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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

What Would I Miss if I Moved to Japan

I get asked some weird and random questions from people (at least they're weird and random to me). And I've expressed on my blog and in public to people that my chances of moving to Japan are slim to none due to the direction I've chosen for my life which I'm happy with. But I still get asked the weirdest questions even though I have stated several times that I will never be moving to Japan; it's just not in my cards. Well, that just doesn't seem to matter to some people because I just got asked by a friend a few days ago what I would miss the most if I ever moved to Japan.

Now, I've seen YouTubers from Japan talk about what they miss from their home country and that makes sense because they've been living in Japan for years, not knowing when they will or if they will be leaving. For someone like me who isn't living in Japan and does not plan to move to Japan, I'm not sure if I can really answer this question to the best of my ability. But today, I will try!

Note: I'm only going to mention things or places. Missing family and friends is a given if you have some kind of heart in your body.

1. New Orleans Food

I'm not a big fan of New Orleans food right now because I can literally have it everyday if I really wanted to. I sometimes get the craving for it, but other than that I can surely do without it. I love the taste of New Orleans food because of all the spices and seasonings we have available but I don't have the strongest of stomachs (sorry if this TMI for you). That's why I like Japanese food a lot. It doesn't upset my stomach and I feel a lot better when I'm eating it. But I would imagine if I lived in Japan for an extensive amount of time I would really start missing this food that I take for granted right now.
Seafood Gumbo

2. American Candy

If you follow me on Facebook, you know I'm subscribed to a subscription box called TokyoTreat which delivers Japanese candy and snacks to your door, straight from Japan. I really love this service and can't talk enough about it. You would be surprised how different the candy and snacks are from American candy and snacks. I feel like if I lived in Japan and only had Japanese candy, and maybe a select few American candy you could find at specialty stores, to select from I'd get sick of it and want my go-to candies I love here so much. I'd miss the sugary goodness of sour gummy worms, to devour a pint of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream in one sitting and to be given the gift of Hershey's cookies and cream chocolate bar from my good friends. All if this I would not find in Japan, and I would miss it.

3. Driving

I'm going to share something with all of you really quick: I hate driving. While all of my classmates in high school were getting permits and licenses at the age of 15 or 16, I stalled as much as possible until I was about 17 or 18 years old. I think it was a combination of fear and laziness, but I just didn't want to learn how to drive. Why drive when I could have people drive for me? I have my license and my own car, but I still hate driving. I especially hate driving to unfamiliar places. If I moved to Japan I would not have a car and I would not drive. Japan has too good of a transportation system. I would probably use the train, subway, or bus to travel. After living in Japan for a good while I would imagine that I'd start missing driving in my own car and getting to exactly where I want to go. With public transportation you will most likely have to still walk a bit to get to where you want to go.
The husband and dog driving in my car.

4. My Spots

No matter where you live in the world if you go to a place a lot of times the people working there will start to remember you and sometimes even know your orders. I've got several places here in New Orleans that I've developed this kind of relationship with. I have a local Smoothie King I work by that knows my order before I even get the chance to speak into the speaker at the drive thru. I have a local Japanese restaurant called Little Tokyo Restaurant that knows to automatically seat me at the yakiniku tables and will come chat with me to see how I've been since the last visit. The local Cold Stone ice cream place knows me too, and always makes conversation as he makes my ice cream. There are a few more places but these are just too great. If I moved to Japan I would miss this kind of experience because it would be hard to get this kind of thing with my limited Japanese language ability.

5. Household Conveniences

I had the chance to try Airbnb in Japan where you can stay in a Japanese apartments for the duration of your Japan trip (I'll have a blog post about that experience later). One of the things I'd miss if I moved to Japan are the home conveniences. The living space in Japan is very limited so they don't have all the equipment we think of in an American household that make life just a little bit easier. I have a house and I can tell you that I would miss having a dishwasher and dryer for my clothes, and just space in general. Living space in Japan is cramped, so your mobility is limited. And some places have dryers but it takes two or three cycles to actually try your clothes in the machine. And I have yet to find a dishwasher in Japan. It's not that I'm lazy because if I have time to wash the dishes by hand I will but I have a busy life and having the dishwasher do the job for me saves me some time.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Maybe it will open your eyes to what moving to another country would actually be like. It's not all rainbows and butterflies. There are some serious setbacks when you decide to move to a different country. I just named simple things. I know friends in Japan who just miss home so much. They miss friends and family like crazy, and they tell me it gets harder with every passing year. Sorry to be a downer, but that's just the reality of it.

If you're interested in the opposite, what I miss and look forward to in Japan click here foe the blog post on that!

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