On living overseas, by Hannah.
I have often been asked about what it is like to live in Japan. Immigrant, foreigner, visa-holder – call it what you like, there is a lot of curiosity around what it is like to move to another country.. and stay there. The expectation is that some people take a gap year, and many tour around to become “globally-minded” and well-traveled, but fewer put down roots in another country.
It took me a while before I felt credible enough to write about living here. There are lots of people who have lived in Japan much longer than myself (a Canadian co-worker of mine has been here for at least 20 years), and it takes a while to feel that you really belong, or have any right to a new place, beyond surface exploration.
Now I can really say that Japan is home, if any country can be called that.
This doesn’t mean that America has ceased to be, along with my love for all of my friends and family in my native country, and I also can’t say that I will live here forever. While we have no intentions of moving away, my husband I believe that anything is possible. But for now, Japan is our home.
Some people have fantasies about what it is like to live overseas, or imagine that it is only possible for the wealthy, or that it is harder or easier than it is in actuality. There were lots of misconceptions that I had about living abroad as well, until I experienced it first-hand. However, despite all of the challenges, it is definitely something I would not undo.
I am curious, too – what aspects of life abroad are interesting to others?
Please share your questions and comments below.
Photo credit: Hannah