Saturday, March 20, 2010

What a Difference A Year Makes!!

So just about exactly this time 1 year ago, I was nervously boarding an airplane to MOVE to Japan. I was about to leave friends, family, the comforts of Texas (and the USA for that matter), lots of my stuff in storage, my car and pretty much everything I'd ever MOVE to Japan. I had a suitcase of clothes, my (newish) husband, 1 dog, 1 cat and my pregnant self-that was IT! And I was MOVING to Japan- for 3 YEARS! To say that I was terrified would be putting it mildly, but I think I did well covering it up.
Fast forward to today- wow, is my life different! In just 1 short year we have:

*eaten at a wide variety of restaurants and tried lots of new foods
*been to the cherry blosson festival
*taken Japanese cooking classes
*bought 2 new (to us) cars and set up a household
*ridden the trains many times
*toured a Sake factory
*been to Jane's Pearls (and won a very pretty pearl necklace from spouse club)
*been to a Sumo Tournament
*Traveled to Singapore (once for me, 3 times for Brett)
*toured Yokohama
*driven to Yokosuka Naval Base and Japanese Ikea
*celebrated our 1st anniversary
*been to a Japanese baseball game
*watched a fireworks festival
*hosted friends and my parents in our house for a few weeks
*toured the Mt. Fuji waterfalls
*traveled around and seen many parts of Tokyo
*watched the world famous Tsukiji Fish Market Tuna trades
*Taken a trip to Florida (with a 2 month old)
*Taken a trip home for the holidays (with a 4 month old)
*toured Hiroshima and Miyajima Island
*flew down and toured Okinawa for a week
*been to the Plum Blossom Festival
*many, many more...

Yes, we now LIVE in Japan, and have 2 years to go. But, after getting over the culture shock (and the jet lag of course) we have really grown to love this place. We have met lots of great folks here and made many close friends. We have gotten to see and do many Japanese/Asian things. We have expanded our family by 1 very wonderful little person. I don't (normally) walk out the door anymore and immediately think "WTF, I'm in Japan". It just comes naturally now, although I do occasionally still experience that, especially when I would love nothing more than a quick trip to Target or a route 44 Sonic Cherry Limeade or a Chick-Fil-A chicken biscuit. Instead I head over to the Daiso (Japanese $1 store), drink a chu-hi from a can, or eat some gyoza.
So, our lives are different than they were 1 year ago. Life is different...but different is good. :)