My dogs, Izzie and Buttercup

About Me

My name is Jamie Gonzalez and I am a graduate student in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC) at Texas State University. I completed my undergraduate degree at Texas State as well, and have a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in journalism.

In my professional career, I have worked as a writer, editor, social media manager, director of media outreach, and content manager for various print and web publications, including E.W. Scripps, Bankrate, Inc., Zilker Theatre Productions, and Builder Homesite, Inc.

When I’m not at school or work, you can find me hanging out with my dogs, Izzie and Buttercup, spending time with my family, swimming at Barton Springs, or catching live music in Austin (my favorite band is a local rock band called Rival Waves).

My Travel Experience

Jamie Gonzalez pets a brown and white longhorn
Petting a longhorn on a recent trip to Blanco, Texas

I’ve traveled to many places within the United States, including New York City, San Diego, Los Angeles, Denver, and Las Vegas. I’ve also seen much of my home state of Texas.

Overseas travel has always been a daydream of mine, but never a priority until recently. I have left the continental United States a handful of times in my life: once to Canada, for a brief visit to Niagara Falls, and a few times to Mexico, which is only a few hours’ drive from my hometown near Corpus Christi, Texas. However, my last sojourn beyond the U.S. border was about 20 years ago, and none of these trips required a passport for entry. However, after enduring the COVID-19 pandemic, I moved traveling abroad to the top of the list.

In 2022, I applied for and received my first passport, with the hope of soon filling it with stamps. So, in the spring of 2023, I was ecstatic to learn about the opportunity to travel to Japan with SJMC as part of a study abroad program. Apparently, I go big or go home, as my first stamp will be this summer 2023 Japan trip.

My Hopes for the Trip

I, like many other Americans who travel to Japan, am most excited to experience Japanese cuisine. I thoroughly enjoy cooking (and eating!), and am looking forward to expanding my palate while abroad. I would love to visit Kappabashi, “Japan’s kitchen wonderland,” and bring home a Japanese chef’s knife (or two).

I’m also excited to visit the gorgeous parks in Japan and am hoping to visit Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama in Kyoto, which invites guests to observe and feed wild macaque monkeys. I am looking forward to taking peaceful strolls through the local fauna as well.

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