This is Ryo, a Japanese we met last year on the bus from Phnom Penh to Saigon. He came by Cebu for a weekend visit April of this year, taking a break from his English studies in Manila. I made him practice his English by answering some of my questions. :-D
What made you want to travel? I think experience is most important. I can experience a lot of things through traveling. And I think seeing is believing. I can learn many things too, especially when I'm in a foreign country. Moreover, I can meet many new friends and get good memories. There are many reasons. Anyway, I just like to experience exciting things to make good memories.
Do you prefer traveling alone or with a companion? Why? I like both. If I travel alone, I can meet many new people and I can improve myself. If I travel with my friends, I can get along with my friends more and make good memories with them. I can't choose one. But I don't like being alone. If I travel by myself, I want to meet people. (laughs)
Why did you decide to study English? I wasn't able to speak English when I traveled to foreign countries before. I was able to communicate with Japanese only. Then I thought if I could speak English, I would be able to enjoy my travel more. If I learn English, I can talk to foreigners as well as Japanese. I wanted to get along with foreigners.
Why did you choose to study in the Philippines? Studying English in the Philippines is cheaper than in other countries. And studying English in the Philippines is perfect for beginners, I thought. Because Filipinos speak English more slowly and clearly. That's why I came here.
What is the strangest thing that has happened to you while you were traveling? Actually I didn't like going out alone before because I was really shy. I didn't even go to the clothes shop alone. When I go to the shop, some staff would talk to me. That's why I am always with someone. But through travel, I changed. Now I can do many things by myself. I couldn't imagine I would enjoy traveling despite being by myself.
The most memorable? Making Japanese friends. Even if we are together only one day, we would be best friends just because we are from the same country. I could make many friends through travel. So meeting new people makes good memories for me. And it will continue even when I come home to Japan.
What's the strangest food you have ever eaten? Where was this? Of course. Balut in the Philippines.