Ariko Kimoto in London
I’m super excited to be a part of the GGI family. Can I just say I’ve been there, believe me, when I went to my first monthly GGI drink event, not knowing anyone and feeling super intimidated!! Stephanie the Community Manager at the time, welcomed me with open arms and that was just the start in meeting amazing women in this city who are independent, driven, and from all over the world. It definitely seems GGI attracts them!
I moved to the UK almost 3 years ago, married to a Brit, although initially I was super against the idea of a woman moving for a man! But hey real love changes things, right?
I’ve been in the video game industry for over ten years now and travel A LOT. Around Europe, US, and Japan. I’ve lived in the US (west coast baby!) for 2/3 of my life so I’m basically American, but actually Japanese in origin and my core values definitely stem from Japanese culture.
I'm super grateful for having found GGI. When moving to the UK, the first year was really hard, missing my friends and knowing I had to start rebuilding a foundation from scratch in a country I knew would be my new home.
Even though I had a British husband born and raised, I wanted my own network of friends and my own life. It's a lot more difficult when you're not a student anymore and when you don't work in a large office with people you click with.
I tried different Meetup groups but I found the people who are naturally attracted to GGI seem to be genuine and fun, at the same time smart, strong and worldly. It's inspiring every time I go to an event and meet someone new. I get energy, motivation and inspiration when I surround myself with GGI ladies and I'll eternally be grateful for this community!
I love dancing. Danced all my life – ballet, jazz, modern, hiphop. I am really into my coffee being from Seattle and Japanese flower arrangements (ikebana) which all ties into my biggest passion, pottery. I’m in pursuit of making the perfect coffee mug and different shaped vases that’ll enhance my flower arrangements. I'm a total foodie but have a huge bias towards Japanese food. Nom!!! Always up for trying new cuisines and trying the latest cafes and restaurants.
Where do you live or where are you right now and why?
London for work and for the British-born hubby
How has GGI affected or impacted your life or the lives of others?
Lifelong friendships, memorable experiences, and a global community I feel like I can be part of for a long time and wherever I end up in the world.
How did you get involved with Girl Gone International?
I found out about GGI when I was searching through Meetup.com and really just trying and attending anything I could to meet other like-minded people.
What it is like living in your city as a GGI (ups and downs)?
London can be intimidating. It's fast-paced and lots are happening all the time. Sometimes it's hard to keep up with what's going on, so having the GGI Facebook community and the GGI gals suggesting and sharing events around London is a great resource!
It's hard to build lasting friendships in such a big city so having regular events and regular participants through GGI has been great!