Farewell 2013 and Bring It 2014

My obligatory New Years post talking about the past year. However, I do find it quite enjoyable to reflect on the previous year in a few paragraphs. Looking back at your accomplishments, failures, ups, and downs.

Gifu Castle, the oldest Castle in Japan
Gifu Castle, the oldest Castle in Japan

2013 was the year I decided to make some huge changes in my life. I realized that I was beginning to become complacent, which is something I didn’t want to become just yet. My move to Tokyo, Japan started in January 2013 when I began the application process for my Working Holiday Visa. April was the month I applied for the visa in Calgary. The visa was granted to me the following week. September I gave my notice at my previous job. Then finally in November I moved to Tokyo, Japan. It was quite the process but all that hard work really did pay off.

Tokyo from Tokyo Tower
View of Tokyo from Tokyo Tower

Completely uprooting myself from my comfortable lifestyle in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan was the biggest risk I have taken thus far. Did I have my doubts? Of course I did. Did I question myself day in and day out? You bet I did. Were there days that I wanted to give up? I can’t count how many days I felt like that. Thankfully, I have the most supportive family (Hi Mom!) and friends in the world. I couldn’t have done it without you guys, it’s that simple. You’re all a big reason why I made it this far, I don’t think I could have done it without you. So, if I haven’t told you already, thank you.

John and Yuki
John and Yuki playing with various items in Village Vanguard.

I never want to be that person who asks themselves “what if?”. After being in Japan for close to three months now, I know I made the right choice. Was this an incredibly risk move? Of course it was. I left my job, family, friends, and comfort back in Canada to set off on an adventure. Now I’m visiting Disneyland every week (damned rights I’m making use of my annual passport), making new friends and reuniting with old, improving my Japanese, and working. Who would of thought that a small prairie boy from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan would be working for an IT company in Tokyo? I certainly didn’t think so.

Hiro, Hiro's Mom, and Me enjoying Sushi in Tokyo
Hiro, Hiro’s Mom, and Me enjoying Sushi in Tokyo

2013 was the most challenging but also the most rewarding year of my life, so far. You never get anywhere unless you are willing to take risks and work your ass off. Opportunities are almost never handed to you, they present themselves after you have put in the work, if you’re willing to do so.

Utsunomiya, Tochigi, Japan
First time back in Utsunomiya after over 10 years.

In closing, 2013 was an incredible experience. Whatever 2014 has in store for me, bring it.

Chris in Utsunomiya

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