It was scary, I won’t lie, making the decision to move to the other side of the world, but something more powerful than fear was pushing me. The simple explanation is that it was the need to know something different. The inquisitive nature of the human mind hounded me, telling me it was time to move out of the small pond and explore. I’ve lived a good life: there was always food on the table and clothes on my back, my parents are still happily married, I breezed through school and got a job right after graduating University — I will be the first to admit that I’m somewhat sheltered. Not that that’s a bad thing. I’m eternally grateful
to my parents for keeping me far away from a future that involved anything emo, a home with wheels, or drugs that start with “P”.
For the more complicated explanation I’ll have to get a little bit into my religious beliefs. I believe in a creator/higher power/natural force, which I have been taught to refer to as “God”. I believe that human beings, as expressions of that divine power have the same ability to create. To me, it’s nothing mystical, I’m just learning to tap into my God-given talent to plan and build the exact life I want to live, and that’s where I got the confidence to move. After all if the Almighty, the Alpha and the Omega, the ultimate Grand Poobah, the CEO of Earth Incorporated, if that unstoppable force of creation is on my side, what the hell is there to be afraid of right?
What it comes down to is that this move to Japan is a way to get out of my comfort zone, to grow mentally but also spiritually. I want to be fully self-aware, and there’s a lot one can learn about themselves and about human nature by being the outsider. Japan, still so notoriously homogeneous (I think something like 98% of the population is Japanese), will give me that perspective. It might seem strange that I want to put myself in such an uncomfortable position, but if I can do this, if I can survive and thrive in Japan — a country that fascinates the West because it’s just so different — I’ll gain something no amount of money can buy: the confidence to do Big Things. The kinds of things most people may consider doing, but for one reason or another never follow through on. I don’t know where life will take me after Japan, but whatever comes next, I’ll be well prepared to meet it.
Oh, and for you other expats in Japan, what were your reasons for making the move?