Elijah documents his experiences traveling with his family and AFS on his popular YouTube channel, EliNation.

Elijah Knorpp is not your average sixteen-year-old. He has eight siblings (five of whom are adopted), travels around the country with his family, and recently returned from an action-packed two-week study abroad program in Japan.

Elijah has always been fascinated by Japanese culture and language. He says, “I’ve been obsessed with a lot of things in my life, and I’d say about half of them have to do with Japan.” He decided to participate in the AFS Japan Global Prep program because he wanted to experience the country firsthand, not just through the movies and documentaries he loves.

Elijah and his classmates in Japan.

Along with a group of other like-minded AFSers, Elijah spent two weeks at a high school in Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan. There, he and his friends got to see some of the sights while learning Japanese from native speakers and spending time with local students. Of his unique cultural learning experience, Elijah says, “I think doing something like this, international traveling in general or just traveling, gives you a really good perspective on the world.”

Elijah’s interest in going abroad was inspired by his parents, Megan and Mike, who travel the world with their nine kids and record their experiences on their YouTube channel, Knorpp and South. Megan explains, “We hope that a huge part of our traveling is that [the children] are going to be future leaders in whatever arena they choose. And that they have a really broad understanding of people, and that they are open to other cultures, other viewpoints, other faiths, and other politics.” With their videos, the Knorpp family tries to promote positivity and “help people remember that the world is still an amazing place and it’s not as bad as the news says it is.”

Elijah and his family.

Megan and Mike were extremely excited to hear that Elijah would get to travel to Japan on his own and document his experience. Megan says, “We appreciate that now he’ll have the opportunity to travel without us and learn a whole new set of skills!”

Elijah was influenced by his parents’ YouTube success and decided to create his own channel, EliNation, where he could share stories of his family’s travels from his own perspective. You can find out more about Elijah’s adventures in Japan by visiting his popular YouTube channel or following him on Instagram.



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