I’ve been offered a position teaching in Chiba Prefecture from January 2015 for a year. Although I don’t relish the thought of traveling anywhere in winter, the possibility intrigues me. Enough so that I need to consider the pros and cons of returning to Japan for the long haul.
As my first experience abroad, Japan inspired me to write. Not just getting into travel writing, but expressing my thoughts well. I hadn’t conceived of starting a book until I had finished two years in the country, and going back would bring the story full circle. In addition, I would have the opportunity to connect with YouTubers I’ve been following like BusanKevin and Gimmeabreakman. Being abroad, anywhere, is more stimulating, and already being familiar with some of the cultural idioms and language would make the transition much easier. I have an affinity for many things Japanese: hot springs, food, their running culture (sake after a race is well deserved). Tokyo is an excellent staging point to travel to other Asian countries, and hopefully I can cash in my United miles for a first-class ticket this time around.
Time haunts me. It’s always passing by, and the only way to ensure happiness in the future is to lay the foundation for one NOW. Not tomorrow, not next year. NOW. While Japan has long-term potential, the odds are against me in a profession like teaching ESL. By the same token, there are fewer chances at real relationships, with Japanese and foreign women alike. I’ve already “done” Japan, and it wouldn’t be as stimulating the second time around. Although teaching has the potential to awaken and inspire me, depending on the situation, it can also drain and kill my soul. It would feel immature moving to do something I did as a graduate when there are real jobs back in the US.