It is hard to believe that our first year living in Tokyo is already over. At the beginning, not knowing what it would be like, and not knowing how we would like it, two years seemed like a long time. A long time to be away from our home, our family, and everything we are familiar with. But as we have settled into this new (but also, temporary) home in a foreign country, the time seems to have accelerated, and we actually find ourselves worrying that our time here will slip away before we are ready to go back to our more permanent home in the US.
Certainly… there are many things that we miss about our home in Georgia, and things that we look forward to getting back to at some point, but we have grown fond of this beautiful country of Japan… its culture and its wonderful people. There are so, so many things that we will be sad about leaving when the time comes to go “home.”
Going into this a year ago, we tried our best to anticipate our life here and all that we would need to bring with us and prepare for, but it is impossible to know what life will be like until you actually get here and live it. We find that we brought some things that we have never needed or used, and other things we have had to buy or bring back after a trip home. Life here is different. People everywhere are mostly the same… we all have the same basic needs and desires, but the ways we go about satisfying those needs are different. We live life here on a much smaller scale, with less “stuff” and much less space… And, we find that we like it that way. It may actually be something of an adjustment to go back to our US ways after our time here is done.
A year ago, we were looking at Japan through the eyes of tourists. We were anticipating all the things we would see and do… and, we have done and seen a lot in this past year. But it is different now. Things here look different when you are seeing them from the perspective of a resident. We still enjoy the “sight-seeing,” but there is also all that day-to-day living to deal with. We still try to see the “new-ness” of our surroundings, even though it isn’t so “new” anymore. Sure… we still play that tourist card now and then. I don’t mind stopping on the sidewalk to snap photos… everyone just thinks I’m a tourist anyway, lol.
What is in store for the coming year? Well… still lots of travel. Not so much travel back to our home in Georgia — because we don’t have quite so many family events on the calendar this year (no weddings and graduations, etc.) — but so far we have trips scheduled to UAE, South Korea, and maybe France and India. Lol… an unexpected perk of this assignment is that we are both now up to platinum level on our Skymiles… And, we plan to enjoy that perk while we can because this time in our lives in going by far too quickly!