September 24, 2014 the United States ariforce station me in Okinawa. Along side me the whole 22 hr flight, my best friend and at the time the person I had no idea would now be my husband! We have been here 2 1/2 years and have 9 months left! Man, it has flown by but it has been nothing short of an incredible life changing experience.
Not only did I get married here (on my lunch break in my uniform I might add, I know how romantic), but I also had my first son here! Let me tell you, Asian people LOVE American babies! I feel like this is where I “grew up”. I put on my big girl panties and did big girl things for the first time in a new country, 7,661mi from home. And I’d give Tom and I two thumbs up and a big smack on the back because we have done very well for ourselves. I mean, we managed to keep another HUMAN alive for over a year ALL by ourselves…With some help from google of course!
Let’s talk about the natural beauty and food . Holy moly, the water is incredible. I grew up in south east Texas close to Galveston island. All I’ve ever seen is (excuse my language),shit brown water and quite frankly it smells like it to…This water looks like heaven melted and ran down a little tin pipe to little ole Okinawa. You get it, the water is crystal clear and on sunny days nothing short of magical! Beautiful mountains, cliffs and beaches. The food is so healthy and tastey! I can count on one hand how many over weight locals I have seen since I’ve been here. Even the convenient stores have good healthy food! Great sushi as you could guess, ramen, Yaki soba and so much more.
There are so many ways being here has made my eyes so wide open to the rest of the world. What is and isn’t acceptable in every day life. The people in Japan are the nicest people I have ever known in my life. Even the people that work at McDonald’s smile and bow at you when you leave. In America, I’d be lucky to get a “have a nice day”, much less a bow and a smile until you leave! There is also basically no crime. I’ve seen 3-4 years olds walking on the street alone, I have left my front door wide open for hours on accident with a MacBook on my couch and no one even came in! I would be swiped clean anywhere else! Right?
I feel like over time, after seeing so much bad and running into every day awful grouchy people, you start to make excuse for the way the world is. You tell yourself,” you’ll find rude people everywhere” or “you’ll find crime anywhere you go” but living here I’ve come to learn that I shouldn’t have to feel that way. I shouldn’t have to ever live in any kind of fear of someone coming into my home or being scared to let my son play outside. It’s not like that everywhere. Before being here no one could have ever convinced me of that. I just feel so lucky to have experience such peaceful and happy people. I’ll be so happy to go back to the states to family and friends but I will be so sad to leave my little safe Oki bubble. If you ever get the chance to come to Japan, I think it will change your life a bit as well.