Five in Japan

photo by msyeldzon (c)2008

Traveling to Japan on tour was never in my bucketlist of dreams; let alone living and working in a foreign country known for its countless earthquakes. But fate has its way of navigating through our lives, circumstances have prompted me to make life-changing decisions that have led me to where I am now.

Though a complete stranger, Japan welcomed me in mid-winter like no other, and cradled me in its bossom safe and warm. I could easily be mistaken for a native with my looks. But after five years, I still often feel as clueless as I was the first time I arrived.

Life in the land of the rising sun has never been easy eventhough it seems as promising as the country’s title. It is packed with challenges I continually struggle to overcome: a language I can barely comprehend, a currency I quite don’t understand the value of, and a culture way too different from mine. Contrary to what most people perceive, I actually do not live a sweet life. But rather, one that’s marked by an obstinate determination to make do with what is laid on the table. Comfort here is a luxury. To practice austerity and equanimity therefore, is a tall order but a necessary choice. Nontheless, it allows me to see, move and grow within the limits and benefits of my reality. A number of times though, I find myself too close to the edge, at the verge of giving up, and slowly falling apart. The one thing that has saved me through is not my faith; neither hope nor love, but grace.

The struggles of living alone far from home are themselves growth opportunities that taught me life’s greatest lessons. Through all my wonderings and wanderings, it is quite a feat to have survived this long in a place with hardly any solid support system. Everything about my presence here with all its pain and splendor is a gift. My gratitude extends to all who have blessed me tremendously with their unwavering love and untiring support.

Looking back at my five-year journey in this land I have learned to love, I marvel with awe at how far I have come. This whole adventure is nothing short from wonderful, and I’d like to share it with you. Join me as I revisit places, re-encounter faces and reminisce precious moments forever etched in my memory.

Password: BypathsandBeyond

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Posted in Japan, Musings, Stories on the Road

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miSyel’s quotes

"The beauty of the truth is that it need not be proclaimed or believed. It skips from soul to soul, changing form each time it touches, but it is what it is."— Mark Helprin

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