Monday, January 24, 2011

Why Living Abroad Can Be So Great

There are definitely many benefits to living in ones’ native country, but there are also many benefits to living abroad (depends on the country of course). Learning about a new language and culture can be wonderful for a person’s personal growth. Opening your mind to new types of food and drink and the importance they have in another culture can be an amazing experience.

I think that the greatest thing about living in a different country for me is the fact that everything seems so interesting. This may simply be because of the fact that I am an incredibly curious and sometimes child-like (I find a great deal of wonderment in simple everyday things) kind of guy. A simple, quiet nighttime walk down a street in Japan leaves me excited. Everywhere I go; I’m packing at least one or two cameras because I always feel that there is something exciting that’s worth documenting.

I can clearly remember the first night I landed in Asia in February of 2002. I flew into Incheon International Airport in South Korea. The owner of the school that had hired me, picked me up at the airport and drove me to a “strange” Korean love motel where I dropped off my bags. I was then taken to a great galbi (yakiniku or Korean bbq) restaurant where I had to sit on the floor and eat for the first time in my life. I nervously and excitedly met my future coworkers and took in the thrill of a drastically new culture for the first time. Everyone spoke to me in a friendly way and I felt more energized and nervous than I could remember. I was then dropped off at my hotel and told that I would be picked up the next morning.

I will always remember the wonderment I had as I decided to go for a walk. I bought a bottle of beer at the convenience store located across the road from the love motel and wandered into a large local park. I sat down, drank my beer and thought to myself, “The adventure now begins.”

Almost nine years later, I am still in Asia. I’m now in Japan. I’m older and certainly wiser, but I have to admit that I am still, to an extent, filled with a level of wonderment! Although, these days I have been pining for home a lot more than usual, I still find the fact that I live in Asia….”cool!”

Check out a few random photos from the previous year in Japan!


A fireboat located close to my house on Port Island. I have never seen this boat in action, but it would be cool!


The small park in Sannomiya (behind the JR Sannomiya Station, know as Oppai-yama akaBreast Mountain) is a place where many indie bands like to gather and promote themselves in the warmer weather.




We Love Kobe!


Like most cities in Japan or anywhere in the world, Kobe looks great. Although I think I love the slow paced life of smaller towns more than big cities, I always love the bright lights of the big city at night.

6 comments:

Chad Vieth said...

Love reading your blogs, and watching you on YT. Keep up the great work.

Greets from frozen Hali-town
Chad

z-chan said...

this made me smile and forget all the blahhhhs that can inundate a life lived abroad. thanks for helping :D

JY said...

Isnt it great? I have lived in Japan for nearly 20 years and have never looked back.

phampants said...

I'm hoping that great adventure begins this year.

QiRanger said...

I love living abroad and don't think I could ever live back in the US again. I really prefer being in a place where I can always find something new every day!

ucla_matta said...

I appreciate the insights provided by both your videos and blog posts. I stumbled upon your blog last year, when I was laid off as a third-grade teacher here in California--I was 22 at the time, not tenured!

Immediately following, I started to look for work outside of the US and came to learn about South Korea. It was in-part due to reading your blogs that I chose to work abroad. Though nervous and anxious, you've helped me to make this decision!

Thanks for updating, keep up the good work!