I am a 20-something English teacher living in Hokkaido. These are my adventures.Anything you are dying to know?
It is snowing REALLY hard outside! Wowzers! We went from no snow for weeks to a huge dump in a matter of minutes. For the first time since coming to Asahikawa, I’m pretty glad I don’t drive. The roads are going to be rough tomorrow. Hopefully everyone is safe!
I haven’t updated in a while, but I wanted to let everyone know that I did sign on for another 6 months. I will be here until next October. What lies after that, I’m not sure. Perhaps I’ll extend for another 6 months, but I don’t think I will go past April of 2015. Japan is awesome, but I do really miss home.
A week ago I was so positive that I was going to stay in Japan for another 4-6 months, but now I’m so homesick and exhausted I just want to go home. I was thinking about going to L.A. for winter break so I could meet up with my family, but I don’t think I’ll be able to take the time off. What sucks about being in a really small area with a really small school is that they don’t really let you take time off. There is no one to cover my classes and they just don’t like it when people take their vacation. lsdfjkds ugh I want to go home.
This weekend I’m going to chat with a tea shop owner about doing their tea labels! Yes! I’m so excited~ I’ll update when I have more information about it, but it is an exciting development in my Japan life!
I have decided that if I am offered a contract extension, I am going to take it. I will be staying for another 4-6 months after my original contract expires. This means that the plans I had for my mother to come visit me and travel when my contract ended have become a bit more complicated. She will most likely be coming over next golden week in late April/early May. We will be hitting up Kyoto and Okinawa! These are the two places I most want to visit in Japan, but have not yet had the opportunity. Because golden week is one of the most expensive times to travel, it is going to be hard to get affordable flights, but that just means that I’ll have to save up early!!
Staying for that extra time gives me the benefit of saving up some more money and paying off some more student loans. It also means that I may be able to afford a trip to Australia and New Zealand at contract completion time. That is a major goal, I definitely want to go to both places. *cough* and take the LotR tour *cough *cough* Staying also means that I’m going to put more effort into my Japanese studies. If I can gain fluency in the next year and a half, I can put that on my resume and it looks pretty darn good. I’ve got conversational Chinese on there already, but if I can add advanced Japanese, it would be a major boost! Plus languages are great to know regardless.
I am about to hit the 6 month point of working here in Japan and I have no idea what I am going to do in another 6 months. There are so many pros to staying in Japan. It is a really wonderful country, I have grown to really like my city, and my job is very rewarding. On the other hand, I have actual honest to goodness art opportunities back in America. That is something I want to do with the rest of my life. I would say that I could put it off for another 6 months or a year, but my schedule really isn’t conducive to improving my art skills. Right now I am considering extending my contract for another 4-6 months. That is a rather digestible amount of time. You have no idea how much I miss doing conventions though. It is really hard to see pictures of all my friends selling art, cosplaying, and enjoying each other’s company when I know that I won’t be able to be there with them any time soon.
Another factor to take into account is my language ability. If I really want to improve in Japanese, being in Japan is the only real opportunity I will have to do so. I can already feel my Chinese ability slipping through my fingers, I don’t want that to happen to Japanese. Fluency is my goal, but I need to dedicate myself to it if I am going to reach it.
Honestly I am so torn right now. Even though I like my job, it is really draining. I work about 10 hours a day and am pretty darn exhausted after each day. The best case scenario would be if I could find an art job here in Japan. That’s what I really want to do.