Nicholas Ludwig

Japan

Hometown:Altamonte Springs, Florida
School: Lake Brantley High School
Sponsor District : District 6980
Sponsor Club:Longwood, Florida
Host District: District 2610
Host Club: The Rotary Club of Kaga/Hakusan

 

My Bio


Hi my name is Nicolas Ludwig, but everyone just calls me Nic. I am 17 and I am a sophomore at Lake Brantley High School. I currently live with my Mom and my pet parakeet Kai. When I was told that I got Japan, which was my first choice, I literally freaked out and could not stop smiling for 3 days, it even got to the point where my friends thought I went face had frozen still. Even now I can’t stop smiling! Some of my favorite things to do in my spare time include playing guitar as well as composing my own music, which I have been doing since I was six. I also enjoy just sitting outside with friends and talking for hours on end about the most random things, and laughing hysterically at our comments. I have always wanted to travel to Japan ever since I was a little kid. For some reason the culture stuck to me and I just wanted to know more about it, so naturally, being the nerd I am, I went to the Library and spent hours reading about their history and legends. Though in hindsight I think I spent more time reading manga, Japanese comics, at the Library then the actual textbooks. This trip will be a completely new experience for me since I have never traveled or been away from home. Though I know I will miss everyone and everything tremendously, I realize that this is exactly what I need to grow as a person, and become the man I want to be. I can’t wait to get there so I think I will end with my favorite quote from Robert Frost’s poem “Two roads diverged into a yellow wood, and I toke the path less traveled by.”

Dinner with some other inbounds

Dinner with some other inbounds

After hour adventures in Kanazawa Castle ;)

After hour adventures in Kanazawa Castle ;)

Cool shrine

Cool shrine

A beautiful Japanese garden

A beautiful Japanese garden

I was a team leader in a festival at school safe to say it was awesome :D

I was a team leader in a festival at school safe to say it was awesome :D

Me and my friends meeting up in Komatsu

Me and my friends meeting up in Komatsu

Japan modern yet traditional

Japan modern yet traditional

Journals: Nicholas - Japan

  • Nic, outbound to Japan

    I feel I’ve grown, or rather aged, as a person since I left the airport. I know longer am troubled (as much) by the minuscule details that used to get me worked up, nor am I finding myself getting unhinged when sudden or abrupt changes occur. I feel as if I have been “mellowed out” by exchange.

    I no longer seek pleasure in the things I can hold, I seek things I can feel. It no longer matters to me how much money I make, or how successful I am in life, due to the following revelation. These things are just concepts we have given power to. They do not exist anywhere but in our heads. Look at an animal or look at tree, do they worry how successful they are or how much money they make? No. No they don’t.

    So I asked a rather simple question, but got an enigmatic response. The response simply multiplied into questions, or rather the response was the following questions. How can you tell me what is successful and what isn’t? What gives you the authority to decree successfulness? Are you anything more than another human being? How can you tell me what I need in order to be successful when your version of successful is different from mine? After heavy thought and consideration I came up with a personal answer. Everyone is different, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. So my personal answer isn't wrong or right it is simply different.*

    I have recently been trying to listen more and talk less. It sounds simple but is proving an impressive challenge for me. Probably because I always thought I was right and somehow “special.” Always a good chuckle to think back on memories and laugh at how foolish and immature I was behaving.

    All in all I am immensely enjoying Japan, and the person I am working on becoming.
    I’ll write whenever my brain permits me to form a coherent thought. Till then :)

    * I seem to remember a certain person (*coughs* Scott Krogmann) drilling this philosophy into my head.


  • Nic, outbound to Japan

    My first awesome month in Japan!

    This Journal is not going to be like the others, this journal is going to be how my mind thinks about the stimulus I experience on a daily basis.

    I’ve been in Japan for 5 weeks now, I honestly enjoy it here. For the first time I feel alive, and it’s not for the reasons you probably are thinking. I feel alive because I stopped looking for differences, I stopped giving into fear, and most importantly I realized I control nothing but the way I react to a situation. These things sound simple and obvious to most, but I think we tend to overlook the simple things. I think we get too caught up in our own head to see the simple answer. I believe that the simple things in life are the most elusive.

    Now the following is not a rant nor a long complaint, just simply an observation. I see in hindsight how ungrateful I was, I would always focus on the bad or what I didn't have. This prevented me from experiencing joy and a peaceful state of mind. By focusing on the bad you turn the lights off in your head, but when you focus on the good (no matter how small it may be) your head is illuminated with positivity and gratefulness. This is something I believe many adults and kids today lack. And it is evident in my past actions and the actions of others around me. I honestly wake up every morning and just smile that I was lucky enough to see the sun rise another day, because many people that day didn’t. I’m grateful in a way words cannot explain. I’m grateful to my family, Rotary, my friends, and to everyone who has been in my life. So thank you!

    I think I’ve taken another big step in my life, the realization that everyone has a painful background or history. I think I used to be resentful and aggressive because I believed everyone had the “perfect” life or family etc. But now I don’t. I finally opened up to a group of people (my D6980 family) and they opened up to me.

    I realized that everyone experiences pain, so the only thing we can do to help soothe the pain is kindness. I believe that kindness and understanding ends war, famine, and hatred. I’ve made it my mission everyday to make as many people smile. Even if its only one person or even if its an animal, I just want others to be happy. And when I see another person smile, it fills my heart with a warmth I’ve never experienced before. It literally makes me grin ear to ear all day, just because I could make someone happy.

    I know you probably wanted to hear about the things I’ve done but that can wait. What happened is the past, and what is happening right now is the present. So I’m going to go live my life with no regrets and smile.

    Sincerely,

    Nicolas Gaines Ludwig :)

    PS Sorry My English isn't as great as it was, Japanese grammar is the polar opposite, so if it doesn't flow right thats why haha.


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