Years after beginning this process, we've finally received confirmation that we are headed to Japan. Our holding pattern is no more. We have a destination, a purpose, and an end in sight. It is time to compile the mental lists I've been making into something more concrete, such as which household items we will take with us and which ones we can part with. My elliptical, for example, will have to be sold. To say that we have to downsize is an understatement. We will be moving into a house that is more than likely about half the size of the one we live in now. A small sacrifice for the adventure on which we are about to embark.
I know little about what we are actually getting ourselves into. The only information I have is what I've read on the internet from a handful of websites found using Google, most of which are pretty informative. I know that they drive on the other side of the road, and we have to take a driver's ed course in order to get a Japanese driver's license. I know we will be given a crash course on the local language, culture, and customs. I know that we will be residing on a tiny island in "Typhoon Ally". And I know that everyone who has lived there for any length of time has loved it.
There is much to do before we actually pack up our house and ship our stuff, which the Army will do for us. And the prospect of a 10+ hour flight is more than daunting with a 1 year old and a 4 year old. But we've been given a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience something that not many people can or ever will. We've been given the chance to immerse ourselves in a culture and life that is so very different from the one we know, and we'd be fools not to embrace it.
I definitely have many misgivings about living on the other side of the planet. For one, it's unfamiliar. It's very far from my family with whom I am very close. And the how's and when's of traveling back and forth from the states is a slightly scary process. But then my adventurous side kicks in. We can learn to dive in one of the most immaculate and best places to do so. We can easily travel to China, Taiwan, Australia, and many more "fantasy" vacation spots. There truly are a multitude of unique experiences right at our finger tips and I can't wait to touch them and take it all in.