Goodbye Japan

Goodbye, adios, sayonara: no matter how you say it, it holds the same meaning.

As you may have guessed, I am leaving this great country for another and heading home to Canada. After living here for almost 5 years, it is sad to leave. I have had many great moments in this land. I thought I would share a handful of them with you.

  • Having a son - I remember it like it was yesterday. I felt so lost that morning. My translator (my wife) was in too much pain to help me understand what was going on. I did as I was shown; although, I had a few mishaps. I used the pregnant women’s washroom by accident and pressed the alarm, thinking it was “flush”. The nurses came running to my accidental emergency call and were not too happy to see me come out of the restroom. Also, I didn’t know when my son was close to being born. I thought I had more time in the delivery room before the birth, but he came out only a couple minutes after I got there and only about 10 minutes after my wife walked there. From the first moment I saw him, I felt something I had never imagined before; I was no longer the most important person in my life. It’s a great feeling really, and one that I feel every time I see or think of him.

  • Getting married - My wife and I had a traditional, Japanese, Shinto wedding in Kyoto. It was so beautiful and different from the “regular” wedding people have in Canada. I truly enjoyed the ceremony, the decor and wearing a hakama. It was also special because my Canadian family got to meet my wife’s (Japanese) family for the first time. It was fun to try and translate for them and watch them communicate with each other in different languages.

  • Okinawa - What can I say that you don’t already know? Okinawa is beautiful, clean, interesting, relaxing and offers adventurous activities. Going to Okinawa was my first experience on a sub-tropical island and it didn’t disappoint. I loved every moment there, especially the snorkeling. The crystal clear, blue water was awe inspiring. I loved the food, too. Fresh and unique fruit, taco rice, tender pork, soba noodles, fried fish and A&W burgers; it was all great. Luckily, I get to go back, before I leave Japan.

  • People - I feel blessed to have had a job where I could meet many nice people on a day-to-day basis. The students I taught English to, taught me much more about Japan than I had thought I would ever know. I learned about the culture, history, religion, food, customs, views and ideology. I feel that I have become more broad-minded due to my conversations here. I am so thankful to have had great students to learn from. Thank you for making me a better and more complete person.

With tears welling up in my eyes, it is time to say farewell. I will never forget this chapter of my life. I am so happy that I decided to move here many years ago. Thank you and see you again Japan.