Nishihata Forces Herself Out of Her Comfort Zone On Epson Tour

As Neale Donald Walsch said, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” For Moeka Nishihata, her comfort zone ended at the 6,302nd mile. And her new life began the 6,303rd mile. The Epson Tour rookie has traveled away from her home in Japan to the United States in order to pursue her career in golf. After playing on the JLPGA qualifying tour (the Step-Up Tour) for six years, Nishihata decided it was time to tee it up in America.

Traveling to the United States meant Nishihata would have many obstacles to overcome on her journey. These challenges, like not speaking English, knowing the culture, or having friends and family to keep her company did not scare her away from leaving home.

“I couldn’t speak any English when I came to the US, and I still can’t speak well,” said Nishihata. “But I didn’t have any anxiety or worry about coming here. I was actually very excited.”

Nishihata has enjoyed her experience so far and said that it’s hard to be sad when she encounters so many kind people. Despite being away from home for six months, she’s learned to lean on friends she’s made on the Epson Tour.

“They teach me a lot,” said Nishihata. “The support from players and the people with the Epson Tour allows me to stay here and enjoy my time.”

A small family reunion happened when Nishihata’s brother joined her in the states. Watching her play the Circling Raven Championship and Wildhorse Ladies Golf Classic, Nishihata went from visitor to tour guide.

Just as Nishihata leaned on her new Epson Tour friends, her brother needed to lean on her for two weeks.

“It’s been 6 months since I’ve seen my brother,” said Nishihata. “I was happy to see him, but at the same time I felt like I had to be reliable, since it was his first time coming to the US.”

To keep herself in high spirits, especially when she’s alone and without the support of her brother, Nishihata tries to stay in the present. She thinks less about the future and more about the reasons she stays on tour.

“My most favorite thing about being here is the environment of golf,” said Nishihata. “And the people, they are very friendly and kind. Japanese people are mostly shy.”

Traveling alone to a place that is totally unfamiliar takes courage, and what Nishihata has done at just 24-years-old is something most people would never do. Although she may struggle at times, she knows that pushing herself out of her comfort zone will make her a more resilient and well-rounded person.

“Life here is tough because I can’t speak English well,” said Nishihata. “But this makes me stronger.”