The first time I moved to Japan was for academic purposes, a study related with earthquakes, so Japan was the perfect place. At that time I was surprised how welcoming educational organization was. When I arrived, I was picked up from airport, given pocket money, and even transported to my dormitory. The next day, my tutor came all the way to my dormitory to pick me up and show me how to travel to my laboratory.
I did a bit of research before coming, so I already knew that Japanese are dedicated employees, although I did not know to what level. My Japanese boyfriend (now my husband) and I were fighting about his long hours at work. He needed to work extra hours to succeed, fine I get it, but the problem was there was no payment for those extra hours. He told me it was for the sake of the company– if everyone thought like me, it would be difficult for companies to grow.
It’s challenging to adapt a new place. Finding native people who are able to understand how you are feeling is rare, since most of the stuff that you are finding difficult is natural for them. But there are some native people who are open and willing to understand, due to their previous experiences of living in other countries. My husband was one those people, and knowing him is the most positive experience that I’ve had since moving in Japan.
Before moving, I thought I was a tough girl, but I realize now that I’m quite vulnerable. I would over-think things and try to analyse them over and over again even if they weren’t big issues. I also had a tendency to dwell on negative things which started to paralyse my life. Then I stopped and started all over again, here, which I believe has made me stronger and my life in Japan happier.
If you’re thinking about making the big move, do not take everything you read as truth. Everyone is different, we all have different experiences and we all see the world slightly differently. If you read those negative/positive thoughts, this might as well affect your way of seeing things. I would suggest making a trial run over other people’s opinions. If you think your trial went well, then congratulations. You found the place to be.
Triny about Triny: I am from Turkey, with a civil engineering degree. I decided to move to Japan in 2005 to achieve a Ph.D in this field, since Japan is very advanced both in academia and industry. After completing my degree, I worked in China. I married with my Japanese boyfriend in 2009 and quit my job to return to Japan. Being unable to find work, I moved to France to work at a university for a year, leaving my husband. It was hard to be apart, so my husband quit his job in 2010 and followed me to UK, to achieve my dreams, having a career in engineering. We had our baby girl in UK (who is currently going through her “terrible two” stage!). After three years of adventure in UK, we decided living in a country different to both of our cultures is too much, so we moved back to Japan in June 2013 to start our new journey as a family.
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