Monday, 26 March 2018

Nearly two years since I left Japan// update

My adult checklist
So it's been a minute since I came home from my year studying in Japan.... I blogged about it a lot, and it was definitely an amazing experience, although like anyone's year abroad probably, I had a lot of lonely and difficult times too. After my post on reverse culture shock last year, I thought it was about time to do an update on how things are going.

So how do I feel??
I miss Osaka! Osaka as a city definitely stole my heart- I'm definitely a city girl, and Osaka has nearly 3 million people living there. I love the Osaka accent, I love Osakan food and I'm obsessed with the tackier, slightly stuck in the past vibe of the city. I really want to go back to explore it more!

I miss all the people I met. My friends in class, random people who were kind to me or helped me, and all the cool people that I saw around and didn't get the chance to meet. It's a bit lonely being wrenched halfway across the world from friends. Anxiety has also made it a real struggle keeping in touch with people- I feel like such a burden on people who are busy with studying.

I miss travelling- when I was in Japan I did a lot of cool stuff like hiking, exploring the city, trying new food, going to new places... it's a lot harder to get friends together to go explore the UK. No one has time really. I need to get better at going places by myself. It's weird not knowing when I'll go back. I'm a student, and UK>Japan flights are really pricy, so it's not like I could just pop over there, you know?

I miss buying Japanese stuff. This seems so shallow, but I love Japanese fashion. I miss the famimart jingle, I miss waltzing into muji or wego (I also had a scholarship so I could be a little splashy with my spending). I miss Japanese fashion magazines being dirt cheap too!

My Japanese is definitely not improving at the same pace. Immersion is really important for language, and although I'm watching a lot of Japanese youtubers now, there's nothing like being properly surrounded by the language you're trying to learn.

I had huge problems with anxiety and loneliness in Japan, especially in summer. I'm not sure I recovered.... I've been having huge problems with anxiety this last year in Uni as well. I'm just about keeping afloat, but it's really held me back. Luckily I've managed to keep my grades up, and I've just about got to class... but it's been tough. (Any anxiety tips???) I'm also worried about the future, but that's a whole different thing.

I still have the sensation that people are staring at me all the time. I stuck out like a sore thumb last year, and from someone who is already quite a nervous person, it made me a little paranoid. It's always at the back of my mind, especially when I'm on my own.

Even though I miss Japan, it has been soooo nice coming home. I 'belong' here. I have family and friends I've known for ages at home, and Leeds is such a cool city to go to uni in. I like being able to find shoes in my size and proper deodorant and have other people with bleached hair and not be a good head taller than a lot of the girls. I can also buy loads of plants, and have an actual kitchen that's bigger than a shoebox.

But even though I'm settled back in Leeds, I want to go back to Japan- not to live forever, but for a year or two? Definitely. I'm not done with Japan.

Sorry if this sounded a little whiny, but I wanted to open up a bit and let you guys know how it's going. How are you guys? Have you ever had reverse culture shock? Or moved home and felt homesick?

Packing tips: How I packed for my year abroad in Japan//  Reverse culture shock//  How to deal with homesickness and loneliness on your year abroad // How living in Japan changed my style
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