Moving abroad… huh. I keep waiting for it to sink in that in the last four days I have picked up my entire life and moved it to the other side of the world. Maybe it’s because so many months of red tape and planning have gone into this move that none of it feels crazy or spontaneous as trips have in the past. Nothing about this feels like traveling. It feels like moving. I’ve never moved out of the U.S. before. I expected it to feel surreal. I thought I would pinch myself on the plane. I didn’t.
Perhaps I have moved so many times in the last year and a half that I have become accustomed to the emotion that surrounds it and numb to the nerves. Perhaps I expected a move like this to feel like planning a trip would. But the truth is, you don’t bring your bed on vacation, and my bed is currently in a crate, on a boat, making its way to meet me here. Moving isn’t traveling. For sure.
In the last 5 days, I haven’t experienced any of my normal “traveling” feelings. I haven’t had butterflies or been particularly camera happy. I’ve been neither nervous nor overly excited. I haven’t even experienced jet lag and we are talking about a 13 hour time difference here.
Maybe it will all hit me at once, but right now, I am sitting on a couch with my dog curled up at my feet, watching BBC news, while my husband searches online for used cars in Japan. Nothing could feel more normal. Well, except for the fact that if we were in the states he would be looking for a truck, NOT a Nissan Cube. And, in this very moment, as I look at the pictures of this hideous vehicle, whose steering wheel has been placed curiously on the passenger side, I suppose it’s starting to sink in that as normal as it all feels, we do live in Japan now. It really is today here while it’s yesterday at home. And all of this “normal” gets to be my reality for the next 3 years. I might not be overwhelmed by my typical feelings of excitement, but maybe that, in and of itself, is the most exciting part.
In 2013, I quit my job and bought a one-way ticket to Thailand. After four months of backpacking I returned to the States and fell in love with a guy whose job sent us straight back to Asia. Nothing has gone according to plan... and it's been absolutely magical.