I guess its that time…. its finally arrived. Our whole house has been packed up and is on a boat back to the US of A, and we are about to follow… well via big blue bird. Its that time to say farewell to our lives here in Japan, and embrace new adventures back home.
Japan has changed me in ways I didn’t think it would. I remember coming to Asia and feeling so incredibly lost, overwhelmed, scared. However with 3 kids and a husband deployed, fear was not an option. Instead I opened my eyes to a new world, and mind to a new culture. So I had never lived in a foreign city, driven on the opposite side of the road, never had true Japanese cuisine- I didn’t speak a word of the language, well besides a little “Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto” which my kids said all the time when we arrived, or had I ever seen the Pacific ocean! I didn’t know we would see lovely Geisha girls in Spring covered in cherry blossom petals, or the most brilliant shades of red on the Japanese Maple trees in Fall, or viewed a new land from the window of a train.
Every step we took was new to us….
In the last 3 years I have called Zushi, Japan home. Its a home that is slower in pace, much more simple- we have lived without smart phones or GPS, just printed out maps via google. Its so much fun to just get lost sometimes! We have learned that a language barrier can be resolved with a smile and hand gestures, we may not understand each other but politeness is key… We have learned to eat with chopsticks, that you should “slurp” your noodles and never bite them (slurping is a compliment to the chef, and long noodles mean a long life), that patting a childs head is for good luck, to bow as a sign of respect and gratitude, and allow your kids to be photographed everywhere they go (they love those blue eyes over here!)
We have been adventurous… we have seen the Imperial Palace, the Great Buddha, the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine… we have walked the streets of Tokyo and climbed to the top of Mt Fuji… we have driven through snow in Hakone, and watched sunsets in Hayama…
Along with all we have experienced together, there is quite a bit we ventured on apart- While I was making new friends, trying to keep my little business afloat, taking care of the kiddos, my husband was away sailing aboard the Blue Ridge- The navy took him places he never thought he would see. He played games with Cambodian orphans, visited the DMZ, ate crocodile pizza in Australia, shopped in Hong Kong, carved our names on a cliff in Timor Leste, and viewed pods upon pods of dolphins while cruising to over 13 different countries…
I cant even begin to sum up 3 years in a blog post, so I wont even try… All I can say is that I am forever changed- Our whole family is… Its been very emotional on all of us to say goodbye to this chapter in our lives, but we will always keep Japan here in our hearts.
So here we go… back to our roots, bringing with us our open eyes and altered souls…. Ready to see what the next chapter brings. Farewell Japan, someday I hope to return <3