This is a question I’m often asked mostly by the students I teach. Now as an ALT, you have your fluff answer, in which you tell your bosses and superiors about your big desire to teach children because you love helping students be a better version of themselves, and you have have the real answer. Oftentimes, my answer to my students are a mixture of fluff and realness. But on this post I’m going to lay out the truth and share the real reasons I moved to Japan.
On being sick and tired.
I was desperately looking to leave America. I felt I was experiencing way too much trauma. If you don’t include the consistent murder of black bodies by authorities sworn into protect communities, it was just difficult to take in all of the other violence. My spirit was so tired of being around all of that and was a huge motivating factor on why I decided to move.
On personal goals. | #Globetrotter
I never had the opportunity to travel abroad while I was in college although I really wanted to! So since college I had been looking at different ways I would be able to do some traveling. It was at that point the idea of living abroad really cemented with me. The idea of being in a different country and just living your life was so freeing to me.
I love learning new things about culture and different societies and was really interested in moving to a country that wasn’t Western, was very advanced and had a distinct culture. I had watched a lot of videos and Japan seemed really appealing. I also wanted to go to a place that was friendly to black people. My experience here has been fairly positive.
On Self Awareness.
As mentioned above I was really looking to leave the trauma. I also wanted to take time away from my family and friends and all that felt familiar to me and figure things out on my own. Since I’ve been in Japan I feel a stronger sense of self and more certain about what I want to do. I’ve been trying to straddle too many things at once and now I’m forced to listen to only my voice and to trust myself. I’m loving what I’m learning!
Safety is super important to me as a single young black women. As I would be making this move alone, it was so crucial that I relocated to a space that didn’t have a high crime rate. I didn’t want to have to always look behind me, although I still do (you can take the girl out of New York, but…) . Japan is very safe and I feel the safest I have in a while maybe since I was a child. There aren’t any micro aggressions and a lot of people seem genuinely curious and the questions and statements I received don’t come from a place of hatred and malice.
Are you thinking of moving abroad but facing some trepidation? I’d love to talk with you! Share in the comments below what are some things keeping you from taking the leap and living abroad?