Welcome to 2020!

Hi guys!

It’s your friendly neighbourhood Gaijin back in Japan. I’m very happy to be back to my stable work life after returning to Canada for the holidays. It was great seeing all of my friends and family, then catching up with each and everyone of them about how their lives have been this past year. Some people have changed, discovered new values or have reached a new stage in their lives; the only sad part about it is that I cannot be physically there to support my friends and family through their journey, while I’m on mine. Nevertheless, cheers to a new decade – boy, it’s going to be 2030 before we know it!

Image result for Returning home for the holidays

Morning jog from the Hyogo Countryside

So, I’m 25 now. I have lived through 25 New Years and I have found that those New Year’s Resolutions do not stick all the time. I don’t know if it’s scientifically proven if we can keep them or not, however in order to avoid this crux of making an unfulfilled New Year’s Resolution, I decided to start my ideal goals (which would be used as NY resolutions) before 2020. In the mornings, I have started to build up my running endurance and I go jogging before I have to teach classes. I personally would say that I’m not suited for running, I’ve just never been good at it, but I’m building up my stamina day by day. This morning I ran for about 36 minutes in total with almost no breaks, and that’s an accomplishment already well worth it from where I started. I just wish that running wouldn’t make me nearly as tired during the day as it does. There are times when the clock strikes 10 – AM, and I am exhausted. Though, I’m doing my best.

Now why all of a sudden do I have a bunch of goals or things to do?  Since I live in the Inaka, I have a lot of  relaxation time to myself outside of work. Contrary to other full-time jobs in Japan (In Japan, being a JET ALT is not classified as a full-time according to their standards – I will post the difference at the end), you are a part-time worker with a lot of free time to find things outside of your work. I used to think being placed in the Inaka was on the lower end of a desirability scale, due to the fact that I could not find a Starbucks within 10 miles, but I’ve really started to love the mountain-dense Inaka. The things I found were weird at first, really add character to the region. There will be a day that I return to the Suburbs like Mississauga, but for now I must use every minute of my free time that I have in the Inaka to accomplish things and reach new personal heights. In the Inaka, I’ve had enough time to myself to find what are the important things to me and what I need to do to achieve them.

Cheers to 2020, what a great time to be alive! In fact, I just got the Amazon Echo and the Google Chromecast – do you know how amazing it is to stream things from your computer to the TV, IT’s AMAZING! I wish you all luck in your endeavours and I am so happy you have taken the time to read my blog. I look forward to speaking and listening to your stories in the future.




Side note – The difference between being a part-time and full-time worker in Japan vs Canada.

“In Japan, the words don’t have the same meaning as in other countries, where the number of hours you work for a company per week determines whether you are “full” or “part” time (eg. work more than 35 hours a week and you have a full-time position). In Japan, however, the English words refer to whether you are a worker on a contract (1 year/3 year, and what have you) which is considered “part time” employment. “Full time” refers to those who are not on contract, but are permanent staff sha-in( 社員) or shoku-in (職員), ie: “for life” employees with full benefits, bonuses and retirement pensions.”

~Taken from Reddit user “Sumobob99”

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