On my birthday last year I cried all morning, now people who know me will understand how I hate getting older and how I cry on every birthday. This time it was different though.
As well as being upset about being older I was upset about my life. I had a deep burning desire to travel inside of me and I tried my best to put out the fire. I went out with friends, dated and desperately tried to enjoy the life that everyone else seemed to enjoy.
But It wasn’t for me.
After a lot of soul searching I decided to embrace it rather than try to fight it. Sure society says that I should aim for the typical milestones in life, job, husband, children, but none of these set my soul on fire. Travel was an integral part of me now, I tried to be happy with three holidays in 2014 but even that did not satiate my wanderlust. I needed more to be truly true to myself.
My birthday present to myself
I sat in my garden on my birthday and felt the warm rays of the sun on my body. Despite making me feel better the sunlight stirred old memories. Memories of faraway places and adventure that now seem like a dream. I decided there and then to live a life true to myself. If I didn’t live a life of passion I would be just existing. No, No. Life is far too short for that.
I come across a book on Amazon called ‘work your way around the world’, and was immediately intrigued!
I then waited patiently for the book.
My problem was that I just didn’t know what I wanted to do or where I wanted to do it! Hundreds of possibilities flew around my head. ‘should I go a country I’ve already travelled to?’, ‘Nah, I’ll go a brand new country, life’s too short’. I drove myself crazy with incessant chatter as I tried to assimilate my thoughts. I decided on a few countries and a few jobs that I would like to do.
I received the book and read through it, the world truly is my oyster.
Finding my passion
It’s a hard decision to leave a career that I have worked towards for over eight years, not a decision to be made lightly. Although I love podiatry and would like to do it again at some point in my life, I was due a new challenge. Something completely new.
My favorite clinic in work is the paediatric clinic. I treat patients from 0-18 and I absolutely love working with children. Every clinic is fun, unpredictable and fascinating, I leave with a smile every week. I decided that I wanted to do a job where I could work with children, so I could leave work every day with a smile on my face.
Next I had to decide the location, this decision was even harder to make than the last! Australia kept coming in to my head but I wanted somewhere new, somewhere exciting. Even better somewhere CHALLENGING! I thrive on challenges!
Asia was the continent that stole my heart on my sabbatical. I loved simple things like popping in to the shop to buy food and being confronted with a million products in crazy packaging and ending up with seaweed crisps. Simple things like that made me happy so I narrowed my search to exotic Asia.
The first country that cropped up was Thailand. I absolutely loved my time in Thailand and spent three and a half months there on my sabbatical. I researched the jobs there to find they were quite low paid and many accepted people without degrees. I knew the wages would be adequate to live on but I didn’t want to teach with loads of 20 year old lads who just wanted to get laid in Thailand.
I then thought that Taiwan would be the perfect place. From the blogs that I’ve read it seemed like a friendly country and very quirky. An online search showed that many jobs were for ‘cram schools’ in the evening and offered two days off but not together. I wanted to explore the country with my free time so that crossed Taiwan off the list. I didn’t really have a burning desire to learn Chinese either and the food scared me a bit, too much meat!
And then I thought about Japan. ‘Oh everyone want’s to go Japan, choose somewhere original’, I thought. I then realised that most people NEVER visit Japan! They say they will but when push comes to shove most just don’t make it there. I’ve been fascinated with Japanese history and art for as long as I remember. The language is so different and exotic and the food is varied and delicious. I realised that I’d always harboured a deep longing to go Japan but just never really realised it. I had them made my mind up.
I will teach English in Japan!
It’s now just over one month before I start my new life in Japan. I’m planning on a week in Tokyo sightseeing before starting my training. I’m apprehensive because I don’t even know where I will be placed but I’m putting my trust in the Universe!
Were you surprised that I’m moving to Japan? Is Japan somewhere that you would like to live or visit yourself?