Yet again, I find myself being pulled in seven different directions, only to discover that I haven't moved at all. It's not the first time, nor will it be the last.
During my junior year of high school I had to decide which university I wanted to attend. From my 2nd year in college onward, I was job seeking. After a year working freelance in the city of Austin, I had a wide variety of countries in which to live abroad. Earlier this year, while still living in Hiroshima, I knew I wanted to stay in Japan for a time.
And so I find myself in the remote city of Kagoshima, (LAT 31.5840, LONG 130.540), right back where I started. Not that it hasn't been a worthwhile ride, mind you. No... I don't think I'd recognize the person I was in high school, and I don't regret any of my past decisions.
Right now, in Japan, I have an apartment. I have a bed. I have access to food. I'm involved with the foreign community. I go out. I travel. I take risks. But, I'm still too comfortable; I eat the same type of lunch every day; I have a routine of going to the gym and exercising; I know how to find American food and drink; work is necessary, but completely useless.
It's not a question of finance; I make enough money to survive and live, and that's all I need. The question is... where will I end up? What will I do? Who will I meet? Does love exist?
I've said it before, and I say it again, more to remind myself than anyone else, there is no point in working a joyless job to fill your life with stuff; the only thing that will accomplish is get you to comfortable and accustomed with your life that you believe there is no other way to live... far from the truth.
That's my concern now. I am living in Kagoshima. I have no permanent ties, little debt, and my heart still aches for more of everything. But a part of me sees the appeal of settling down, looking for a girlfriend, and building a world of my own.
I can't stay, and yet I kind of want to stay. But I won't. My Japanese skills advance every day. Conversations become easier. The city becomes more familiar. Another piece of the puzzle is brought to light.
Japan or not, community or no community, I have to remember that there is more out there. For better or worse, I have to see it, experience it, learn from it.
Staying in Japan
Although I think it would be interesting to live in Tokyo for a time, I know it'd be the wrong decision in the long run. With assess to so many English speakers and American food, I'd probably fall into the same routine I had in Austin. I do miss acting and more opportunities to socialize, but this just isn't the place.
Any thoughts from Tokyo residents?
I love what Hokkaido has to offer, and I just might need to experience it before I leave for good. I've never experienced all four seasons as they are meant to be experienced - a warm summer, a snowy winter, a colorful autumn, and a bright spring. Skiing, adventure sports, sulfurous onsen, fresh milk, delicious chocolate... in a prefecture almost a country in itself.
I've been looking into summer positions as an adventure guide, as well as some of the ski resorts. Anyone reading from up north?
Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam
To explore. To see Angkor Wat. To rent a beach hut and spend days doing nothing in Thailand. To go over a darker page of history in Vietnam. I'm not planning on anything full time, but southeast Asia would be a good transition between Japan and...
Where I want to try living next full-time. Another island country, but filled with a great percentage of English speakers. I wouldn't be the minority. I could live with greater comfort, greater freedom. Full of mountain climbers, skydivers, surfers, and thrill seekers.
No question. I will do this once I raise the $300 deposit. March 2009. Running on solid ice at last.