I’ve been talking about moving to Japan to live there permanently for years now. Now that it’s finally happening, (well, there are a few caveats…) I feel a sudden and profound surge of gratitude towards all those around me who supported and challenged me on this endeavor.
I woke up the morning of my flight and just laid there, staring up at the ceiling in the quiet darkness. 'My last morning in the US…' After that moment of reflection I rolled out of bed, slightly bleary-eyed and limbs still heavy with sleep. It wasn’t until I was about to pull out of the driveway of my childhood home that I realized this could be the last time I would see this place, and my parents, for possibly years. The thought startled and frightened me. I hugged my dad more tightly, throat closing up, fighting back the tears welling up in my eyes. Leaving for a foreign country to pursue a career and life abroad was suddenly so daunting. It was all so exciting before that moment. I mean, it still is exciting; but as I squeezed my dad tightly, I really felt the weight of the loss I was about to experience by leaving them behind- Dad lovingly chides me, says I’m “abandoning” him.
I experienced the throat crushing urge to cry again as I waved goodbye to my mom after going through the security line at the airport. No tears fell, but I felt the strain to quell them in my throat.
Once I arrived, Japan seemed to be welcoming me. Spring is the season for blossoming flowers, new jobs and school semesters, and fresh starts. It’s actually the prefect time for me to move here. I went to see the cherry blossoms of Nara’s Yoshino Mountain the other day; and as I looked out over the mountainside doused in pink and white, I felt the distinct sense that I was exactly where I belonged.
(Photos: Cherry blossoms at Nara's Yoshino Mountain with my boo, Tsubasa. It was a tiring, but wonderful hike!)
I’ve come to realize exactly how extremely lucky I am to have such loving, wonderful, supportive people in two very different countries in this world. The saying goes, "Home is where the heart is." Well then, my heart is split in two!
As I continue my life here in Japan, I’ll be writing about my adventures and other interesting things I encounter. I hope you’ll continue to join me on my journey!