What home means

People always ask me about why I want to move to Japan and the immediate assumption that they make is that I’m dissatisfied or unhappy with my life in Sydney. It’s clear from all the times that I’ve traveled to Japan that I have an obsession (perhaps unhealthy) with the country, but my decision to move there is not out of dissatisfaction with Sydney or because of my Japanophile tendencies.

I’d traveled to a few countries before I went to Japan, but Japan was the first country that ever made me feel like I had the travel bug. Within a month of returning home from my first Japan trip in 2014, I had booked my next ticket there. I was that obsessed.

Now, as I’m about to graduate, I’m thinking about career options for next year and increasingly I find my thoughts turned towards working overseas. Japan and Tokyo is my first choice, although the thought of living and working in New York, Hong Kong, or San Fran are also very, very appealing to me.

There’s nothing wrong with Sydney, but after traveling to so many overseas cities that I’ve known briefly and fallen in love with, I don’t feel that it’s enough to only know these places for a short time as a tourist. I’ve been told that there is a world of difference between the world that the tourist experiences and the world that the local experiences.

Also, there’s the fact that I am beginning to feel increasingly that Sydney is not my home. I wasn’t born here and although I grew up here, I didn’t choose to live here. My family chose Sydney as their home, and we enjoyed all the first world comforts that many people don’t have the luxury of. I lived relatively comfortably here and if I continue to live here, I know that my life will probably continue in this way.

Travel began to make me question these comforts, to make me wonder if this was all I really wanted. Of course I want to be comfortable and happy and safe. But I also want to grow, to challenge myself, to experience life outside of my comfort zone. I enjoyed living in Sydney, but at the end of the day, I crave new experiences, growth and discovery. For now, I don’t feel as if there’s much that Sydney has in the way of this to offer me, and so it’s with these thoughts in mind that I’ve decided to move overseas after I graduate.

The irony lies in the fact that that I have to leave the first place I called home, to discover the true meaning of the word.

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