My first “Oh My G-d, I’m on PacRim” moment was when I got in the car with my host mother and sister in Japan. I left the only 25 people I knew in the entire country to drive an hour away with complete strangers. Utter. Terror. I found solace in thinking that if I could make it through a month of separation from my co-travelers, I would have overcome the most daunting challenge on PacRim. Little did I know, my homestay family was nothing to overcome. They were to be embraced as whole-heartedly and graciously as they were embracing me. I proceeded to develop a relationship with my host mother that will be precious to me for the rest of my life. She gave me the courage to take public transportation from Osaka to Kyoto (2.5 hours each way) every day. She held me when my Grandpa passed away. She lured me away from studying too much with day adventures and drinking whiskey. The following photographs are of the places she chose to take me. They are beautiful simply because they are representative of her ceaseless effort to incorporate me into her life. To make Japan feel like another home where I have another family.