So, I almost lived and worked in Japan. In fact, I would have left in 12 days. However, the job just wasn’t a good fit for me and I declined. Regardless, I learned a lot during this adventure of almost leaving the country– either from my own experience or the experiences of others.

1. People think they have the right to have a say in your decision to leave the country.

The people in your life, sometimes those who always encouraged you to be yourself and follow your dreams, try to live vicariously through your trip. They want you to go so they can like your post about climbing Mt. Fuji. Or, they don’t want you to go because they don’t think Skype is a legitimate form of communication. Either way, some people take your life decision almost as seriously as their own life decision.

2. People who literally never see you want to see you because your leaving.

People that you see maybe once a year all of a sudden want to see you– sometimes several times before you leave. I think it’s just that exotic desire to live vicariously through your decision. I mean it’s cool to say, “Oh. Yes. My friend just went to live and work for the Japanese school system this year.”  It’s basically like saying you are living in another country too. Am I right?

3. People actually want to read your blog.

EVERYONE makes a travel blog. They want people to think their cool (guilty). But, after your first post, you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you actually get more than 30 views. People actually want to know what you are doing and are proud of you.

4. People actually don’t want to read your blog.

People like the first blog about how you are preparing to go. But, then they really just want Instagram pics–but, not too many. They don’t want to feel lame for not living abroad. (which isn’t lame– like, ever)

5. You have a really hard time imagining yourself living in a foreign country– especially if you haven’t been there before.

You try to imagine it and it ends up making as much sense as this….

Puppet lemurs don’t live in the water!…and I don’t live in Japan…. #restinpeacezoboomafu

6. People feel more awkward about you not going to the foreign country than you do. 

Don’t worry. I’m not a sob story. I’m seriously really happy with my decision and no, my life doesn’t suck because I am still living in my country of origin.

7. It is really emotionally exhausting preparing to go to another country, especially if you know you won’t like the job.

I spent several days– days in a row doing absolutely nothing but staring into space trying to accept my existence. You start to do funny things– like clean the whole house, walk from room to room purposelessly, and stare at your luggage. People (especially those who haven’t seen you in a while) ask you what you are doing and you say things like, “Oh… Preparing for Japan.”

8. It’s all about being happy.

In the end, if being in the foreign country makes you happy– then, by all means go! If it stresses you out (and more than just pre-flight nerves) then stay. In the end, you should be at peace and be happy– and that applies to all of life.