I have had the pleasure of calling Sydney home for the past four years. I have grown accustomed to seeing the ocean on a daily basis, listening to the different birds singing outside my windows and walks along the coast after work.
I never dreamed that I would live so far from where I grew up in London. I always had an interest in culture and after a two month volunteering stint in Tanzania in 2008 I knew then that I wanted to experience more.
I spent the year of 2011 travelling solo to 14 different countries around the world. It was on this trip that the opportunity to live in Australia was presented to me and moving here was the best decision I could have made.
I have met and made some amazing friends and I feel so grateful because they have become my support network and more importantly my second family. As much as I have loved living in Sydney I felt like I needed a change. I knew I wanted to change jobs but I also knew I needed more in terms of a culture fix.
I began applying for jobs overseas and I made a rule (initially) that I would only apply to countries that I had visited. This wasn’t the case when a recruiter suggested a job in Japan. I was fortunate enough to be offered a teaching position and excited because I have always been fascinated by the culture and people so I jumped at the opportunity.
I don’t speak ANY Japanese but I have bought a CD, a book and I have downloaded some apps. My job doesn’t require me to speak any Japanese but outside of work I will need to be able to communicate with the rest of the population so I will try my best to learn some basic phrases.
I am feeling nervous about moving because I am so settled in my current life and I have constant doubts whether I am doing the right thing. I have never lived in a country where English hasn’t been the native language and I am aware of the language barriers and culture barriers that I may face. The thought does excite me but I take it for granted at the moment that when I talk people understand me. I believe I will find an even deeper appreciation for people who are learning English as an additional language.
Today is my last day in Sydney and I plan on making the most of it! Sayonara Australia and Konichiwa Japan!