“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different…” – C.S. Lewis
I came across this sentence the other day and it got me thinking about life, all its crazy journeys and how is it that I have ended up living in Japan!
So I looked back to about 5 years ago when at the age of 20, I decided to pack up, leave everything I loved behind and move to the other side of the world to England to be with my boyfriend.
Thinking about it now, 20 is a young age to make such a big move and I don’t know how my parents let me go to be honest. I guess you could say I really did follow my heart, as young and naive as I was, but I have no regrets.
Moving to England I knew I would have no friends, no family, no familiar surroundings, no comfort zones and no idea! It was probably the first time in my life I really threw myself out there and took a big risk. I still remember looking for new jobs, getting a job, making new friends, finding local supermarkets, trying my best to get settled into a little English townhouse and try to call it ‘home’. I had a chance at a fresh start, a brand new life, and it was either going to make or break me. At times I definitely felt like it broke me. I am such a family orientated person, I am obsessed with my sisters and my girlfriends are everything to me. There were many times I cried all day and night, I hated the decision I had made, I missed home so much it hurt and I almost moved back to Sydney for good. But I never did.
I ended up living in England with my boyfriend (now my husband) for 5 years. In that time the lessons I learnt and what being away from home taught me has significantly shaped my inner strength and courage I have today. It taught me to be utterly grateful for my family and friends. It taught me to really appreciate the small things I sometimes take for granted when I am at home in Sydney. My hubby was away at training most days so in England I was alone quite a lot, which also taught me to be my own best friend and really understand who I am. But most of all it taught me how to step out of my comfort zones and always try to see the positives in every situation that came my way.
I have always believed that everything happens for a reason. Looking back 5 years ago to now and all that has happened in between, I realise that it is so unbelievably true.
After having lived in England for so long, moving to Japan actually felt like a walk in the park. Yes, the language barrier at times is hard but I feel closer to home than ever before, I already had what it takes to move into a new place and make it our ‘home’ and I have adapted to new environments many times before so making new friends now comes easy to me. I’m not scared to talk to strangers and I definitely embrace change.
The last 5 years in terms of my own personal growth, I feel like I am wiser beyond my years. I have experienced many different cultures being fortunate enough to have travelled all over Europe. I have been through some really emotional hard times, but I have also lived through some of the best times of my life in England. I have learnt that not everything goes your way or goes to plan and sometimes you just have to suck it up, roll with it and understand that “people change and things go wrong but just remember life goes on” because it does!
Today living in Japan, I have never been more content with life. I am able to spend my free time wisely by doing what I can to help others through my blog, my relationship with my husband is only getting stronger and I appreciate my loved ones more with each day that passes. I am happy, healthy and grateful for my life!
I hope if you are reading my story, it inspires you to take a chance, embrace change, make the most of your opportunities, push through the tough times and always see the positives in every situation.
Sitting here typing this in my little Japanese home, I honestly don’t know where this new path will lead me or what the future holds, but I know as long as I’m helping others, giving back, fiercely loving my husband, family and friends, and always having an attitude of gratitude, it will all be worth it in the end.