I think a lot of people have heard by now, but I’m coming back to the US in August. No, not just for a vacation – for good! OK not necessarily for the rest of eternity, but yes I am actually moving back to live in St. Louis for what will probably be a fairly long period of time. Originally I was planning on coming back sometime in September or November, but it’s been pushed up to sometime in mid-August. I’ll be working in St. Louis and slowly going back to school. Just at night for now, but eventually going for a Master’s I guess. That’s pretty much the main reason for the earlier than planned return, since the fall semester at the university I’m going to take classes at starts the last week of August.
It will be just short of the 4-year mark of when I moved out here after college to start working. It’s been a long time since I’ve lived for real in the US, so while it’s hard to imagine that I’m going to be leaving Japan for good, I am starting to get excited about my return. It’s going to be nice to actually drive places instead of doing a bicycle/walk/train combination. It’s going to be nice to have an apartment larger than an American hotel room. It will be great to see all the friends and family that I haven’t been able to see much over the past few years. And it will be absolutely amazing to be able to get real American food every day.
I of course complain about things here in Japan a lot, but that’s natural. Obviously I like living here, otherwise I wouldn’t have stayed for so long. So yes it will be a big transition, but I think it’s about time. Time to get more focused on my career and future, time to live a life that’s not as temporary as I sometimes see my current situation here in Japan. I’m going to try and fit in a lot of stuff before I leave Japan, including of course seeing a lot of friends and people that have made Japan home. I’m slowly working on my list of stuff to do/see/eat before leaving, a “bucket list” of sorts if you want to reference a terrible movie that I’ve never seen. So far the list is fairly sparce, but it includes:
- eat at an Iron Chef’s restaurant
- go to a mahjong parlor
- hit up the museums and zoo in Ueno
- (maybe) check out the parasite museum in Tokyo
- (maybe) visit another Asian country while I can get flights for less than $300
- tabehodais: Top Run, FuuFuuTei, Moo Moo Paradise
(of course not all in the same day, as impressive as that would be)
- all nighter at the video game bar in Shibuya
A lot of the things on my list I’ve done before, some more than others, but I’m putting them on the list to make sure I can do it again before leaving. So of course if you’re interested in hanging out before I leave and/or knocking off things on this list with me, let me know. The next 3 months are going to go by a lot faster than I can even imagine, but I’m going to try to make the most of it. America, I hope you’re ready for me to come back.