If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that I’ve been living in Japan for the last 2 years of my life. A country full of character, weirdness, and charm. And, if you’ve been following me on social media (mostly my Instagram ), then you’ll also know that I’ve just left, and am now back living in the UK. But why, if I loved the place so much, did I decide to up and leave? Well, read on to find out…
The “look up a few inches” problem
One of the big things that I struggled to get used to in Japan was the fact that equality is still a bit of a dirty word. In general, women are still seen as less qualified than men, and they often stop work all together as soon as they get married. Also, being quite a busty girl, the amount of unwanted stares and attention that I received was very unnerving. Not to generalise too much here, but many women in Japan are rather petite, whereas I’m pretty much the exact opposite. This led to lots of uncomfortable conversations where Japanese men would be, very blatantly, staring a few inches below my actual face.
The “….maybe” problem
Japanese people hate to create conflict, which is absolutely lovely most of the time, as it means its easy to get along with everyone, and manners are top notch. But, there is a downside to this, and trust me, its a biggie. In Japanese companies, it’s very rare for them to roll out new systems or methods – simply because changing them is so difficult. Any new ideas are often met with a head tilt and a “…maybe…” – which, for those of you not familiar with overly polite language, basically means “no”.
The “I’m running out of time” problem
The biggest reason for me leaving Japan though, has nothing to do with the country or the people within the country. It’s simply because it’s time for me to move on. My original plan was to only stay in Japan for 1 year, I doubled that. This happened simply because of how amazing my time was there, how friendly the people were, and how much there was still left to see, eat, and experience. I love adventure, and I’m ready for my next one, wherever that may be. Unfortunately, I found ti impossible to save money while living in Japan – there’s always something new to do! Every month I’d find a festival or a trip to go on, so every yen I had went into exploring this fabulous country! But, sadly, you do need money to travel, and that’s what I want to do now. So, I’m back home, working my butt off to save as much as possible, and getting ready to jet off to the next home away from home!
I don’t regret a single thing about moving to Japan, and if I could do it all over again, it would be exactly the same. No country is perfect, but Japan does come pretty damn close. I can’t wait to go back and visit one day, and see if I remember any of my god-awful Japanese skills when I do! Where would you most like to live in the world? What’s the best place you’ve ever lived…or the worst? Let’s discuss!
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