“Are you freaking out?” This is the first question I am asked when I tell people my husband and I are moving to Japan. And they all seemed surprised when I say no. Then they study me, tilting their head to the side like I’m a non-human species that’s difficult to comprehend, and then they smile, straighten up and say, “Well, that’s okay. You will.”
Perhaps they’re right. Maybe I will have a panic attack our first night at the Navy Lodge in Yokosuka, feel the room spinning around me as I desperately try to catch my breath. (To be fair, I had a similar experience when I first found out about the move.) But I truly don’t think so. Because honestly… I can’t wait!
Yes, it’s going to be hard to leave our family and friends. And I’m sure we will feel the sting of homesickness on occasion. And, of course, one can only eat so much sushi before they just need a good ol’ American cheeseburger. But on the whole, I am bursting at the seams to start our adventure.
I’ve done the research. I’ve read the histories, studied the culture, and attempted to learn the language. I refuse to be the ignorant American who presumes that everyone in the world should speak English. I want to experience what it’s like to live in a Japanese environment.
Now, I know that realistically it won’t be a walk in the park. Some things will be challenging. Finding a home that meets our Western idea of comfort could be hard. Learning to love raw fish will not be easy. And driving on the wrong (or rather left) side of the road might present some problems. But what’s the point of living, if you don’t have to conquer some fears.
So, here we go. All the bags have been packed, the furniture shipped overseas, the house stripped of all evidence that we ever lived there, the cars sold and sent to live with relatives, and our entire life crammed into a four suitcases (which was no small feat), and we are ready to take flight! Japan: here we come!