Sep 12, 2017
Tell me the things that make you think about leaving Japan?
A lot of my friends in Japan finally came to the country after having wanted to come here for so long. After living here for a short time though, most of them soon go back home. Just wondering why that might be. Thoughts? Do you find that after living overseas for a long time, things become more difficult?
I think it gets easier with time. I have gone through periods of wanting to go back over the years, and did go back once... now I just live year to year. We're here now, might be forever, might be for another 5 years... we'll just have to wait and see. But those friends who planned to stay here for forever and went home: very generally speaking it is often because of family and friends back home. And occasionally because of burn out from living, speaking, working, thinking in a foreign language for too long. I try and get home (or another English language speaking / dominant country) for visits twice a year now to get 100% English immersion and that keeps the home sickness at bay too.
We actually want to stay here as long as we can (which might be at odds with some other expats!) The main reasons are that we love the safety here, and we want our kids to have the opportunity to learn Japanese in an environment where they would be immersed in it all the time. I think having fluency in a second language is a massive skill and one I'd love for them to have. There are definitely things I miss from home, but right now we love Japan and it works for our family!
I agree with Saitama & genkidesu, I prefer living in Japan. I only planned on one year and after moving home all I could think about was coming back. I think most people don't plan to stay for more than a year or two for the experience, it's normal. It depends on the person and their ability to adapt. Recently, I feel sad to be so far away from family because it would be nice to be there for them in a difficult time. Talking on the phone isn't the same. I would move back if a family member needed help or if one of my parents became sick, for example. At the same time, my husband is from Japan but we don't live in the same region as his parents. If they needed help, we would be willing to go there and live closer to them.
i came with the intention to always stay. there was only one point ever that i wanted to leave, but it wasnt that i wanted to go home, i just really wanted to be out of the situation i was in, which was a coworker. fortunately that coworker was let go, i met my husband, and there is no question about staying here for the rest of my life. occasionally i do wish i had the time and money to make trips back to the states so my kids could see their grandma. but i have never questioned living here. however, i know several people who come and this just isnt the place for them. they struggle too much with some part of it and just being in a space that speak their language would make the situation doable. they move back. some come live here again and give it another go after a few years and they are in a different place in their lives. it just depends on the person and what they want in life. it is always best to do what is best for yourself.