I just got back from a week in Japan (my first time!). Chris is still in Japan to work an extra week before coming home on Saturday.
It was an exciting, but strange trip for both of us. We spent our first three days in Japan being escorted to all sorts of apartments, condos, and houses in Yokohama, Kamakura and Enoshima by three different real estate agents. The next few days were spent wandering to nearby restaurants and shopping areas near our hotel and the occasional "tourist" destination when we felt enough energy to venture out further. We were constantly going from feeling excited, to nervous, to sad, to reflective, to...quite a few other emotions all within a 24 hour period. It was starting to hit us...we would actually be living here.
Don't get me wrong, this is a very good decision for us, but it is also a scary one. This is both of us taking a leap into the unknown of sorts--or our little divergence from the typical path of "marriage--house--kids." We're just sticking "living in another country" in between those three.
Even though the "living in another country" part sounds very exciting, I don't think it can all be exciting and fun without some scary parts.
A year isn't that long, but still, we are leaving everything behind (except each other) to go someplace we've never lived and know little about. We're leaving behind family and friends. We have to learn a whole unique set of customs (or at least learn enough customs in order to learn how to not knowingly offend people). Most Japanese people just speak Japanese, few know enough bits and pieces of English to get the gist of what you are saying, but even fewer are well spoken in English. We need to be able to do basic day-to-day things (shop, use transportation, etc) so at the very least we need to learn enough of the language in order to get by, and hopefully work towards learning more of the language so we could have the chance to actually connect with people around us using more than one or two word sentences.
Yet, we are leaving everything behind except each other--we can learn much more about each other and rely on one other in a whole new way through this experience. Though far in distance we have the chance to grow closer to family and friends through writing. We have the chance to learn a new way of living and interacting with people. We have the chance to learn a language in the country it is spoken, giving us a much greater chance of actually learning the language. We can gain a lot from this experience if we choose to...so I'd like to think it's as simple as that...just choosing.