Adjusting to Living for One’s Self

Living for one’s self is a universal struggle. Every culture and group has its norms; that is to say, what’s considered to be normal. Sadly, these norms are often regarded as what it means to be happy, and that is rarely the case. The pursuit of normal and fitting-in becomes a never-ending race to keep up with the latest definition of normal. I see victims of this mindset in every walk of life. They are haunted and striving. This striving is not the simple striving of wanting to do well but, rather, the desire to do better than others. Happiness becomes measured by how many experiences and lifestyle boxes can be ticked on the “happiness list”. This can be taken to extremes among expats, with countries lived in and traveled to playing a major role in the accounting. (read more…)

How to Make Japanese Friends in Japan

A lot of expats want Japanese friends. Even if you are a fluent Japanese speaker, the easiest way to make Japanese friends is by joining expat groups and attending expat events. The simple fact of the matter is that Japanese people join these groups and attend these events in hopes of meeting people from other countries. At most expat events in Japan, you can meet Japanese people – some speak fluent English, some speak none, and many are somewhere in between. For a rich and balanced social life, join several interest based groups and you’re sure to meet people that you can connect with. (read more…)

Adjusting To Raising a Family in Japan

Hands down, the biggest concern for families moving to Japan is education and childcare. If your family is bilingual, the Japanese school system is amazing and will be a good fit. For families without a member who is fluent in Japanese, there is a surprising number of options in a variety of price ranges. There are a lot of English language preschools, elementary schools, junior high schools, and high schools. In the Aichi region, there are schools that teach from a variety of educational paradigms. Some schools draw from a specific country or program of certification, and some draw from specific religious curriculums. (read more…)

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