September 13, 2018. That was the day we landed at Nagoya Chubu Airport and began our new life in Osaka. As we left Honolulu Airport on September 12th, Hurricane Olivia was on her way to the islands. Flights were cancelled and delayed. Our flight was delayed to accommodate a flight coming in that was also delayed. That flight was eventually cancelled, so we took off on a 1/2 empty flight. Each of us got an entire row to ourselves. What a fantastic way to start our journey! Recalling that day brings up many emotions. It’s a perfect time to reflect on this past year living abroad and to judge how much we’ve grown not our waistlines, but as a family having this human experience.
It’s been an exciting year discovering the wonders and flavors of our new home. We’ve found our go to ramen shop, an amazing sandwich place, an incredible burger joint, and good conveyer belt sushi establishments. The one cuisine we’re struggling to find here is a decent Mexican restaurant that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. It’s easily one of the most expensive foods you will find here. There is also a lack/nonexistence of refried and black beans, so the burritos and tacos have a Japanese flair, which is still yummy, but not authentic. Another post dedicated solely to this quest coming soon.
What I never would have imagined a year ago is how much we would love this community we live in. Through a chance meeting, I joined a PTA volleyball team that has welcomed our family into their circle. What I thought would be a group of potential casual friends, has turned into true friendships that I didn’t think would be possible with my imperfect, limited language inability. But now I can say we’ve become a part of this local community, which has made all the difference. Who would have guessed that in this vast metropolis of Osaka, we’d find our niche, our people and our second home.