My Four Phases of Living and Working Abroad

People who have spent a lot of time overseas know that living and working in a foreign land is so different from traveling. When I prepared my luggage to Japan, I daydreamed about all the travel and work opportunity ahead of me. What I failed to prepare was the culture shock living abroad would bring to me. Here is my one year experience in Japan:

The Euphoria Phase
In this phase, I felt a great happiness. The reason was that the things around me were out of the usual. The new place, different language, peculiar food and much more. These things brought a mystifying bliss. Reminiscing my first day in Japan, It was the end of the winter season when my colleagues and I landed in the land of the rising sun. I was awe of all the things around me since day 1. Funny thing was, I crossed the most famous intersection, Shibuya Crossing, for 10th times on my first day.
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Day 1 at Shibuya Crossing

The Resistance Phase
In this phase, I sensed a bit of frustration. After several months, when I settled down to my everyday routine. The unusual things started to annoy me. The comparison between home and foreign country was frequent, and I felt that everything back home seems so much better. I found myself missing my old friends, favorite foods, and the ways of commuting back home. In my experience, the most challenging was the crowded train station during the rush hour. One thing I can recall from my working days in Tokyo was navigating the Dentoshi line every morning. On the worst occasions, I would be pushed against to a total stranger and my arms and legs are stuck in odd angles.
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Day 100 at Shibuya Station

The Transformation Phase
In this phase, I became familiar with the things around me. I saw the good things about living in another country. I started to appreciate the beauty of the place, taste of food, or even learn the language. So, I traveled around Japan, ate all Japanese delicacies and met a lot of Japanese and foreign friends.
Day 200 at Mt. Takao

Day 200 in Sashimi Shop

Day 200 in Izakaya shop

The Integration Phase
In this phase, I accepted my new life and culture that I lived in. I no longer felt isolated, rather I began to comprehend my own heritage and my new way of life. After a year of living in Japan, I got the most rewarding life experiences.

Day 100 at Tokyo (Spring season)

Day 150 at Mt. Fuji (Summer season)

Day 270 at Fukuoka (Autumn season)

Day 300 at Nagano (Winter season)

Now, I consider Japan as my second home.

この記事を書いた人 Nice

Most of my friends call me NICE for short. I like traveling, and falling in love with new culture, language, food and most especially people.