I’m Jon, (formerly went by NihonJon) the author of this blog.
Have you ever been somewhere that felt so right, it felt more home than your actual home? I’m talking about feeling so at home and comfortable that you could give up everything you have back at home, your family, your friends, your work, and aspirations and just relocate there permanently?
That’s what happened to me when I moved to Osaka, Japan and later Tokyo where I live now. You see, I had been to Japan before, living in Kyushu and Okinawa for work. My first impressions were good, but it had to have been just a honeymoon, right? I wasn’t satisfied living there and returned home to America after my gig was over, leaving it all behind.
If you’ve ever seen the episode of LOST when Jack makes it off the island only to realize “We have to go back!”, you know exactly what I felt as soon as I got back to my hometown. I knew I had to go back. So right then I decided I’d study two years in America then go back. Everyday was motivation for me with one goal in mind.
My junior year I returned for a study abroad program in Osaka, Japan. I finished the last two years of my undergrad degree here in Japan. I did internships at a startup, got job offers and have been able to perfect my craft through continued work since.
I finally did it. I made it back and still live here today, almost 11 years total now (as of 2017).
You’d think I had my fill after 9 long years of it. But every now and then I leave the country for work I remember that same feeling.
I have to go back.
2011 was an amazing year. I was recruited by an exciting company readying for IPO and split my time between Seoul, Berlin and Tokyo. I’m thankful for that opportunity. The Berlin summer was amazing as was Korea’s culture and the spicy, filling food. But it still didn’t feel right. I quit my job, moved back to Tokyo to start a company.
Here I live still in Japan, roaming the beautiful Japan countryside, studying its history, its people and its language.