What’s your hobby?

That is the usual question people ask me when we meet for the first time. It is quite boring and I often don’t know what to answer. I don’t watch movies that much, I don’t exercise or do yoga, and I don’t drink.

But recently, I found the perfect answer: “Exploring new worlds”. Never heard of that answer? Yes, it’s an original one by me.

A person like me who gets bored easily is always seeking for something new and exciting. My first job was in urban development. Our team was looking for good and affordable land areas to develop into a brand new area. After buying land for 2 years, I decided to become a journalist. HuffPost Japan was happy to let me in. Joining the media industry from the real estate world was a big challenge. The language and culture were totally different, but I enjoyed everything that was new to me.

I was assigned to manage more than 1300 bloggers and publish their essays. There are only two people doing that job, so it was already quite tough for me to simply complete the task. However, I knew there were more topics that I want to report on.

That is when I started HuffPost Japan’s original project “Ladies Be Open”. There are still many taboos related to women’s health issues. Period pain, for example, was not something you can talk out loud in the office. However, it undeniably affects women’s work style. Japan has “period pain leave” written in the law, but less than 1% of people use it. So I started to spread this message: “ladies be open!”

The best part about exploring a new world is that you have a ton of chances to meet great people. And those great people will lead you to another new world. That is why I cannot stop doing this hobby of mine.

Joining FCP program is one of those reasons. When I think about Finland, I think about gender equality and happiness, both of which Japan is lacking. Initially, I imagined Finland as the perfect model for Japanese people. I was excited to introduce Finnish ideas to my country so that Japan can be a better country.

The more I research this country, however, I learned that Finland is not just a “Happy Nation”. The economy is not at its best, young people are having trouble getting jobs, and the discussion about refugees and immigrants is not solved. At the same time, Finland is trying to find its way to face those topics.

As a young journalist, I want to see how the Finnish youth is seeking change in their own country. Moreover, I would not apply to this program if this was not with young journalists with various backgrounds from 15 countries. My Finland trip will be more fruitful with diversity.

So, I will say it again, when people ask me.
“What is your hobby?”
“Exploring new worlds! And I will keep on doing that!”

Arisa - Japan

Author: Arisa - Japan

Arisa Ido writes and edits articles for Huffington Post Japan, where she has worked since 2016. Arisa spent 9 years of her childhood in Indonesia due to her father’s work, and so speaks English like a native. She has always been immersed in diverse cultural environment, and knows by experience that “diversity makes a richer society”. Twitter: @ArisaYesIDO ‏ Instagram @arisayesido

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