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My compliments on this outstanding website. I lived in Japan for six years as an EFL teacher and loved it. I've been back in the US for several years, and I'm so sick of the grind. I'm not in a position to sell everything and jump on a plane tomorrow, but the pursuit of going overseas again (hopefully indefinitely) will always be with me.
I'm looking forward to some good discussion and learning from your experiences.
Considering your userID, it seems you have been in Northern Japan, Akita-ken - as long as you are in Japan legally and have a regular job, it's not a bad place, of course it's very different from the States.
To live however as a foreigner permanently among the Japanese is not everybody's dream.
Japan was never a country for immigrants, many leave after a few years.
These few Westerners who stay have all Japanese family, and so do I since about 40 years in Tokyo. I never came back to Europe.
There are some really good things here, for example the health insurance system, excellent public transportation, the fact that criminality against a Western foreigner is almost zero.
The country is generally clean, no beggars or streetchildren bothering you, this is a country without aggressive tips, etc.
On the other side, Japan outside of the large cities can be pretty boring, rural Japanese are not know to be communicative and are often more or less ignorant, language might be also an issue, Japan is also not known for local women who are into meeting foreign men...
It also should be mentioned that housing in the large cities can be horribly expensive, too many people everywhere.
Also travelling around Japan is a costly experience. If you have children in higher education, bills are a horror, no difference to USA.
As I said already, only few Western foreigners stay in Japan for long-term, most of them are gone within a few years to elsewhere.
Most foreigners here are Chinese, Koreans, Brazil-Japanese, Filipinos and other Asians.
When I was still working overseas, I was going to ship my household items back to the states. I had only a brief window of opportunity so I abruptly decided to just give away my big items and toss away everything else. I generally live with 2 roller suitcases and a laptop backpack. I've embraced minimalism as a lifestyle, albeit high-end.
It was the most freeing experience imaginable. I do maintain a car in storage in the States that holds my guns and some winter clothes, but living country to country without the financial drain of a mortgage or rent payment in the states has been a blessing. When I do finally return to the states for medical check-ups and replacement clothes (I have not been back yet), I'll stay at an Oakwood long term apartment, and then in hotels as I travel the country. Not having a normal rent payment or mortgage permits that.
Minimalism is the way to go. Spend your money on travel experiences, not stuff/junk that ends up "owning you" in the end.
Could be freeing if you dont have much interests but if you ever need important stuff in life, entertainment, gifts, or to leave a memory you'll just be a ghost and wouldnt have anything of memory or heritance.
I first thought similarity, but you'd be surprised at how much your life is enhanced with less "stuff."
Now if you are a typical American or Westerner who defines himself by the extent of his possessions, you are right and minimalism is not for you.
As for the ghost existence, such is not a bad thing for me for me as a MGTOW, but I have a will in 2 separate countries so the people important to me will have plenty of resources to remember me by when that time comes.
When I moved from Indonesia to the US, I just sold off the furniture. We have some wedding photos in an old trunk at one of my wife's friends' houses.... maybe. She can't contact her. We had others. It's not the end of the world. We took our birth certificates and stuff like that and some photos with us. We got married back when people just switching to digital cameras.
When I was in grad school, I just bought used stuff. A restaurant was going out of business and we bought plates there. We stayed in a furnished place and bought used furniture we needed. We either gave away or sold our stuff before we left.
If you have an employer that gives you a shipping allowance you can't just pocket, it makes sense to ship household goods. Otherwise, you should consider whether the furniture is worth the money and the hassle. If it's new, expensive stuff, maybe. If it's half-depreciated stuff, it might be less trouble to buy new or depreciated (used) stuff on the other end. Indonesia has teak and mohogany furniture that might be worth shipping, but some of the ornate styles don't sell well in the US. I'm not much into having to have decorative furniture. I'm more concerned with function, but I'd like it to look reasonably nice, too.
Typically its enchanced with more stuff. Unless you got nothing to show for. Then you take that approach and live in a briefcase. Life's pleasures are abudant and I like having whatever I want at my disposal without having the need to buy disapposables and tossing it out. Could be quite expensive even so having a house you dont live in paying taxes and keeping it up.
I wouldnt blame all the worlds greed on just americans. I tend to see that ALL human beings on this planet are greedy, ambitious, and love materialism. The only ones that say the opposites are the ones that dont have anything. What else can they claim? Once you live a life of luxury you would know its the only way to live. Without it your nothing. Not to say that you cant live luxurious out of a briefcase but something tells me that some of you dont.
Ive met many people that claim luxury is foolish, lesss is better, and god says we should live minimum only to cling on to me and try to smooch of me envying my every taste. Sure THEY ARE a few that truly live by that ideology. But when it comes to generally it just isnt the case.
This depends about which degree we are talking.
There are many degrees in the States, which are rather worthless and causing only huge student loans without any chance of a serious employment, something like gender studies or art degrees... 'we are the 99 percent' movement...
http://knowyourmeme.com/photos/185823-w ... 99-percent
Welcome. I'm currently teaching at a Chinese university. At least my students are learning something meaningful (Business English, Accountancy or IT). No liberal arts here.
Do you know what it's like teaching in a Japanese university? I might be interested in giving that a go.
I quit my boring cubicle slave job and now I'm Happier Abroad...
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Thanks for the warm welcome.
I haven't taught in a Japanese university, but know several people who have. Very few people get tenure. Most EFL teachers are on annual contracts that are renewable for up to five years. After that, the teacher is looking for a new job.