For as long as I can remember, I have loved to travel. The intrigue of different places, cultures and languages has pulled me to countries like Belgium, Mexico and South Africa. Going into undergrad at the University of Minnesota, I was determined to study abroad but, for a number of reasons, it wasn’t in the cards . Fast forward through 3 years of adult life and I found myself back in school. Despite my determination, living overseas didn’t quite work out that time either. Never could I imagine that just over a year after those failed plans, life would surprise me with some new ones.
Our Japanese story began on November 2, 2016, when my husband (of just 26 days, mind you) handed me a package and told me to open it. Because we got married out-of-state, it wasn’t unusual to get a package or two each day, so I just assumed it was a belated wedding present someone had sent. When I opened the box, it was wrapped like a wedding gift. I tore the paper off and tried to guess what it was. I didn’t stand a chance.
My “gift” ended up being an assortment of Japanese goodies. Everything from Hello Kitty soda to salted snow peas, to Wasabi mustard sauce (I hate mustard). Somehow, I knew what it meant immediately. I spent the next two minutes going back and forth between intensely staring at my husband and repeating “no, no, nooooooo, no.” Lucky for us, we had friends over and my entire reaction was recorded. Afterwards, we toasted plum wine to celebrate (which my husband was sure to have on hand).
Over the course of the next few weeks, I slowly began to process the news and tell family and friends. Their reactions were mixed, ranging from extreme sadness to excitement to jealousy. I absolutely realize that this is one of those “once in a lifetime things” and I fully intend to make the best of it, but that doesn’t mean its not scary and nerve-wracking and exciting and scary all at the same time.
But, for now, the punchline of this story is that my husband, a pilot in the Air Force, is being stationed at Yokota Air Force Base in Tokyo, Japan. He will be moving in May of 2017 and I will be waiting until August so that I can graduate from law school and take the bar exam in July. Our constant companion and fur-child, Murphy, will be making the journey with me. I have no idea what I’m going to do for a job, I am 6.5 inches taller than the average Japanese woman (this is a fact), and I do not speak a single word of Japanese. Life is weird sometimes…stay tuned for more.
(PS, I promise to make this prettier…eventually).