My wife and I had always toyed with the idea of moving to Japan for many years but it was only about a year ago that we finally decided to take the plunge and go for it.
Although initially I had had my reservations in regards to teaching English as a job, it seemed like the best approach to initially get settled and earning money in Japan. This led me to taking a four week CELTA course in London during May 2010. I took the course to both gain experience in teaching, and for my own peace of mind to get a taste of what I was letting myself in for! Although the course was very tough going I found that I enjoyed the challenge and made some good friends along the way.
We eventually decided that I would stay on in London for 3 months to tie up loose ends while my wife returned to Japan to find a flat, job and generally set things up for both of us there. This turned out to be 3 of the toughest months of my life! Initially I tried to be a man about the whole thing, pretending I was okay and would just get on with things as normal, however the reality was much different! It was only a month before I was weeping into my cornflakes in the morning. I may be exaggerating slightly (I don't eat cornflakes), but I never realised being apart would be so tough, I wished each day away until I could fly out of there. I would like to thank all my friends and family who supported me during that period, Its times like that that make you realise how important good friends are!
After a great deal of hardship, the day finally arrived and after many tearful farewells I was boarding the plane at Heathrow bound for Japan. The flight was reasonably okay, Korean Air have a good selection of movies which meant that the first ten hours to Seoul airport went fairly quickly but the 4 and a half hours waiting at Seoul was a bit of a drag as I was struggling to stay awake. The strangest thing was watching the planes coming and going while listening to 'Selling England by the Pound' by Genesis on my i-pod (They were good once upon a time you know!), the music seemed so out of place.
Eventually I arrived at Kansai airport, tired and slightly delirious and after a relatively brief jaunt through customs, having my suitcase opened and rummaged through for all to see (I haven't got anything to hide honest!), I was reunited with my partner. I don't remember being so elated before in my life! in the thirteen years we have been together, the longest we had been apart for previously was 1 month and that was only earlier this year so I was relieved to say the least.
After a half hour train ride from the airport we arrived at our new home. I had expected to feel very strange upon arrival but for some reason I didn't. Everything seemed perfectly normal, maybe it was because I was with my wife again or because I had been to Osaka a number of times before but I felt quite at home from the beginning. Perhaps its not about where you are but who you are with at the end of the day. Anyhow, at that point I was well in need of a good nights sleep!