I’ve always been a restless person. I can never stay in one place for too long. When I was still living at home, I was gone almost every weekend visiting friends in other parts of New England or New York. I think one of the best parts about growing up in the northeast was how easy it was to travel across state lines.
And even when I moved out of my parents’ and up to Mass, I chose to work a job in CT and a job in Mass because A) I was nuts and B) I think I just liked always getting up and going somewhere new every week…even if I complained about my long commutes.
When I found out I was moving to a far away island a year ago, I worried I was going to miss out on experiencing “the real Japan.” But I ended up doing a lot of traveling this year so I think I’ve proven to myself that I can still enjoy Japan while simultaneously getting to understand unique Japanese island culture.
I was always happy to return to Amami after every trip, but I would already be thinking about where I could travel to next. My bucket list for Japan (and for life) has no ending. I was even making big plans to travel for a month after my contract ends in August.
I’ve put a stop to all of my future travel planning this month though. I have less than two months left on Amami and I’m really savoring every moment I can while I am still living here. I’ve been going to enkai with my teachers, spending every day free of rain and/or work at the beach, trying out restaurants in town I have never been to before, and dancing hula once a week…a pastime I used to drag myself to for the sake of being “involved,” but now I’ve grown to love. (Probably because I practice on my own now too.) I’m saying yes to everything I’ve been invited to lately, (like my school’s upcoming volleyball tournament) simply because I CAN.
It hit me recently how little I’ve actually been around to just enjoy and appreciate life on Amami…because I was always flying or ferrying off to somewhere else.
I used to have a little bit of mainland envy for the people who had the chance to see more of Japan than me because of their convenient JET placement …but now I realize how silly that is, and I am just grateful to be where I am. Because I am learning to appreciate what’s right in front of me, and not just what lies ahead.
I think I’m supposed to go meditate now or something.