2017 has been a big shift in my life. It was full of blessings, surprises, and adventure. I landed my job in Japan as a teacher. It has been my dream to live in this country and I love it here. I would like to share the things I learned living in this beautiful country.
1. Learning a language offers you a lot of opportunities to explore a culture
STEPPING INTO THE UNKNOWN I can’t deny my first year here was tough and full of challenges. The language barrier was a big factor that’s why I started learning Japanese. I would devote myself to studying every after work and on the weekends too. I would watch youtube videos, watch dramas, and study books. Now, If anyone asks me if I speak Japanese I can triumphantly say I do. Though it’s still a long road for me to fluency.
Knowing to speak the language offers you chances to imbibe culture. You can make a lot of Japanese friends and have great conversations with them, experience, and explore their lifestyles. It would help you get deeper insights and understandings of Japanese people and their society.
Living abroad is incredibly difficult emotionally as well as practical but after quite some time, depending on a person, it’ll get nicer and easier. It depends on how good you are at adapting a new environment, a new culture language, and different people to interact with. So, just explore and learn
I would say Japan is not a foreign-friendly country when it comes to services and few people can speak English. So speaking their language would save you a lot of trouble. Processing things here like setting up your internet, buying a phone, or opening a bank account can be a pain without knowing any Japanese.
2. Living alone does not equate to loneliness
I know it sounds scary to leave your family, your comfortable life, go out there and live alone in a foreign country. I knew a little about Japan when I came here, especially with the city I was assigned. You can’t help yourself to cry and think about your life back home. I had believed that when you live alone, you would be lonely. Not until I came here I realized that they are two different things. Japanese people are very independent of each other. Most of the people I’ve met taught me to live independently. I learned how to use my time productively. I focused on personal growth, I started reading books and catching up with friends. I would spend my time in cafes either studying, reading, or purely observing people because it’s what they generally do here. People go to cafes not just to chat with friends but mostly to study or work.
3. Excess Baggage
Back in the Philippines, I tend to buy unnecessary things like clothes, bags, and shoes. I wanted to collect as many bags as I can and didn’t want to repeatedly wear the same clothes. I have accumulated junk in my life. Those things were unnecessary and have no relevance nor served any purpose other than to sit there and collect dust. I bought things just because they were on sale. It’s only when I moved to Japan that I realized I don’t need as such. I could only take a few of my things so I had to get rid of or donate most of them. That moment struck me like lightning. I relied too much on objects and things. I let them define who I am and how I value myself. While it’s true that good looks give us a boost of confidence, we should not be deeply attached to things and objects and let them define who we are. We put emphasis on things rather than life- adventures and experiences or learning. It’s when you travel you realize that you don’t need a huge amount of stuff in your life.
Now that I am living in Japan, I only buy things that give me happiness. I’m not perfect but I can say I’m on way through being an under buyer. Having fewer things has made a huge difference in my life. I’ve never felt any happier than before. It gave me much space and clarity. It helped me save money and made cleaning so much easier. I’m not saying I’m a minimalist but I do apply concepts of minimalism in my life. I try not the be an impulsive buyer.
I also encourage you to dig deep into your excess baggage. Get rid of the unnecessary things in your life, whether they are clothes, people, extra loads, and tasks that exhaust you and not give meaning to your life.