Who is Risa Xu?

Since I've revamped my layout, I thought a fresh start was necessary! And with all of this newness happening, one my best friends helped me realize I never did a post about me. We all know how much people like talking about themselves right?

If you ask different people the question in the title of this post, you'll probably get pretty different answers -- ranging from, "Who's that?" to "That's not her real name..." to "What IS her real name?" So let's start at the beginning... 

Anyone that says "Risa" isn't my real name is right -- neither is Lisa. I was actually born in Nan Jing, China and I moved to the States when I was two years old, so my real name is actually in Chinese. Both my parents were acrobats so we traveled around a bunch; I've been to more than half of the United States. So I really did grow up in the circus. My dad toured with the Cirque du Soleil in Japan during the early 1990's for the Saltimbanco show. [I'll have find some more pictures when I go home to my dad's place again next year :)]


When I first moved to the United States, I lived in Oakland, California. To be honest, until I was about 10, I thought we had lived in San Francisco. After that, we lived in Lampe, Missouri for a while. If you have ever asked me about Missouri, I always say Branson because no one has any idea where Lampe is. I fished on Table Rock Lake, got snowed in during the winter, and ate as many hot dogs as my three year old tummy could hold at the theatre my dad's troop performed at. 

Eventually, my parents settled down in Las Vegas, and as exciting as that may sound, when it's somewhere you grow up, it's very different from when you just vacation there. Neither of my parents were formally educated so my education was always a big deal to my parents, and Vegas isn't exactly what someone would consider the best place for that.

Regardless of the downsides, I met some of my best friends that I wouldn't trade for the world. I worked throughout high school at my first job at Apple as a Concierge, where my love for technology grew. I graduated high school a year early, with high honors in 2009. 


One of my dreams was always to travel to Japan and study abroad. While Nan Jing is not a well known city in China for non-Chinese people, those that do know of Nan Jing, know of one thing: the Nan Jing Massacre. So imagine my parents hearing from their only child that she wants to study abroad in Japan. Nevertheless, I did my research on what language programs were available in Tokyo and what the best way to go about staying for longish-short term in Tokyo was. I convinced my parents with my well thought out plan, and I was on my way in April 2010 to a three month stay in Tokyo. 


I had the absolute time of my life in Tokyo and the experiences I had are invaluable, not to just my personal growth but professional, as well. After three months in a different country, returning to Las Vegas seemed almost (excuse the pun) dry. It lacked the culture and life that Tokyo had shown me. I started looking into schools -- it had narrowed down between Temple University in Philadelphia and Suffolk University in Boston. The only reason I was looking at Temple was because I wanted to study in Japan again and they had a sister campus in Japan. But at the end of the day, Suffolk, with their smaller class sizes, being in the heart of Boston, and having a program for the career path I wanted to pursue made the decision easier. I moved across the country in 2011. And it was the best decision I've ever made. 


Fast forward to now, 2014. I've been living in Boston a little over three years and have been blessed with a great college experience, my best friend moving out to Boston, and meeting some great people along the way. In December of this year (less than 80 days left, but who's counting?!), I'll be done with my BSBA in Global Business & Marketing. And shortly after finishing school, I'll be moving to New York City. 

That's obviously not everything, nor would I reveal all my deepest, darkest secrets online. But that was pretty much me in a nutshell! If you have any questions, want more information about anything I've done, or just have a general comment, I'd love to hear from you in the comment section below. I promise I'll respond! :)

PersonalRisa Xupersonal, travel