Part 6: It is a privilege.
Lesson number six, which concludes my current reflections, is a simple one. It is a privilege to move abroad and have the chance to absorb a new culture.
Lots of people may hope to move abroad in their future, and for some, they will. Others are not able to achieve their goals. My Grandma used to talk about the things she wished she had done as a youngster, before life ‘got in the way’. She was always living for a future that didn’t quite materialise for her. So, if you are able to move abroad and soak up a new culture, language and experiences, it is a privilege.
Just after Dan and I were married, in 2015, I was diagnosed with bowel disease. This is a life long condition with no known cure (currently, although science is a wonderful thing), which requires me to be on a cocktail of medication everyday. Mainly it is manageable, but sometimes it can get me down. When it does, I have to remember that I am so lucky to be living in Japan and well enough to be fulfilling this dream! Everyday I get to do something new and explore somewhere else. Even if this is just a different street to run along or cafe to eat in.
Recently, I felt this privilege. I visited a little coffee shop near my work in Shimonoseki for the first time. I have always been nervous about going in here as it looks dark and pretty local! I talked myself into it and I am so happy that I did, because it was relaxing, peaceful and serves fresh tea and coffee for a very reasonable price. I was greeted with a smile and enthusiastically beckoned in. Later on, my day was concluded by running home from work, and taking a new route along the coast. Not only was I able to run the 7km happily, but I was also able to explore a different route home and see that local area from a different perspective. I felt very lucky to be here, exploring even still!
So I continue to learn that living abroad is something I am very privileged to be able to do. Whenever it gets me down and I am having a particularly tough day, I will try to be more like my friend in the UK, and remember this…she has a very sunny outlook on life that matches my currently sunny home in Japan.