Thursday, September 24, 2009

Asia, take two.

It's no surprise that I've been obsessed with Asia since I set foot there, and I somehow knew I'd be back sooner or later. My short visit to Japan last summer left me thirsty for more, and I haven't been able to get it out of my head since then. I was so tempted to go back to Seoul for another stint: a city I love so much, a city I know by heart. But it would maybe be too many memories, and I needed a fresh start, something that would be my own.

The timing is perfect. It's the end of my television contract, and I'm secretly happy to escape yet another freezing Canadian winter. Finally living my Japanese, Lost in Translation fantasy. For a second time. I am aware it will be difficult, and challenging. To say good-bye to loved ones all over again. To jump into the unknown, away from familiar and comforting things. To be on my own, and to not be able to share the experience with someone I love.

But I'll be fine. I forgot how much paperwork and organization moving abroad involves, but it's going smoothly. The second time around, it's so much easier, as I know what to except. I'm surprisingly calm and collected (except for the occasional 3am panic attack...hmmm). My family and friends have been so supportive and happy for me, and I wanted to thank you all for your lovely comments. I'm definitely looking forward to writing about it all.

To be honest, I'm terrified. I remember flying to Korea for the first time: I was completely frightened. I woke up not knowing where I was, and it was the worst feeling in the world. But it got much better. In fact, it got amazing, and I didn't want to leave anymore. This time, I'm determined to do it right. I'll learn Japanese (I'll make a real effort and take classes), I'll be more outgoing, and I'll embrace Japanese food and culture instead of wishing I were home.

Six more weeks in Montreal. I'm soaking up every little last bit of it. Eating cupcakes, baking my favourite treats, long, lazy brunches with friends. Learning Japanese (um, trying).

You can get out of Asia, but you cannot get Asia out of you.


Emily said...

How exciting! I have enjoyed hearing all about your time in Korea and can not wait to hear about all the trials and tribulations that you face in Japan.

Anonymous said...

You will not miss sweets in Japan. They have the most decadent and beautiful desserts. Speaking of paperwork -I think it's going to be a bit of a struggle for Alex and I to do our taxes while on the road - any tips? Yay for missing Canadian winters! When do you leave?

ZenSensei said...

Hi Vivian,

I came across your blogpost and just wanted to say I think you're so brave to move all the way to Japan for a new start. (Reminded me of Robin from the tv series 'How I Met Your Mother'. Not sure if you're familiar with the show but Robin's Canadian and she moved to Japan for a new job too.)

Japanese is beautiful language and I know you'll enjoy learning it. There are some fast tips here at my site:

I recommend u get the free 6-day trial course tt teaches you how to speak practical Japanese - Greetings, Basic Introductions and Survival Skills. (It's a text + audio lesson so u can mimic the native Japanese pronunciation and get off to a great start in Japan with the Japanese people!)

Looking forward to hearing more about your adventures. Hv fun preparing, Vivian! ^_^

{lovely little things} said...

I'm so excited for you!! It's exhilarating to have a new adventure on the horizon.

You MUST blog all about Japan. I'm hoping to visit there Tokyo & Kyoto next summer with one of my best friends.

Kelly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kelly said...

i am so ridiculously happy for you ♥

(sorry my last comment got all messed up!!!)

Carrie said...

This is a beautiful post. I can relate to your experience. I'm from Calgary, Canada and I moved to Australia not long ago to do an internship. I can relate to doing endless piles of paperwork and writing massive shopping list of all the things I need to do in order to prepare for the trip, but it all worked out in the end. And I know what it's like to feel scared, moving to another country within your loved ones and not having anyone to share the experience with. It's tough but it's always worthwhile and you'll always be glad you did it in the end. I went to Vietnam last summer and completely fell in love. I've been dying to go back but I'm waiting it out until there's a good time to return. I hope everything works out for you and all be best in Japan. Looking forward to reading all about it.

Take care,

maeghan said...

One of my best friends is half-Japanese and is learning the language right now. Wish you two could practice together! Sooooo exciting!!!

Anonymous said...

Viv, I feel like I'm going with you! I'm so EXCITED for you!

Anonymous said...

Woah. Amazing.

I know quite a few people who've went to Asia to teach. Some stayed for 2 years. Many came back after one year. Some have been there for 4 years. One has just bought a house there.

However, none of those who came back has gone back for another stint!

It's exciting to hear you're doing this again, and I look forward to your stories!

Nicole Marie said...

geez i'm so excited for you!!!! where in japan are you going?? are you teaching again??

don't forget to eat lots of mac and cheese before you go!!

lyndsey said...

What a crazy adventure...I look forward to reading about it :) I always planned to move abroad, but things happen in life and I don't see it happening unless a miracle takes place. I shall live vicariously through your blog, haha!

Coffee_c said...

I remember those 3 AM panic attacks... But you'll see, you will be just fine a week after you're there!