Well, it’s time to go home. As of Juneish I will no longer be an expat and will be calling the good ol’ US of A my place of residence once again. Luke of course will still technically be an expat despite spending more time in the US in the last 2 years than me.
It’s been 10 years since I lived in the US and my time in Canada, Australia and Japan have been some of the very best years of my life and played a major role in shaping who I am today.
Without these experiences I wouldn’t have met my other half, made friends with people who opened my eyes to new ways to look at things, been able to appreciate just how blessed I am in this life or fallen in love with the world as I have.
We live in a pretty incredible universe and the people within this world are beyond amazing. Ingenious, resourceful, compassionate, and full of life; there has not been one person on this journey who hasn’t challenged me, made me laugh, taught me something new, broadened my world view or simply been a fantastic friend. I feel extremely lucky to have done what I’ve done, seen what I’ve seen, lived where I’ve lived and met the people I’ve met.
So the next chapter in our book will take place in Houston. Another new city to explore, adventures to be had, great people to meet and things to do. Still, I have to admit that this does feel a bit like the end of an era for me and it’s a bit sad to see the years slipping by and our expat days fading away some.
This is not to say I’m not excited about what our future holds, I most certainly am. I’m beyond delighted that we will be closer to family and friends I have missed, that I can grocery shop and read all the labels, and that I will be able to connect our internet without using the text to speech function on google translate over the phone. But it’s like when all the Christmas gifts have been opened and the New Year has been rung in; there is anticipation for what’s to come but also a bit of nostalgia and melancholy for the special moments and good times had while it lasted.
Of course the hardest thing to leave is the people and in Tokyo we’ve had the pleasure of making some very dear friends. Technology does of course make it easier to keep in touch but it’s never the same as grabbing a drink after work or laying under the cherry blossoms on a beautiful spring weekend.
The country itself is also hard to leave. We’ve fallen for the food, the culture, the people and the essence which is Japan. This is an indescribable country that somehow gets you drunk on it’s serenity, chaos, history and novelty while challenging you every single step of the way. Although sometimes excruciatingly frustrating it’s addictive and somehow endearing. I think it’s perhaps a place you never really leave but carry with you wherever you go.
We will be back for sure but for now we are headed to the Lone Star State and then we’ll have to see where the wind blows us.