceeded to have a lot of fun dancing and hanging out afterwards. She came home with a phone full of new contact numbers and three dates set up over the next few weeks!
I know that walking into a room full of strangers and introducing yourself is not easy for most people. But if you’re going to move away from friends and family and travel half way around the world, you should at least get out of the house and make some new experiences. Vivian had exactly the right idea, and she made the most out of her time in Japan.